John Honek obtained his BSc and PhD degrees in chemistry (honours) from McGill University. His PhD research focused on the design and synthesis of heterocyclic analogues of the anthracycline antitumour agents under the direction of Bernard Belleau. Subsequently, Honek was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of C. T. Walsh at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At MIT, he pursued studies on exploring the biological chemistry of key metalloenzymes involved in biogenic methane production isolated from the archaea. Honek is currently professor and chair in the Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo. His group focuses on protein structure and function and the medicinal chemistry of enzymes involved in methionine biochemistry as well as studies on the elucidation of the metal specificity and the mechanistic enzymology of detoxification metalloenzymes such as Glyoxalase I. His group is also investigating the chemical and biological control of multisubunit proteins and viruses to fabricate new bionanomaterials that can be used in drug delivery and in the creation of novel biofibers. The research focus in this area is to create novel biomolecular platforms to address critical needs in molecular recognition and function.
University of Waterloo