June 12, 2023: Appointment of Professor Emma Master as Director, BioZone

Dear faculty, staff, and students,

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Emma Master as the Director of the Centre for Applied Bioscience and Bioengineering, BioZone, for a three-year term from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2026.

Emma joined the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry in 2006 and served BioZone as its Associate Director since 2011. Emma is the lead principal investigator of the Genome Canada “Synbiomics” project, which involves four Canadian universities and seven industry partners from across the bioproduct value chain. She also leads the “NSERC CREATE for BioZone: an open science centre for industrial biotechnology in the circular economy” and is the co-director of the Bioengineering Minor. Emma co-founded YZymes Inc. in 2021 to accelerate technology translation and benefits to diversified biorefineries. She holds an Adjunct Professorship position at Aalto University, Finland, and was awarded a Finland Distinguished Professor Fellowship in 2010 and a European Research Council Consolidator (EU Horizon 2020) grant in 2015. In 2020, she won a Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Open (EU Horizon 2020) grant to integrate bioscience, computational sciences and materials sciences in circular bio-based economy frameworks. Over the past ten years, she has supervised 20 post-doctoral fellows, 20 Ph.D. students, and 27 Master’s students. Emma has been serving the Department as our Associate Chair, Research since 2020, where she was instrumental in rebranding our research activities around ‘research themes’ and fostering collaborative research. Emma is the twice recipient of the Diran Basmadjian Teaching Award (2014 & 2017) and the co-recipient of the Faculty Research Leader Award (2013).

In her new role, Emma will focus on ensuring continued research excellence of BioZone through broader outreach and engagement across FASE and U of T, ensuring BioZone’s leadership role in bioengineering / biomanufacturing efforts within FASE, and contributing to the Department’s curriculum planning in bioengineering, among others.

Please join me in congratulating Emma on her new appointment.

I also wish to take this opportunity to thank Professor Elizabeth Edwards for her exemplary service as the Founder and Director of BioZone since 2007. Under Elizabeth’ leadership, BioZone has grown to become an internationally renowned hub for providing sound bioengineering solutions to real-world problems by leveraging genome science and analysis tools. Today, BioZone is home to over 130 scientific and administrative personnel, including 80 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who are exposed to a wide variety of techniques, and are able to collaborate with researchers who have complementary skills to their own. Students have the opportunity to carry out research projects with a clear practical focus that links to the theoretical training they receive in class.

Please join me in thanking Elizabeth and wishing her all the best, as she will be focusing on advancing her research while supporting the transition to the new BioZone Director.


Ramin Farnood
Professor & Chair, Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry