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Gonzalo Cosa

Professor in the Department of Chemistry at McGill University

Gonzalo Cosa was born in Cordoba, Argentina on September 21, 1973. He studied at the Universidad Nacional de Rio Cuarto, Argentina, where he received his Licenciate in Chemistry degree in 1996. He was at the time the recipient of the Asociación Química Argentina Award. In mid 1997 Gonzalo Cosa ventured north, to Canada, to pursue a Ph.D. degree under the direction of Prof. J.C. (Tito) Scaiano at the University of Ottawa. His Ph.D. work in Physical Organic and Photochemistry involved mechanistic studies on drug photodegradation. He completed graduate studies in the winter of 2002. For his graduate studies Gonzalo Cosa was recognized with the Governor General's Gold Medal Award and was a recipient of the 2003 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Award to the Best Ph.D. Thesis in the Chemical Sciences. After graduate school Gonzalo Cosa headed south and he joined the group of Prof. Paul F. Barbara at the University of Texas at Austin. As a postdoctoral fellow in Paul Barbara's research group Gonzalo Cosa worked on Single Molecule Fluorescence Studies. He obtained the first time-resolved SM-FRET measurements on HIV-1 transactivation response (TAR) DNA hairpins and hairpin mutants complexed with HIV-1 nucleocapsid proteins (NC). In 2005 he returned to Canada where he joined the Department of Chemistry at McGill University as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011, and to Professor in 2016. His current research centers in designing, preparing and utilizing smart fluorescent probes for cell-imaging and on applying state-of-the-art single-molecule fluorescence methodologies to study protein/DNA/lipid interactions.


1997 - 2002Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Ottawa, Canada, (Prof. J. C. (Tito) Scaiano)

1992 - 1996B.Sc. Chemistry, Univ. Nac. de Río Cuarto, Argentina, (Prof. Carlos A. Chesta)


2016 - PresentProfessor, McGill University, Canada

2011 - 2016Associate Professor, McGill University, Canada

2005 - 2011Assistant Professor, McGill University, Canada

2002 - 2004Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Texas at Austin, USA, (Prof. Paul F. Barbara)

1997 - 2002Graduate Student, University of Ottawa

01/1996 - 03/1996Intercampus Latin America/Spain Fellow, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

04/1995 - 03/1997Undergraduate Research Assistant, Univ. Nac. de Río Cuarto, Argentina

04/1994 - 03/1995Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, Univ. Nac. de Río Cuarto, Argentina

Honorary Positions

2009 - PresentAssociate Editor for the journal "Photochemistry and Photobiology" (American Society for Photobiology)

2016 - PresentEditorial Advisory Board Member for the journal "ChemPhotoChem" (Wiley)

2012 - 2015Editorial Advisory Board Member for the journal "Langmuir" (American Chemical Society)

Honours & Awards

2017Fessenden Professorship

2015Canadian Society of Chemistry Keith Laidler Award

2014NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement, 2014 competition

2012Visiting Scholar, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

2012American Society for Photobiology New Investigator Award

2009European Society for Photobiology Young Investigator Award

2009Inter-American Photochemical Society Young Investigator Award

2009Tomlinson Science Award, Faculty of Science, McGill University

2008CNC-IUPAC (Canadian National Committee for the IUPAC) Travel Award

2005Canada Foundation for Innovation, New Opportunities Fund Award.

2003IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists awarded to the most outstanding Ph.D. Thesis in the general area of the Chemical Sciences

200339th IUPAC Congress Travel Grant for Young Chemists

2002Governor General's Gold Medal to the best Ph.D. Thesis in Sciences and Engineering, University of Ottawa, Canada

200013th International Congress on Photobiology Travel Award, American Society for Photobiology

2000E.P.A. Graduate Student Symposium 2000 Travel Award, University of Ottawa, Canada

20003rd and 4th Year International Scholarship Award and Doctoral Research Scholarship Award, University of Ottawa, Canada

1999 & 2001Excellence Scholarship Award, University of Ottawa, Canada

1999 & 2001Ontario Graduate Scholarship Award, Ontario, Canada

1999 & 2001OCCI Poster Award, Ottawa-Carleton Chemistry Institute, Ottawa, Canada.

1997 & 1998International Scholarship Award and Admission Scholarship Award, Ph.D. Level, University of Ottawa, Canada

1998216th ACS National Meeting Travel Award, University of Ottawa, Canada

1997Graduate Scholarship Award, Córdoba Province Research Council, Córdoba, Argentina. Declined

1997Asociación Química Argentina (AQA) Award to the Highest Graduating G.P.A. in Chemistry at the Univ. Nac. de Río Cuarto, Argentina.

1997Univ. Nac. de Río Cuarto Award to the Second Highest Graduating G.P.A. in the class of 1996, Argentina

1996Intercampus Latin America/Spain Scholarship Award, Spanish Office for International Cooperation, Foreign Office, Spain

1995 & 1996Undergraduate Research Assistant Scholarship Award, Univ. Nac. de Río Cuarto, Argentina


NSERC CREATE Bionanomachines

Centre for Self-Assembled Chemical Structures (CSACS)

Centre en chimie verte et catalyse (CCVC)

CIHR Drug Design Training Program (DDTP)

Groupe de Recherche Axé sur la Structure des Protéines (GRASP)