Research at MRU
Office of Research Services

Faculty profile

John Chik
Associate Professor




John Chik

Dr. John Chik's interest in questions that lie at the intersection of biology, chemistry and physics was planted when, as a graduate student, he became fascinated by the mystery of how living organisms exploit ATP (adenosine triphosphate) hydrolysis to generate mechanical work, as exemplified by muscle contraction. Through an adjunct-assistant professorship at the University of Calgary, he is continuing muscle-related research by co-supervising a MSc student project using the novel method of hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry to study calmodulin-mediated, calcium activation of smooth muscle contraction, and an undergraduate summer student project examining the mechanism behind smooth muscle myosin activation by light-chain phosphorylation. Funded by MRU, Dr. Chik has also initiated research exploiting the novel properties of "heavy water" to investigate "water-mediated" force, such as the hydrophobicity and hydration forces, and how they influence protein structure and function. In addition to furthering our understanding of the life-critical properties of water, this research will have practical implications for improving protein stability which, for example, would be of interest in the area of vaccine storage.
Ph.D. in Chemistry, 1989 - 1996. Princeton University. Specialization: Protien Crystallography. Dissertation title: "Solid State Transformations of Crystalline Bovine Profilin Beta-Actin Complex at Atomic Resolution". Supervised by: Schutt, C.E.
B.Sc. (With Distinction) in Chemical Physics, 1985 - 1989. University of Toronto.
Recent Publications
MacDonald, J.A., Ulke-Lemee, A., Butler, E.I., Ishida, H., Chappellaz, M., Chik, J.K., & Vogel, H.J. (2012, April 3). The intrinsically disordered N-terminus of calponin homology-associated smooth muscle protein (CHASM) interacts with the calponin homology domain to enable tropomyosin binding. Biochemistry, 51(13), 2694-2705.
Chik, J.K. (2012). In. (R. Bissessur, G.R. Loppnow, N.J. Mosey, J. Carran, & J.K. Chik, Eds.), Chemistry, Student Activity, Chemical Reactivity (pp.443-456). Scarborough: Nelson. (Status: In Print).
Chik, J.K., Schriemer, D.C., Childs, S.J., & McGhee, J.D. (2011). Proteome of the Caenorhabditis elegans Oocyte. Journal of Proteome Research, 10(2300), 2305.
Bennet, M., Chik, J.K., Slysz, G.W., Luchko, T., Tuszynski, J., Sackett, D.L., & Schriemer, D.C. (2009). Structural mass spectrometry of the αβ-tubulin dimer supports a revised model of microtubule assembly. Biochemistry, 48, 4858-4870.
Huzil, J.T., Chik, J.K., Slysz, G.W., Freedman, H., Tuszynski, J., Taylor, R.E., Sackett, D.L., & Schriemer, D.C. (2008). Discovery of the peloruside binding site on microtubules and a unique mechanism of microtubule stabilization. Journal of Molecular Biology, 378, 1016-1030 (In Print).
Chik, J.K., Vande Graaf, J.L., & Schriemer, D.C. (2006). Quantitating the statistical distribution of deuterium incorporation extends the utility of H/D exchange MS data. Analytical Chemistry, 78, 207-214 (In Print).
Chik, J.K., Mizrahi, S., Chi, S., Parsegian, V.A., & Rau, D.C. (2005). Hydration forces underlie the exclusion of salts and neutral polar solutes from hydroxypropylcellulose. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 109, 9111-9118 (In Print).
Lovelace, J., Narayan, K., Chik, J.K., Bellamy, H.D., Snell, E.H., Lindberg, U., Schutt, C.E., & Borgstahl, G.E.O. (2004). Three dimensional imaging of reflections from a modulated semi-crystalline state of profilin:actin. Journal of Applied Crystallography, 37, 327-330 (In Print).
Chik, J.K., & Schriemer, D.C. (2003). Hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry of actin in various biochemical contexts. Journal of Molecular Biology, 334, 373-385 (In Print).
Cheng, Y., Prud'homme, R.K., Chik, J.K., & Rau, D.C. (2002). Measurement of forces between galactomannan polymer chains: Effect of hydrogen bonding. Macromolecules, 35, 10155-10161 (In Print).
Chik, J.K., & Parsegian, V.A. (2001). The entropically favored osmotic 'compression' of sickle cell hemoglobin gels. Biopolymers, 59, 120-124 (In Print).
Chik, J.K., Lindberg, U., & Schutt, C.E. (1996). An open-state of bovine profilin:ß-actin at 2.65Å resolution. Journal of Molecular Biology, 263, 607-623 (In Print).
Educational Institution Employment
Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biological Sciences, Mount Royal University, Canada, 2009 - Present (Full Time).
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, 2008 - Present (Adjunct).
Research Assistant, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary (Calgary, AB Campus), Canada, 2001 - 2008 (Full Time).
Post-Doctoral Fellow, National Institute of Child Health and Development, National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD Campus), United States, 1996 - 2001 (Full Time).
Courses Taught
2011, January - 2011, May BCEM3202 "Enzymes and Metabolic Systems". Level: Undergraduate Y3. Students: 16. Credits: 3. Hours: Lecture: 3 Other Contact: 2.
2010 - 2011 BCEM2201 "General Biochemistry". Level: Undergraduate Y2. Students: 36. Credits: 3. Hours: Lecture: 3 Other Contact: 2.
2010, January - 2010, May CHEM2210 "Behaviour of LIquids, Gases and Solids". Level: Undergraduate Y1. Hours: Tutorial: 3.
2009 - 2010 GNED1102 "Controversies in Science". Level: Undergraduate Y1. Hours: Lecture: 3.
2009, September - 2009, December CHEM2209 "General Chem. for Engineers". Level: Undergraduate Y1. Hours: Tutorial: 3.
2008 - 2009 PHYS223 "Introduction to Electromagnetism and Thermal Physics" at University of Calgary, Dept of Physics. Level: Undergraduate Y1. Students: 160. Credits: 3. Hours: Lecture: 3 Other Contact: 2.
(2011, January). BCEM 3202 Coordinator, Chemical and Biological Sciences.
(2010, September). BCEM 2201 Coordinator, Chemical and Biological Sciences.
2011, April MRU: Internal Research Grant, "The effects of Heavy Water on Protein/Protein and Protein/DNA Interactions". CAD4,000. Type: Grant-Competitive (Role: Principal Investigator).
2010 - 2011 Mount Royal University: Research Reserve, "The effects of Heavy Water on Protein/Protein and Protein/DNA Interactions". $4,000 (Role: Principal Investigator).
Research Presentations
2011, June 9. "Just when I thought I was out (of actin)". Presented at Schutt Festschrift - A Structural Biology Symposium, Princeton, NJ. Invited Speaker.
Choi, M.L., Walsh, M., & Chik, J.K. (2010). Investigating Novel Molecular Events Involved in Calcium-Calmodulin Activation of Smooth Muscle Myosin Light Chain Kinase Using Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange Mass Spectrometry. Presented at Annual Meeting of the American Mass Spectrometry Society (Salt Lake City, Utah).
Yang, A., & Chik, J.K. (2010). The potential for synergistic protein digestion using multiple, immobilized protease for hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry. Presented at Annual Meeting of the American Mass Spectrometry Society (Salt Lake City, Utah). (Role: Presenter).