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Lee Wilson

Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan
Lee Wilson | Professor
Lee Wilson | Professor
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway
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Lee Wilson is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Saskatchewan.

About me

I was born/grew up in: I grew up in a small town, Lake Francis in Manitoba but was born in St. Boniface which is now part of the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

I now live in: I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

I completed my training/education at: B.Sc. in Chemistry at the University of Winnipeg; PhD at the University of Saskatchewan in Physical Chemistry

What I do at work

I am a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Saskatchewan. A typical day involves teaching and research. More than half of my time is devoted to research and working with undergraduate and post graduate students (Master, PhD, and postdoctoral fellows). I help guide their research, answer their questions, and try to ensure that they keep focused on their research in a productive way.

Mathematics is the language of science, especially in the physical sciences such as chemistry. Technology is equally important since it allows us to understand processes that happen at the molecular level. Math, science, and technology are intertwined and I use them every day.

My research group is focused on the development of new materials that are derived from natural polymers (starch, cellulose and marine polysaccharides). We modify these materials and explore their properties for applications that range from drug delivery systems, adsorbents for water purification or materials for separation of chemical mixtures, and protective devices for storage of unstable

My career path is

After high school, I completed a B.Sc. in Chemistry at the University of Winnipeg. After that I went on to complete a PhD at the University of Saskatchewan in Physical Chemistry. From there I went on to do postdoctoral studies as a Visiting Fellow at the Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences with the Functional Materials Program (National Research Council of Canada; Ottawa, ON.). In 2004, I was hired as an Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Each of these steps have stories that go beyond the word limit here. Some things are planned and other things are unplanned. I didn’t predict I would be where I am today but I have been fortunate to have been able to work hard and have good people along my path.

I am motivated by

The most enjoyable part of my job is seeing the development and growth of the students I work with. As the supervisor of various students and different levels of expertise, it is enjoyable to witness their professional development and intellectual growth. The privilege to witness their intellectual growth and transformation is very inspiring.

How I affect people’s lives

I hope that my job makes a difference for the students I work with. I hope that the experiences gained help them in their future career and beyond so they can help make the world a better place. I believe that science and technology have a place that can allow us to solve problems and have a better life. Some of the research by my group has led to new materials and methods for decontamination of water, chemical separations, and biomedical devices that will serve to improve our quality of life and that of the environment.

Outside of work I

I like to read, watch movies at the cinema, cycling, and spending time outdoors. I like to volunteer and contribute toward activities that involve education.

My advice to others

I think it is important to speak with others who work in your area of interest or profession of choice. This can give you an idea of what to expect if you go down that path.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Foods and Nutrition
  • Industrial Arts / Shop Programs
  • Literature and English language arts
  • Math
  • Physical Education / Health
  • Science
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Liked helping people
  • Played on a sports team
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Liked reading
  • Felt at home in the outside, natural environment
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Wasn’t sure what I wanted to do
  • Engaged in activities such as fishing, berry picking and hunting

Explore Career Profiles

  • Isabel Hilgendag in the fileld collecting samples in the Arctic

    Isabel Hilgendag

    MSc Student (Biology)

    I look for heavy metals, such as mercury, in Arctic marine animals, to ensure they are safe to eat.
  • Marty Larabie scuba diving

    Marty Larabie (he/him)

    Radiation Inspector

    I perform radiation safety inspections of persons who use nuclear material.
  • Ryan Mitchell headshot

    Ryan Mitchell

    Hatchery Supervisor

    My job is to supervise the daily workflow at our salmon hatchery.
  • Corie HOuldsworth headshot

    Corie Houldsworth


    I perform inspections of worksites where radiation is used, stored or transported.
  • Terra MacDonald at aquaculture site holding farmed salmon.

    Terra MacDonald (she/her)

    Veterinarian and Fish Health Manager

    As the veterinarian for Mowi Canada West, I care for the salmon at all life stages, from egg to harvest.
  • Isha Berry Headshot

    Isha Berry


    I look for patterns in disease outbreaks and health outcomes in populations across the world.
  • Graham Ballachey headshot

    Graham Ballachey

    Vice President, Engineering

    I manage and oversee all the engineering work for a lithium mine development company.
  • Mike Stanzel headshot

    Mike Stanzel

    Technical Sales Manager

    I’m a sales professional who specializes in selling technical or scientific products.
  • Lynn Henderson with German Sheppard dog

    Lynn Henderson (she/her)

    Veterinarian, Clinician, and College Professor

    I am a small animal veterinarian serving animal health in a variety of capacities.
  • Anastasiia Prysyazhnyuk headshot

    Anastasiia Prysyazhnyuk

    Science and Innovation Lead, Health Beyond Initiative

    I explore ways in which science and technology can provide solutions to healthcare problems in space and on Earth.
  • Cameron Dickenson

    Cameron Dickinson

    Senior Engineer, Space Exploration

    I work on sensors and camera technology for use on planetary exploration missions.
  • Katie Harris essayant une combinaison spatiale de simulation au Centre européen des astronautes.

    Katie Harris (she/her)

    Medical Student/Prospective Aerospace Medicine Specialist

    I am working towards a career as an aerospace medicine specialist - a doctor who works with astronauts and keeps them healthy for long missions!
  • Michelle Henry

    Michelle Henry

    Non-Destructive Testing Technician

    I inspect metal parts on nuclear reactors to make sure they are in good working order.
  • Shari Forbes à l'extérieur du centre de décomposition humaine

    Shari Forbes (she/her/elle)

    Forensic Scientist

    I conduct research to understand how the human body decomposes in our unique Canadian environment.
  • Julie Thrasher au travail dans la salle de commande

    Julie Thrasher

    Shift Manager (Nuclear Power)

    I’m responsible for the safe and effective operation of a four unit nuclear power plant.
  • Andrew Brereton travaillant à l'ordinateur

    Andrew E. Brereton

    Computational Scientist

    I write code that teaches computers how to design new drugs.
  • Karissa Palinka headshot

    Karissa Palinka (she/her)

    Technical Engineer

    Karissa is working to reduce our carbon footprint through the use of Small Modular Reactors.
  • Anaïs Remili tenant un sac de poissons à étudier.

    Anaïs Remili (she/her)

    Whale Researcher

    I am doing research on pollution in killer whales.
  • Stephen Edison

    Stephen Edison

    Energy Transition Advisor

    I use science and engineering to find solutions in support of energy transition and lower carbon. 
  • Edmund Co

    Edmund Co

    Food Scientist

    I use my chemical knowledge to investigate quality complaints and legal issues for the LCBO.