Chris was born in Edmonton, Alberta. He attended University of Alberta, completing his B.Sc. in chemistry in 1995. Chris then joined Professor K.C. Nicolaou's Lab at Scripps Research to work on the synthesis of the diaryl ethers of Vancoymycin. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2001, Chris moved to Stanford as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Chaitan Khosla, where he studied natural product biosynthesis with a focus on the enzymology of polyketide synthase megaenzymes. Chris began his independent career in 2004 at Syracuse University, where he accepted an Assistant professorship appointment. Shortly thereafter, Chris was recruited by University of Ottawa as an Associate Professor in 2008 and promoted to Professor in 2016.