PhD Biochemistry 2020
Laboratory Manager, University of British Colombia
You’ve been all around the world with your study and work! Can you tell us a bit about your education and study prior to coming to UC?
As a brief introduction, I completed my BSc in Cellular and Molecular Biology in Iran (my home) and finished my MSc in Human Genetic at University Putra, Malaysia. During my Master's, I gained valuable molecular skills to analyse DNA related experiments and investigated the association of four single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with hypertension and type 2 diabetes. My master’s degree was very productive and I was able to publish three papers as a first author.
What brought you to Aotearoa New Zealand and UC?
After my master’s degree, I was interested in doing my PhD in the field of Biochemistry in New Zealand. At first, my interest in the research topic "Molecular mechanism of atherosclerosis and carotid plaque development" brought me to New Zealand. However, after a couple of months at UC, I decided to live in Aotearoa for the rest of my life because UC, and the biology department felt like my home.
During my PhD, I was teacher assistant of several biological courses (Biochemistry 1-3, Genetic, Plant Biology) and technical supervisor in the biochemistry lab which helped me to develop my teaching and technical abilities.
Unfortunately, there were no academic positions available in my field in NZ so in January 2020, immediately after I completed my PhD exam, I was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship in the field of Genetics at Laval University (Hospital of Cardiology and Pulmonary) in Quebec, Canada. My most recent research was to investigate the genetic loci associated with metabolic disorders such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes and during that time I published several ISI (International Scientific Indexing) papers.
Are there any memories of your time at UC that stand out to you as highlights?
To be honest, most of the times at UC were so amazing and memorable. Morning tea with the faculty and staff members made me the most beautiful memories ever. I really miss spending time with them.
You recently started a new role at the University of British Columbia – what are you working on?
Yes, I am a research associate and lab manager in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, UBC. We are developing a high-resolution cell lineage tracing method using genome editing and single cell technologies to capture the whole body cell lineage of mammalian development at nearly single cell division resolution.
Do you have any career goals in mind for the next 5-10 years?
Since I spend most of my life in school, I want to remain in academia. So I would love to continue my work and take up lecturer and professor roles in the future.
What motivates or inspires the work you do?
My interest and curiosity in science started in early childhood and I live to investigate, invent, and explore science.