I am an accomplished researcher with major experience in nanotechnology, bioimaging and biosensing, mostly for technology development in the fields of Virology and Oncology, with 8 years of team-work experience in several science and engineering research groups. I have worked on various different projects as project leader or collaborator which have resulted in one patent and several publications in a variety of fields from pure biological research and biomaterials to optical technique and electrical device development. My undergraduate and graduate level training in different types of labs and disciplines have not only provided me with an exceptional opportunity for learning a significant variety of experimental techniques, they have also given me the chance to learn computational modeling and numerical data processing and analysis.
At the moment I am open to new industrial or academic scientist and postdoc positions for Summer or Fall of 2017. Please see my brief CV.
Current field of research:
I have worked in an interactive, fast-pace and educational environment normally together with 10 – 15 other researchers in graduate, post-doc and scientist levels, mostly focused on physical chemistry, bioimaging and plasmonics technology. I have led and collaborated in a series of projects for the purpose of assay development in the fields of Virology, as response to the needs of the virologists at Boston Medical Center, and Oncology. The new challenges in virology arised based on the findings that showed viral membrane properties strongly influence the viral infectivity. Consequently, I aimed to work with teams of up to 7 researchers to surface engineer nanoparticles, characterize them through electron microscopies and optical spectroscopies (UV-Vis and fluorimetry), and image them through in-vitro assays on cell surfaces and on virus membranes by dark-field microscopes to acquire useful optical signals.
I performed these experimental tasks and then went on with rigorous image and signal processing through programming in Matlab on shared computing clusters (SCC) which required designing new algorithms. In addition, in order to understand the molecular behavior of the virus membrane, I cooperated with computational chemists to simulate the molecular dynamics of lipids and eventually proposed a model for the behavior of nanoparticles on the surface of virus particles.
Eventually, these led to the development of two new microscopy techniques and enabled us to precisely quantify the lipid content and fluidity of the HIV’s membrane, for the first time on a single-virus level. Interestingly, the published parts of my techniques have attracted significant attention from biologists including world-famous scientists from the National Cancer Institute of NIH who showed interest in collaboration on characterizing their MLV virus samples. The results of these collaborations, using the biological assays that I developed, have recently been published.
- Applying the dark-field microscopy-based techniques that I’ve developed on in-depth analyses of HIV-1, HIV-2 and MLV viruses in collaboration with the Boston Medical Center (Rahm Gummuluru) and the National Cancer Institute (Alan Rein and Eric O. Freed). Published in Virology and mBio.
- Producing artificial virus nanoparticles (AVNs) based on lipid-wrapped glycosphingolipid-functionalized gold nanoparticles to mimic the behavior of HIV, established in Reinhard and Gummuluru groups at BU. Published in Analytical Chemistry and Nature Communications. (My contributions: nanoparticle surface conjugation, ICP-Mass Spectrometry and electron microscopy).
- Nanofabricating linear gold nanoparticle chains with controlled size and gap separations in Reinhard group. Published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. (My contributions: HR transmission electron and optical microscopy).
- Surface engineering of nanoparticles for enhancing the EGFR-mediated apoptosis of cancer cells in Reinhard group. Published in Biomaterials Science. (My contributions: nanoparticle surface conjugation, in-vitro cell apoptosis assays and electron microscopy).
- Microfabricating plasmonic nanoshell functionalized etched fiber Bragg gratings for highly sensitive refractive index measurements in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut. Published in Optics Letters. (My contributions: chemistry consultations, nanoparticle preparation and microfabrication through etching).
I enjoy arts, especially playing and listening to classical, traditional and folk musics (I’ve had some performance with my band as can be found on my YouTube channel!), studying philosophy, psychology, etc. and sports (I’m a marathon runner, I casually swim, and play soccer and volleyball).