Meet Ali — Contributing to scientific discovery through his background in microbiology.
Q: What is your role in health research?
A: I work in the VCHRI Clinical Research Unit as a research technician. I perform phlebotomy on research participants and manage all the laboratory’s processing and maintenance. I am also involved in the ethical and regulatory aspects of studies.
Q: What was your first job?
A: My first job was as a research assistant for the microbiology department at the University of Tehran. I was hired because of my thesis on avian coronavirus published in the Iranian Journal of Virology. I established and developed a unique diagnostic kit using qPCR techniques for infectious bronchitis virus. It was the first in Iran to use positive and negative controls for accurate testing.
Q: How do you unwind at the end of every work day?
A: Connecting with nature grounds and humbles me. I play tennis on Mondays, hike on the weekends and kayak during the summer. Spending time outdoors gives me inspiration and motivation to strive for excellence at work and in my personal life.
Q: What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
A: I would tell myself not to be worried or discouraged when problems arise. Everything that happens is a learning experience that helps me grow and improve. Challenge is the spice that makes life more flavourful.
Q: What is your favourite movie?
A: My favorite movie is Avatar. Not only are the visuals breathtakingly beautiful, but the movie also shows the possibility of scientific discovery and advancement. It gives me great hope of one day having cures for currently incurable illnesses.
Q: What is one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?
A: I specialize in cooking traditional Persian foods which I learned at a young age from my mother and grandmother. Cooking is a way for me to alleviate my homesickness because all of my family is still back in Iran. Everyone who has ever tasted my food suggests that I open up my own restaurant!