Prospering through change

Change has been a constant for Mohamadreza Najiminaini, PhD.  

It started early in his life when, due to the war, his family was forced to move from their home in Tehran to a rural area that offered safety and comfort. Years later, he pulled up his roots again to come to Canada.  He landed in London as a PhD student co-supervised by Jeff Carson, assistant professor with the Department of Medical Biophysics.

As he moved around the world, he also changed his research focus from computer hardware engineering to optics and nanotechnology. Now two years into his postdoctoral training, he is focused on making change in the detection of various forms of cancer and other health complications, through plasmonic nano-structure applications.

All this change didn’t always come easily. He took undergraduate and graduate courses in physics and optics, often time working through the night from one day to the next. It has given Najiminaini diverse skills in optics, nano-photonics, and computer and electrical engineering and increased his resiliency to chart almost any new course. And all of it has been put to good use. He has prospered through the changes.

During the past two years, he has developed a new concept of his real-time 2D multispectral imager into 3D plasmonic nano-structures. The novel apparatus has enabled Najiminaini and the team to perform 2D real-time multispectral imaging with mosaic pattering of 3D metallic nanostructures, which was not possible to achieve with previous multispectral imaging techniques.

He also further developed a portable prototype system of a multispectral videography based plasmonic nano-structures coupled to an imaging sensor. This new apparatus could have applications in skin-cancer detection, remote sensing, and food safety.

Najiminaini was in grade school when he first thought about being a scientist. He was supported by his teachers and his family, who encouraged him to follow his dreams. The mentorship he received throughout his PhD and now as a postdoctoral fellow has helped him to achieve new heights in his research.

“Although I was a new researcher and did not have significant knowledge, Dr. Carson was always patiently helping and supporting me. He taught me the greatest skill, and that is how to become a great investigator in science and technology,” he said.

Now, his sights are set on commercialization for his applications and he is currently working on a novel and inexpensive fabrication technique. “The biggest goal I have right now is commercialization and taking the technology out of the lab so it can support people and change the delivery of health care and the lives of people facing a serious disease,” he said.