Faculty of Engineering
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Erfan ShirzadiCountry of origin: Iran

Academic degrees and Institutions:

  • Postdoc at Sargent's lab - University of Toronto (2023)
  • PhD in Science - Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, EPFL - Lausanne, Switzerland (2021)
  • MSc in Biological and Molecular Chemistry - Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, EPFL -  Lausanne, Switzerland (2017)
  • BSc in Biotechnology - University of Tehran (2015)

Describe your work and how it embodies the nature of the AMTD postdoctoral program.

Creating painless, minimally invasive, and rapid techniques for identifying biomarkers like antibiotics and cancer-related indicators holds significant importance in the fields of personalized medicine and clinical utilization. In the course of my research, I am dedicated to the innovation of microneedle-based patches with the capability to discern the existence and levels of diverse biomarkers. This approach enables the simultaneous monitoring of multiple biomarkers through these patches. Additionally, we are actively engaged in pioneering methodologies for detecting biomarkers by converting their presence into an electrical signal. This signal can subsequently be interpreted by compact, portable electronic devices, heralding a new era of convenient and efficient biomarker analysis. Such advancements are poised to revolutionize the landscape of medical diagnostics, offering enhanced patient care and refined treatment strategies.

What are some activities you hope to accomplish during your postdoctoral appointment at University of Waterloo?

  • Write a paper for developing electrically conductive patches that can be used for biosensing.
  • Supervising 3 PhD and Master students.
  • Receive the AMTD award.

Have you been the recipient of any other major or donor-funded awards?

I received Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) postdoc mobility grant and this provided me the opportunity to do research in Sargent's lab in University of Toronto and research in the field of electrocatalysis.

Do you have any relevant academic projects you would like to share?

Not at this time.

Why did you choose the University of Waterloo?

The University of Waterloo is one of the top universities for research and its interdisciplinary approach to engineering and science provided a suitable environment for doing research.

What are you most looking forward to or currently enjoying about the University of Waterloo?

Networking and collaborating with other AMTD Scholars and UW postdoctoral fellows.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time, I find joy in a variety of activities that enrich my life beyond academia. I'm an avid reader, spending time reading books such as novels.

Additionally, I'm quite passionate about staying physically active. Regular hikes and workout not only keep me fit but also provide a meditative escape from the demands of work. Exploring new hiking trails allows me to connect with nature and find tranquility away from the academic setting.

Furthermore, I value spending quality time with close friends. Engaging in thought-provoking discussions and sharing experiences enriches my interpersonal connections. Traveling is also something I cherish – exploring different cultures and landscapes broadens my perspective and offers a refreshing break from my academic pursuits.

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