Achievements of Expatriate Iranian Researchers in 2009

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Part II (Genetics and Medicine)

Active ImageIranian scientists working in various countries and creditable universities have had great achievements in 2009, some of which will be reviewed here at the beginning of 2010.

The achievements result from incessant efforts made by the Iranian researchers and scientists in 2009 whose studies are taken advantage of with no regard for their gender or nationality.

Fortunately, Iranian scientists leaving in various countries have broken new grounds in science during the past year. What follows is a compendium of their accomplishments which starts with technology and energy. Part II will focus on genetics and medicine.

Genetics and Medicine

1. Reza Qadiri

Reza Qadiri is a professor of chemistry heading a research team at Research Scripps Institute that is trying to answer such questions as “how life began?” and “how the first DNA molecule came into being?” They have managed to produce artificial DNA in laboratory. In this research, they made a molecule which is similar to DNA in structure and is able to change its sequences and produce new chains without need to assistance form enzymes which occur in nature. The Iranian scientist has already won Feynman Prize in 1998 for his valuable research on molecular structures and nano technology.

2. Karim Nayernia

Active ImageDr. Karim Nayernia’s invention in 2009 has excited many scientists of biology and genetics. He managed to take advantage of stem cells and create a human embryo in vitro. In this method, theoretical changes are made to sperm in order to fertilize the ovum and create an embryo. This was the first time in the world that a scientist managed to use human stem cells to create a fetus.

3. Babak Pour-Bohlul

Active ImageThe government of Canada, in its fight against swine flu, has established a network by combining Health Research Institute of Canada and Public Health Agency and the network is assigned to conduct full research on how to curb pandemic flu. The Iranian scientist at British Columbia University was part of the project. Dr. Babak Pour-Bohlul is trying along with his research team to provide a mathematical model of rapid spread of the virus to various parts of the world.

4. Mohammad Reza Abidian

This Iranian scientist of University of Michigan has invented microelectrodes which can be planted on the brain and increase reception of neuronal signals. This finding paves the way for more effective treatment of such neuronal disorders as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and paralysis. Mohammad Reza Abidian has covered microelectrodes with a polymer called Pedot which is a conductor biopolymer made up of nano-tubes which are more receptive to neuronal signals than usual metal chips. In fact, Dr. Abidian’s innovation is producing such polymers because their cover increases useful life of electrodes and improves reception of signals.

5. Sepehr Ehsani

Sepehr Ehsani is an Iranian scientist at the University of California who has found the main cause of prion protein diseases such as mad cow disease. His studies have proven that prion proteins cause the deadly mad cow disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. They also cause neuronal disorders and sometimes muscular dystrophies in sheep. He maintains that the new finding can be used to delineate physiological effects of such diseases.

6. Pardis Sabeti

Active ImageProfessor Pardis Sabeti, assistant professor of microorganism and evolution biology, is also another top Iranian scientist of 2009 and has won New Inventor Prize of the National Health Institute in the same year. Sabeti is planning to use the cash prize to continue her studies on Salsa fever which is among the deadliest diseases. She and her co-workers have also studied composite of multiple signals or CMS. In this method, information obtained through three separate tests is combined with information obtained from neighboring dissimilar genes and the combination can provide a new viewpoint on natural selection models for genes. Sabeti has invented this method to find selective patterns in human genome. She maintains that the method will enable us to detect and track natural selection signals in human genome.

7. Mehran Mehregani

Active ImageWest Wireless Health Institute has appointed one of the most famous Iranian engineers as deputy director in charge of executive affairs and engineering research. Mehran Mehregani has officially taken the post on November 2, 2009 after which he has been in charge of planning and implementation of academic research and innovations. Mehregani has been heading a team of engineers at WWHI and plans to produce harmless sensors which can be planted into human bodies in order to customize health services.

8. Bahram Mo’men

Active ImageBahram Mo’men is professor of biostatistics who, along with co-workers at Maryland University, has been able to cause genetic modifications in fruit flies simulating insulin drop in human body and causing diabetes-like conditions. This genetic model will help scientists find about genetic defects which cause diabetes and identify genes which can be manipulated in order to treat human diabetes.

9. Pejman Rouhani

Active ImageThis Iranian researcher at University of Georgia announced in 2009 that contrary to common notion, people with pertussis or whooping cough will be immune against it for, at least, three decades and the immunity may even last up to the age of 70. Based on this study, people who have lost their immunity against the disease may have stored it in part of their body and that immunity may even increase after an instance of whooping cough.

10.  Niloufar Afari

Dr. Niloufar Afari from University of California, who works with the World Health Organization, found out that soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in San Diego are more prone to migraine headaches. Her theory was subsequently proven and it was concluded that a direct relationship exists between physical injuries, PTSD and migraine.

11.  Pedram Hosseini

Pedram Hosseini is assistant professor of electrical and computer sciences in Cast Western University who has won 675,000 dollars from the National Institute of Sciences for his invention. The prize given to him was special to original achievements by faculty members who complete a project. Mohseni has been trying to produce a miniature instrument to be used in neurology tests by laboratories. The new instrument will be able to register 16 channels of chemical and electronic activities in brain neurons through a number of sensors. As a result, activities of neurotransmitters and electronic signals will be measured in real time.

12.  Sadaf Foroughi

Sadaf Foroughi, Iranian scientist from Cambridge University, has shown that deletion of a small portion of DNA can cause obesity in children. His co-workers have studied genome of 300 obese children and compared them with genes from 7,000 healthy children and have found out that deletion of a small segment of DNA increases children’s appetite and makes them more prone to obesity.

13. Omid Farahzad

Active ImageMHT magazine has called Omid Farahzad, designer and innovator of nanoparticles which can reach more targets in human body and have greater impact in transferring drugs to damaged tissues, as a person who has been able to cause a revolution in medical sciences by thinking about very small objects. The project on which Farahzad and his co-workers are now focused is to present nanoparticles which will be able to carry several drugs at the same time or carry out a number of missions simultaneously.

14. Bahman Gurion

Active ImageProfessor Bahman Gurion is head of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and professor of Cleveland teaching hospital in Ohio. He had already presented a method to treat migraine by facelift. In his latest research, he announced in 2009 that operating on trigger points of migraine will be the best treatment of choice for severe headache. His information shows that manipulation of one or two trigger points through surgery will successfully treat the disease or, at least, reduce its frequency or severity.

Source: MehrNews
Translated By: Iran Review

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