Current Members

Tohid Didar

Principal Investigator

Dr. Tohid Didar is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Biomedical Engineering and a member of the Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) at McMaster University. Before joining McMaster in January 2016, Dr. Didar was a postdoctoral fellow at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University in Professor Donald Ingber's lab. There he designed and developed a robust and clinically relevant extracorporeal dialysis-like treatment (DLT) device for sepsis, leveraging medical grade hollow fiber filters. Dr. Didar's doctoral research was focused on design and development of miniaturized devices for label-free and high-throughput sorting, detection and in vitro culture of primary and rare cells. His PhD project resulted in 2 patented microfluidic technologies for rare cell detection, separation, patterning and in vitro culture as well as several journal publications and conference presentations. He has also presented over 10 invited talks. During his PhD studies, he was a research fellow at Harvard University, a member of NSERC-Create Integrated Sensor Systems training program and a visiting researcher at the National Research Council of Canada.

Hanie Yousefi

Research Assistant

Hanie did her undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering at Sharif University of Technology, Iran. During her undergraduate studies, Hanie was a research assistant at Institute for environment and biotechnology at Sharif University where she developed a keen interest in merging engineering and life sciences with the goal of solving real world health problems. Hanie Joined McMaster for her Master’s studies in September 2015 and worked under both Dr. Filipe and Dr. Didar's supervisions. She worked on developing flexible and transparent biosensing devices for on-the-shelf food health monitoring using DNAzyme probes for bacteria detection. She integrated her devices into food packaging to have real-time control of the food health during its storage time. Hanie also gained extensive experience in surface modification methods for manufacturing stable and durable functional devices. Following her Master’s degree, Hanie started working as a research assistant at McMaster University. She is currently focusing on developing reusable biosensing devices for at home pathogen detection and reusable biosensors’ development. She is also leading a group of undergraduate students in Didar lab in projects related to surface modification and microfluidics device fabrication.

Maryam Badv

PhD Candidate

Maryam did her undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering in University of Tehran, Iran. Following her passion in biomedical sciences and biology she joined McMaster’s School of Biomedical Engineering for her Masters in 2011. In her Master’s thesis she looked at the effect of in utero and postpartum exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) on bone properties. Before joining Didar’s lab, she worked for 3 years on a research project where she was designing physical targeted “smart” nanoparticles for drug delivery to tumors. Throughout this project she gained extensive experience in different fields such as polymer synthesis, characterization, nanoparticle preparation and optimization and performing in vitro and in vivo experiments. Her main focus in Didar’s lab is surface modification of medical catheters and heart valves in order to make them biocompatible and to prevent blood coagulation.
Outside research she’s a part-time artist, plays basketball and tennis and is currently the president of the Engineering Graduate Society of McMaster (EGS) and the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Association (BMEGA).

Sara Rahmani

PhD Student

Sara is a recipient of the prestigious McMaster Dean’s Excellence Engineering Doctoral Award. She obtained her BSc in Chemical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnique), Iran. She then joined department of Chemical Engineering at University of Waterloo to pursue her Master’s degree. Her master’s research was focused on engineering environmentally-responsive coated magnetic nanogels for controlled and prolonged drug delivery systems. This experience made her excelled at polymer science, synthesis, and chemistry. After graduation, she worked at the University Health Network, Toronto, as a part of a multi-disciplinary team of surgeons, scientists, and engineers to work on a variety of clinical problems to improve patient care. There, she investigated the engineering aspects of the minimally-invasive endovascular surgery applied in abdominal aneurysm repair. To follow her passion for working at the interface between engineering and applied biology, Sara decided to pursue her PhD studies in Biomedical Engineering at the Didar lab, where she can address real problems in human health with bio-inspired technologies. Her PhD research is focused on engineering organ-on-chip platforms to facilitate drug discovery, regenerative medicine, and point-of-care diagnosis and treatment. Outside academic life, Sara enjoys travelling, mountain hiking/climbing, swimming, and flying a Cessna.

Amid Shakeri

PhD Student

Amid Shakeri received his bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering from University of Tehran in 2010. He also pursued his master’s education at University of Tehran and obtained his master degree in 2013. After graduation, he continued his research in Nanostructured Materials and Composites Laboratory, University of Tehran, as a research assistant and supervised a number of projects on synthesis and characterization of thin and thick films of hydroxyapatite composites as well as piezo MEMS. During his tenure at the University of Tehran, Amid published over 5 Journal papers as well as several conference papers and abstracts. Amid joined Didar Lab in 2016 as a PhD student with a particular interest in bio-inspired technologies. Amid’s hobbies include playing guitar, singing, and playing soccer.

Sara Imani

PhD Student

Sara Imani obtained her BSc in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran in July 2016 and her MSc from Didar Lab at McMAster. As an engineering student, she was inspired by biology and wanted to focus on research at the junction of engineering and biological sciences. Currently, Sara is a PhD student at the School of Biomedical Engineering at Mcmaster University at the Didar Lab supervised with Dr. Didar and Dr. Soleymani. Other than her academic life, Sara enjoys calligraphy, basketball, and playing guitar.

Yuxi Zhang

MSc Student

I obtained bachelor ‘s degree in Materials from Qingdao University of Science&Tech, China. In 2018 January, I joined Dr.Didar ‘s lab at Mechanical Engineering department of McMaster University. I have knowledge reserve in both Metallic Materials and biomaterials, involving Metals’ property ,processing method, biomedical materials as well as some characterization and definition method. During undergraduate period, I accumulated experimental experience through researching in application of bio ceramics coating on alloy prothesis, drug delivery system and GBR (Guide Bone Regeneration Membrane). Gradually attracted by biomedical materials. I hope to further explore in this area and make unique innovations based on original products. I like sports ,like roller skating,tennis ,ping pang, badminton and pool.

Matthew Osborne

MSc Student

Matthew hails from Montreal, where he obtained a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering at McGill University. After completing his undergrad, he joined the Didar Lab at McMaster’s School of Biomedical Engineering in September 2016. Having been introduced to biomaterials, molecular biomechanics and medical devices during his time at McGill, he hopes to tackle these subjects in greater depth during his Master’s studies. In his own time, Matt enjoys engaging in a variety of sports, namely sailing, skiing, volleyball, and broomball, as well as cheering on his hometown Montreal Canadiens.

Martin Villegas

MSc Student

Martin Villegas obtained his bachelors in electrical and biomedical engineering from McMaster University in 2011. After graduation, he spent a few years working as a technician and a control systems engineer for Rowan Companies Inc. Through his position at Rowan, he was exposed to many different working conditions, obtaining hands on experience in the electrical field, all while having the opportunity to work in the UK, Holland, Norway and the USA. Not forgetting his true passion for medicine, he spent his spare time volunteering at a small clinic in Texas where he learned about medical tests and point of care instrumentation. Currently, Martin is pursuing his master’s degree in biomedical engineering at the Didar lab. His main focus include early detection instrumentation, including lab-on-chip technology, microfluidics and biosensors. His current project involves developing novel coatings on gold sheet biosensors to reduce non-specific adhesion. Outside of his academic life, Martin enjoys traveling, learning about other cultures and languages, training in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira and building electronics.

Raed Shabbir

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Raed is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Mechanical Engineering at McMaster University. He has a wide range of academic interests but is most fascinated by Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, and Consciousness. His research at Didar Lab is focused on investigating novel methods for the biofunctionalization of microfluidic channels. His hobbies include reading, learning about history, and travelling. Following his undergraduate studies Raed plans on pursuing graduate studies focused around AI and Neuroscience.

Dimpy Modi

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Dimpy is a second year Biotechnology student in the Bachelor of Technology program at McMaster University. With a passion in biomedical engineering, she is excited to be researching in the bio-inspired Didar lab. Currently, she is focusing her research on improving self-cleaning surfaces. Outside of the classroom and laboratory, Dimpy enjoys playing tennis and exploring the outdoors. Within the McMaster community, she is an active executive member of the Bachelor of Technology Association and Women in Engineering Committee. Following her undergraduate studies in biotechnology, she will be acquiring her P.eng status and pursuing graduate studies in biomedical engineering.

Jack Su

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jack is a third-year undergraduate student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at McMaster University. As a transfer student from the Life Sciences program, Jack is knowledgeable in the diverse range of scientific disciplines that constitutes research at the Didar Lab. His current research project investigates the different methods for immobilizing DNAzymes onto functionalized surfaces. Upon receiving his Bachelor’s degree, Jack plans to pursue further education in hopes of becoming a health care practitioner.

Ethan Cressy

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ethan is a third-year undergraduate student in McMcaster Universities Bachelor of Technology program, where he studies Biotechnology. His previous coop position was at Butcher Industrial Finishing’s Incorporated, where he developed and tested paint processes. After completing his undergraduate studies, he plans on pursuing a career in the biotechnology industry. In his spare time, he enjoys, snowboarding, hiking and soccer.

Zachary Cetinic

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Zachary is a 3rd-year undergraduate student studying chemical biology at McMaster University. Zachary is versed in a variety of synthesis techniques as well as the structural determination of chemicals. Zachary is trained in classical piano, enjoys coding and quality black coffee. Zachary hopes to finish his undergraduate degree with a double major in Chemical Biology and Computer science, in hopes of later pursuing a doctorate in medical biotechnology.

Melanie Lysenko-Martin

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Melanie Lysenko-Martin is a fifth year Life Sciences student completing the Bachelor of Science program at McMaster University. Throughout her research-intensive degree, she has nurtured her ability to perceive problems from a unique perspective and learned to apply solutions drawing from her interdisciplinary background. In the Didar lab, she will be working on human organs-on-chip technologies used for drug discovery facilitation and disease modeling. Outside of academia, Melanie is trained in classical ballet and enjoys cycling, art, traveling and learning about new cultures. After graduating, she intends to pursue a Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering.

Darren Yip

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Darren Yip is a third year undergraduate student at McMaster University studying Bachelor of Technology in the Biotechnology stream. Darren's research in didar lab is focused on implementing micro-contact printing to produce bio-functional interfaces. He is from Pickering, Ontario where he found that he had a strong passion for biology and engineering. He enjoys soccer, photography, graphic design and travelling. After his undergraduate degree he plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering or Clinical Engineering.

Claire Fine

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Claire Fine is a 2nd year chemical and bioengineering student at McMaster Faculty of Engineering. Initially Claire received the opportunity to work in Didar lab as part of the Dean’s Excellency Scholarship and is very excited to have the chance to work on improving biosensors with micro-contact printing. Her passion is medicine and improving lives, making the Didar Lab a perfect fit. Outside of the lab Claire enjoys playing soccer, hiking, working out and reading.