I studied chemistry in Sharif University of Technology in Iran. Then I came to Sweden to participate in a master program in biotechnology field in Chalmers University of Technology. My master thesis was about the effect of nano-topography on bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation. In 2011, I joined Cans and Ewing group to do my PhD in the field of neuroscience and analytical chemistry.
The general aim of my study is to better understand the neuron cell communication that will lead to a better understanding of the causes of neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson and Alzheimer. The understanding of the mechanisms controlling neuronal cell communication is of great importance and lead to find a better way to prevent or cure neurodegenerative diseases.
Neuron cells communicate with each other through an essential cellular process called exocytosis. This cellular function involves vesicle fusion and vesicle content release of neurotransmitter molecules such as e.g. dopamine, serotonin or norepinephrine. The majority of studies devoted to gain more understanding of exocytosis, are performed on live single cells and the accomplishments from this work have developed a general view of the exocytosis process. However, many fundamental questions still remain and due to the complexity of the living cell, some aspects of exocytosis is very hard to study. In our lab, we have created an artificial secretory cell model for exocytosis using a bottom-up approach where the cell is constructed from the minimal amount of molecules needed to mimic exocytosis. This artificial cell model can provide a great platform to study the effect of different molecular components on the exocytosis process. Hence, this cell model allows us to study the affect of single molecular components in a very controlled manner by adding them one at the time and includes for instance different types of lipids, protein and intra-vesiclular components. In my project I am using and further developing cell-like models to make them imitate as close as possible the exocytosis function of a live secretory cell.

  • Najafinobar, N. Mellander L.J,, Kurczy M.E, Dunevall J, Angerer T, Fletcher J.S, and Cans A-S. "Cholesterol Alters the Dynamics of Release in Protein Independent Cell Models for Exocytosis". Sci. Rep. 6, 33702; doi: 10.1038/srep33702 (2016).
  • M.E.Kurczy, L.J.Mellander, N.Najafinobar, A-S. Cans, composition-based strategies for controlling radii in lipid nanotubes. PLoS ONE 2014, 9 (1) 81293.
  • L.J.Mellander, M.E.Kurczy, N.Najafinobar, J.Dunevall, A.G.Ewing, A-S.Cans, Observation of two modes of exocytosis in an artificial cell model. Nature Scientific Reports, 2014, 4: 3847.
  • J.Dunevall, H.Fathali, N.Najafinobar, J.Lovric, J.Wigstrom, A-S.Cans, A.Ewing, Characterizing the Catecholamine Content of Single Mammalian Vesicles by Collision-Adsorption Events at an Electrode. J Am Chem Soc 2015 137 4344-6.
  • J.Wigström, J. Dunevall, N.Najafinobar, J.Lovric, J,Wang, A. Ewing, A-S. Cans, Lithographic Microfabrication of a 16-Electrode Array on a Probe Tip: Approaching the Nanometer Spatial Resolution of Exocytosis Imaging. Analytical chemistry, in print.
  • J.Wigström, N.Najafinobar, A-S.Cans, Measurement of Exocytotic Release, from a Population of PC12 Cells, by Amperometry and QCM-D. Manuscript in preparation.
  • N.Najafinobar, J.Lovric, J.Dunevall, H.M.Fathali, A-S.Cans, A.Ewing, Effect of Excited Fluorophore on Vesicle Fusion at the Surface of the Electrode. Manuscript in preparation
  • S.Majdi, N.Najafinobar, J.Lovric, A.G. Ewing. The Effect of Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) on Vesicular Content Release in Single Adrenal Chromaffin Cells with Nano-tip Conical Carbon Fiber Microelectrodes. Manuscript in preparation.

I am confident at presenting and communicating my research both orally and in written, having presented at many international conferences. As chairman of one session I also proved my ability to manage and organize group discussions in a very successful manner.

  • The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry & Applied Spectroscopy, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States, 2013
  • 57th Annual Meeting of Biophysical Society, San Francisco, California, United States, 2014 (Chairman of the session)
  • 15th International Conference of Monitoring Molecules in Neuroscience, Los Angeles, United States, 2014
  • The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry & Applied Spectroscopy, New Orleans, LA, United States, 2015
  • 18th International Symposium on Chromaffin Cell Biology, Cairns, Australia, 2015

I have contributed in many different projects where I have worked in big groups and not only have improved as a scientist but also have learned a lot about teamwork. Details of projects can be provided upon request.

  • Biopolymers and biocomposites
  • Biomaterials
  • Advanced Mass spectrometry
  • Advanced Analytical Separation Chemistry
  • Materials in Medicine
  • Data Acquisition and Handling in Systems Biology
  • Tissue Engineering (I&II)
  • Bioanalytical Pedagogical, Ethics, Personality Meeting/Course

I have successfully been granted for many different scholarships that I have applied for.

  • CHALMERSSKA FORSKNINGSFONDEN (2013)
  • VETENSKAPSAKADEMIEN THE ROYAL SWEDISH ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (2014)
  • CHALMERSSKA FORSKNINGSFONDEN (2014)
  • NILS PIHLBLADS STIPENDIEFOND (2015)
  • CHALMERSSKA FORSKNINGSFONDEN (2015)

PhD Candidate (Bioanalytical Chemistry) - Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden/ 2016)
During my PhD I have successfully developed artificial cell models that can mimic neuronal communication and can be used in different areas such as studying the effect of many drugs on different cells.

M.Sc., Biotechnology (Biomaterials) - Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden/ 2011)
In my master study I had this chance to learn a lot about different surfaces such as gold and their properties as an implant that can be used in surgeries. The biggest accomplishment from my master thesis is that we show how we can prevent or reduce the chance of bacterial infection by changing surface properties.

I have accomplished a lot during this period by performing many different projects where I got the chance to work in teams and learn how to collaborate in big groups.