- Edmonton, Alberta
It's no secret that the strength of the NRC lies in its diversity. From sensor fabrication research as a master's student at the Center of Excellence in Electrochemistry at the University of Tehran in Iran, Narges Shaabani is now a Research Associate at the NRC's Nanotechnology Research Centre in Edmonton.
Narges arrived in Edmonton in 2010, and completed her PhD at the University of Alberta in 2016 in the pioneer microfluidics lab of Professor Jed Harrison. Three years ago, she joined the Nanotechnology Research Centre in the Biomedical Nanotechnologies team, and she is currently working with the Detection and Automation team. "I am proud of my contribution to the high‑tech research at NRC as a woman and a researcher," Narges said enthusiastically. "It is my pleasure working in this highly rewarding research environment."
In her new position, Narges is currently working on developing molecularly imprinted polymer electrochemical sensors with another government agency as part of the centre's bio‑detection activities. She also enjoys organizing electrochemistry seminars, attending conferences, writing proposals and journal papers, and staying up to date on the latest literature.
The seminar series was initiated to connect the centre's electrochemistry community to discuss current and future opportunities for researchers, and to meet and establish relationships with peers within the NRC. These seminars increase the community knowledge, problem solving and team capabilities through learning about the opportunities for multidisciplinary collaborations, and by practicing improving our idea‑selling skills.
"Narges works with high levels of enthusiasm and professionalism. She has brought her knowledge of electrochemistry and sensor design, and looks for ways to constantly improve them and find new ways to be innovative. She takes pride in her work, and is always willing to go above and beyond to add value to the entire team," said her team lead, Adam Bergren.
As far as shaping science goes, Narges shares, "I was able to enhance protein separation on microfluidic channels during my PhD. Later, my NRC activities led to developing a method for DNA vaccine encapsulation, characterization, and transfection to cells. I have also developed two electrochemical sensors for opioid drug detection."
In addition to being a diversely skilled team member, Narges likes painting and drawing in her spare time. She is passionate about art and photography, and loves spending time with her family. "I always tell my children, do not let anyone put limitations on your thoughts, creativity, or curiosities. Follow your dreams and do all you can with them, and build your own life the way you want to live it."