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Azadeh Yadollahi

#iAmBiomed because I transform invisible technologies into visible changes in people’s lives
Azadeh's Biography

Azadeh Yadollahi is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto and a Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network. She graduated with B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from Sharif University of Technology and a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba in biomedical engineering. Her research interests involve developing convenient and wearable technologies to improve respiratory disorders during sleep.

Assistant Professor, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of TorontoScientist, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network.My research group focuses on developing innovative wearable technology for the improved management of chronic respiratory disorders during sleep. I collaborate closely with respirologists, cardiologists, and sleep physicians to investigate the physiology of respiratory disorders; collaborate with biomedical engineers, computer scientists, and industrial engineers to develop and manufacture convenient wearable devices; and work closely with industrial partners to commercialize these technologies to improve health care.

My favorite part of the job is working with enthusiastic and creative students. I love to see my students solving challenging problems, developing new solutions and growing into independent researchers.I am also inspired by seeing the results of our research, how we solve the problems and making a profound impact on people’s lives.

My degree in engineering has helped me to have a broader vision when creating medical solutions. I use my engineering background to think “outside the box”, to find similar patterns across seemingly unrelated problems, and to use this knowledge to develop innovative solutions for medical challenges.

My work is diverse and stimulating. When I look for solutions to a challenge, there is no limit to where the answer could be. For example, when I work on hemodynamics, I learn from the cells, I study humans when sitting or walking, and I look at how astronauts deal with everyday life in space shuttles.

I developed a new technology to measure impedance of a body segment, such as legs, and use that non-invasive measurement to estimate the amount of blood and fluid in the segment. This system is widely used in different clinical trials to investigate how the change in posture can change the balance of hemodynamics, narrow the airway, and affect breathing disorders.

I have always enjoyed problem solving and collaboration with a wide range of people. At Toronto Rehab and University of Toronto I work with biomedical engineers, mechanical engineers, computer scientists, clinicians, physical therapists, industrial designers, business developers, and industrial partners on a daily basis. In this unique environment, I have all the resources to create CHANGE.

First of all, twenty-five years is too long. I hope in the next 10 years, in science and engineering, we will have gender equality in industry, academia, and in leadership positions. I hope we won’t have to worry about the role of women in engineering. Personally, I will endeavor to set a good example, mentor more students, and help to increase the diversity in my team and my institute.

Don’t forget your dreams; be persistent and patient in the pursuit of your dreams. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes; failures are our best teachers to make us stronger and better leaders. Don’t be shy; speak up if you have any idea, get feedback from your colleagues and use it to make them happen.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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