Dr. Montazeri joined CUSP on Aug. 1st, 2014 as an assistant professor of pharmaceutics. Dr. Montazeri graduated with a Pharm.D. degree from Tehran University in 1988. He worked in industrial pharmacy for more than ten years in different capacities (including Research and Development, formulation, and Quality control), before continuing his studies.
After graduation, he coordinated the pharmaceutics courses offered to undergraduate students of U of A for two semesters, before a one year project as Research Associate working on formulation and commercialization of a micro-emulsion based on ingredients used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine. He was then awarded a Postdoctoral fellowship by Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (now known as Alberta Innovates Health Solutions) on a project to design a polymeric carrier for siRNA delivery.
After completion of the fellowship in the Department of Chemical and Material Engineering, U of A, Dr. Montazeri wrote a research proposal (in collaboration) for studying signaling pathways to overcome resistance to chemotherapy in breast cancer, which was awarded a three year grant from Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. His research interests are: (1) to design and characterize a safe and efficient multi-component delivery system for targeted delivery of small interfering RNAs; (2) to study the silencing mechanism and the factors affecting the silencing efficiency to optimize the RNA interference potential; and (3) to simultaneously silence a combination of proteins involved in signaling pathways responsible for enhanced proliferation and survival of cancer cells, and resistance towards chemotherapy. Dr. Montazeri has authored 28 peer-reviewed publications, and two book chapters, as well as 25 meeting abstracts.
Dr. Montazeri’s research is focused on delivery systems and RNA interference via small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Regarding delivery systems, recent efforts in Dr. Montazeri’s project have shown efficient silencing of specific proteins in different human breast cancer cell lines. Studies on developing new safe and efficient multicomponent lipid-based carriers generally known as stable nucleic acid lipid particles (SNALPs) are underway, which will be designed for active targeting of solid tumors. Protein silencing investigations in his lab are focused on understanding the interconnections among the signaling pathways involved in enhanced proliferation and survival, as well as, resistance to chemotherapeutic agents in cancer cells. Dr. Montazeri is specifically evaluating the potential of combinational silencing of selected proteins in an effort to effectively eradicate tumor growth.