Ali Pormohammad

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science

Dr. Pormohammad is a scientist and medical microbiologist whose research focuses on solving antimicrobial resistance (AMR) problems using metabolomics, genomics, and bioinformatic approaches. He is a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. R.J. Turner’s research group, where they investigate metal/metalloid-based antimicrobials (MBAs). Working closely with clinical health systems and industry partners, Dr. Pormohammad maintains a bench to bed philosophy, translating research outcomes into patient care solutions.

Dr. Pormohammad’s current project aims to offer a solution to global health concerns related to AMR. In collaboration with Ccrest Laboratories Inc., Dr. Pormohammad has identified several effective MBA combinations to work against planktonic and biofilm forms of a variety of bacterial pathogens and their AMR clinical isolates. From these findings, Dr. Pormohammad developed a novel antimicrobial that showed decreased side effects while offering increased effectiveness in comparison to current antibiotics being used. While applications for this novel antimicrobial are widespread, Dr. Pormohammad will focus product development on wound dressing. Based on prototype testing, this formulated bandage has higher antibacterial properties and better wound regeneration potency than current products on the market. Additionally, cost model estimates show this bandage to be more cost-effective in relation to other products being used. The current Canadian market for medical tapes and bandages is approximately 3.5 billion USD; the global market value is close to 8.78 billion USD. With novel formulations and a patent application in place, Dr. Pormohammad strongly believes this bandage will be a strong contender in this market.

Prior to joining the University of Calgary in 2020, Dr. Pormohammad’s research led to the development molecular-based rapid detection test kits for bacterial and viral meningitis. In Iran, meningitis is a cause for concern due to its high mortality rate – especially in children. Access to timely diagnoses remains a barrier for patients to receive proper treatment. Because of this delay, approximately twenty-five to thirty-three percent of patients develop neurological and/or permanent side effects. Dr. Pormohammad’s game-changing technology addressed an unmet medical need by offering healthcare professionals two different economic, accurate, and rapid testing solutions to assist with same day diagnosis. Results from his work have led to two patents being issued for the technology, fourteen academic publications, and wide-spread deployment of the rapid test kits for bacterial and viral meningitis within the Iranian healthcare system.

Dr. Pormohammad will use his Innovation Fellowship to develop a commercialization strategy for his bandage and novel antimicrobial. This includes establishing a start-up, continuing application development, and creating a business and marketing plan.

My goal is to continue bench to bed philosophy to develop unique products that resolve challenges in the Canadian Public Health system. Now with receiving 2021 Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowship, I am even more excited and motivated to achieve my goal. This accomplishment is impossible without Prof. RJ Turner and Ccrest Laboratories Inc., supports.

Dr. Ali Pormohammad

Dr. Ali Pormohammad, PhD