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Research in motion

Tuesday October 18, 2016
By Anne Craig, Communications Officer

Reza Nosrati is the first Queen’s researcher to receive the Colton Medal for Research Excellence.

Groundbreaking research into infertility issues has earned Queen’s researcher Reza Nosrati the 2016 Douglas R. Colton Medal for Research Excellence from CMC Microsystems. Dr. Nosrati is the first Queen’s researcher to receive the award since it was founded in 1994.

Dr. Nosrati’s research examines the fluid mechanics of male infertility treatment. His work which has been praised for its simplicity, functionality, and for its commercial potential, holds promise for applications in assisted reproduction, cell biology and sensing, and early stage cancer detection. Patent applications have been filed for at least three of his inventions.

Dr. Reza NosratiReza Nosrati has won the Douglas R. Colton Medal for Research Excellence.

“I am truly honored to receive 2016 Colton Medal, particularly given the previous distinguished recipients, including my PhD supervisor, David Sinton,” says Dr. Nosrati. “This prestigious recognition brings me tremendous encouragement to keep improving these microtechnologies towards commercial products, which I believe will have a sure impact on assisted reproduction in Canada and worldwide by alleviating major emotional and financial burdens for infertile families.”

Dr. Nosrati was recruited to Queen’s as a result of the inaugural Queen’s Research Opportunities Funds competition, after completing his doctorate at the University of Toronto. He completed a masters degree at the University of Tehran, and a bachelor’s degree at the Amirkabir University of Technology, in Tehran, Iran.

In 2015 Dr. Nosrati attracted global attention for his discovery that sperm have a distinct “slither” swimming mode that can be critical for reproductive success – in the process, answering a key question about the natural process of fertilization.

His current investigations include developing clinical technologies for selecting sperm with high DNA integrity, developing microfluidic technologies to detect ovarian cancer biomarkers in blood, and to study the process of fertilization. Other research includes studying the biology, physics and biomechanical behaviour of bacteria.

His research collaborators include researchers from the University of Toronto, McGill University, and Mount Sinai Hospital.

“Dr. Nosrati’s receipt of the Colton Medal at this early stage in his career is evidence of true research excellence,” says Dr. Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “If Dr. Nosrati’s research and output speaks to the emerging generation of Canada’s intellectual leadership and innovation leaders, I am very excited to see what the future holds. 

Dr. Nosrati has published more than 40 papers – 14 of which have been published in high-profile scientific journals such as Nature CommunicationsThe Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Clinical Chemistry.

“Dr. Nosrati is an example for all of us in his ability to combine scientific curiosity, multidisciplinary collaboration and technological innovation to answer difficult questions, while producing elegant, deceptively simple and commercially promising solutions,” says Ian McWalter, President and CEO of CMC Microsystems.  “He also has the distinction of following in the footsteps of his University of Toronto supervisor, Professor David Sinton, who won the Colton Medal in 2006.”

For more information visit the CMC website.

This article originally appeared in the Queen's Gazette. Republished with permission.