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I AM KITE PROFILE: Nasim Montazeri

Monthly features to profile the next generation of rehab researchers

When Institute Director Dr. Milos R. Popovic introduced the KITE Research Institute to the world two years ago, he had one goal – to redefine and broaden the rehab-specific perception of our work. 

The I AM KITE campaign, launched in January, pays tribute to the diverse up-and-coming talent at KITE who are making a huge impact in the world of rehab science. 

Today we introduce Nasim Montazeri, a member of our Sleep Science team. Her passion for researching cardiorespiratory diseases sets her up for success with developing technologies that monitor cardiorespiratory function.

I AM NASIM MONTAZERI
ABOUT NASIM

NAME: Nasim Montazeri
EDUCATION: PhD in Biomedical Engineering, University of Rennes 1, France
KITE TEAM: Sleep Science
RESEARCH FOCUS: Sleep and cardiorespiratory disorders

PROFILE
Nasim earned her PhD in Biomedical Engineering with an expertise in signal processing from the University of Rennes 1 in France in 2016. During her Bachelor degree, she was recognized as the best student and given permission to study a double degree major in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. She then won a competitive scholarship provided by the French Embassy to study her PhD in France.

She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at KITE’s SleepdB lab under the supervision of Dr. Azadeh Yadollahi. Her main focus is to develop machine learning and signal processing algorithms to study sleep and cardiorespiratory physiology and related disorders. She has also been involved in several collaborative studies with other groups at KITE and clinical and industrial partners. Nasim strives to translate her research into convenient monitoring and diagnostic medical devices, as shown through the startup she cofounded, BioSenseTex, which is focused on developing a wearable device to monitor people with heart failure. 

Nasim has won two entrepreneurship awards during her fellowship at the SleepdB lab. The first was the 2019 RBC Post-Doctoral & Graduate Fellowship for her proposal of an innovative device for sleep screening. The second was the Entrepreneurship for Cardiovascular Health Opportunities (ECHO) Pitch 2020 from the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research for developing a device to monitor heart failure, which she won together with her team. She was also recognized as an Outstanding Reviewer at the Physiological Measurement: 2020 Reviewer Awards for her thorough and professional review of several manuscripts for the Physiological Measurement journal.

She was born in Tehran, Iran.

STUDYING CARDIORESPIRATORY MONITORING TECHNOLOGIES 
In the next five years, Nasim aims to develop innovative technologies that monitor cardiorespiratory diseases and make them accessible for under-represented populations. In the next 10 to 15 years, she sees herself as an established independent scientist who mentors young researchers. Nasim also plans to use technical, analytic and computational techniques to study the impact of neurocognitive and behavioural disorders on the cardiorespiratory system.

If her research could change one thing by tomorrow, it would be to revolutionize the way patients of all ages with cardiorespiratory disorders are monitored at home. Because these disorders are often chronic, they usually require regular clinic assessments that can be expensive, frustrating and time-consuming and reduce quality of life. However, advancements in wearable technologies and artificial intelligence will facilitate more convenient and accurate home-based monitoring, eliminating those barriers.

WHY KITE?
Working at KITE, Nasim is impressed by the “synergy between exceptional scientists in clinical and engineering fields,” she says. “KITE is a great example of the implementation of interdisciplinary research with direct benefits for people with disabilities or chronic diseases.”

Nasim’s favourite part of her job is examining the clinical data to find “incredible outcomes that can make taking care of people’s health more efficient and convenient.”

NASIM AND I AM KITE
The I AM KITE video “is a great summary of the multidisciplinary projects conducted in [the] unique facilities available at KITE,” Nasim says.

Nasim devotes her spare time to her son and her family. She enjoys the experience of motherhood and all the challenges and adventures that come with it.