Parham Parnian

Parham Parnian, PhD student, chemical and biochemical engineering

Accelerates new therapies for infection

“Parham’s work has been excellent and covers an enormous amount of ground.  He has had to master everything from bacterial cultures to device construction to computational modeling.” -Eric Nuxoll, associate professor, chemical and biochemical engineering

Hometown:  Shiraz, Iran

Faculty mentor/advisor: Eric Nuxoll, PhD, associate professor, chemical and biochemical engineering, College of Engineering

What is your degree program and expected graduate date?  Chemical and biochemical engineering, 2023

Please describe your research: Current standard treatment for bacterial infections on medical implants requires multiple invasive surgeries which are costly, painful, and life-endangering. I investigate thermal treatment of these infections as a non-invasive alternative treatment that eradicates the infections with thermal energy and is possible via remote heating of the implant’s surface. The long-term goal of my research is to develop a feasible therapeutic strategy for treatment of implant infections.

In simple terms, why does this research matter?  Bacterial infections on implanted medical devices are common and very complicated to treat. My research is expected to provide knowledge for development of a new treatment for these infections which can be used as a more effective but less expensive alternative to high-risk invasive surgeries and increase the quality of life for thousands of patients dealing with this issue.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I started participating in research in the first semester of my PhD program.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Conducting research at the University of Iowa has helped me to develop an invaluable set of analytical, technical, and scientific communication skills that will be vital for my future career as a scientist. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to collaborate and network with scholars and scientists from various disciplines.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? After graduation, I plan to join biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry as a scientist.

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