Reza Nokhbeh, PhD

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Scientist and Principal Investigator, Health Sciences North Research Institute

Dr. Nokhbeh received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Biology and Molecular Biology METU in Ankara, Turkey. His doctoral training was completed in Molecular Mutagenesis at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario where he received his PhD in 2004. Dr. Nokhbeh followed his Post-Doctoral studies in Molecular Virology and Microbiology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa. He was also affiliated as a part-time Professor with the Faculty of Science, Department of Biology where he taught Microbiology, beginning in 2007. Dr. Nokhbeh has a passion for teaching and enjoys stimulating young minds’ creative thinking and building a fascination for research.  He continues his teachings at NOSM and Biology department at Laurentian University. He joined the Health Sciences North Research Institute in 2012 whereby his research is focused on developing alternative therapeutics based on bacteriophages/ phage products and bacteria against bacteria to combat human bacterial pathogens.

Honors and Awards

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  • Faculty of Medicine Excellence in Research Award, University of Ottawa, 2005
  • Highest honors graduate award, METU, Ankara, 1998

Selected Affiliations

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  • Principal Investigator, HSN Research Institute 
  • Assistant Professor at Northern Ontario School of Medicine at Laurentian University and Lakehead University
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Laurentian University

Research Interests

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Trusting the dynamism in nature and the capacity evolved in nature over billions of years, we believe that understanding how nature controls bacterial communities is essential to harness the same power to control bacterial pathogens in infection situations. Our lab is focused on two areas of research into developing alternative therapies against human bacterial pathogens. We are interested in developing , 1. Phage based therapies, small viruses that specifically infect bacteria and which do not have the capacity to infect humans, 2. Using other harmless bacteria to control pathogenic bacteria. We have been progressing in developing phage-pathogen systems and phage based tools; and bacterially produced antimicrobials against pathogenic bacteria for a number of pathogens  such as C. difficile, P. aeruginosa, P. acnes, G. vaginalis, A. baumannii. Characterization studies on genomics, single or multiple infection assays in culture and in animal rescue models, provided valuable basic information for their therapeutic efficacy alone or in combination with antibiotics.

Current Funding

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Research funding through GATES Foundation, NOAMA and NOHFC that have supported the research in my lab (2013-2016)

Selected Publications

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  • Murad YM, Perez J, Ybazeta G, Dewar B, Lefebvre S, Diaz-Mitoma F., Nokhbeh R.,(2016). Genetic diversity of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in an acute healthcare facility during a 17 months study. (In preparation)
  • Yanal M. Murad, Justo Perez, Gustavo Ybazeta, Sarah Maven, Sebastien Lefebvre, J Scott Weese, Joyce Rousseau, Francisco Diaz-Mitoma, Reza Nokhbeh, (2016). False Negative Results in C. difficile Testing. BMC Infectious Diseases Manuscript ID: INFD-D-15-00613. Accepted
  • Murad YM, Perez J, Ybazeta G, Dewar B, Lefebvre S, Diaz-Mitoma F., Nokhbeh R. (2016). Analysis of two Clostridium difficile outbreaks in an acute healthcare facility. The Journal of the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada (JAMMI), Volume 1 (Issue 2)
  • Murad YM , Perez J , Nokhbeh R , Ybazeta G , Dewar B , Lefebvre S , Diaz-Mitoma F. (2015). Impact of polymerase chain reaction testing on Clostridium difficile infection rates in an acute health care facility. American journal of infection control. 43(4): 383-6.
  • Nokhbeh MR , Hazra S , Alexander DA , Khan A , McAllister M , Suuronen EJ , Griffith M , Dimock K. (2005). Enterovirus 70 binds to different glycoconjugates containing alpha2,3-linked sialic acid on different cell lines.Journal of virology. 79(11): 7087-94.
  • Haddad A , Nokhbeh MR , Alexander DA , Dawe SJ , Grisé C , Gulzar N , Dimock K. (2004). Binding to decay-accelerating factor is not required for infection of human leukocyte cell lines by enterovirus 70.Journal of virology. 78(6): 2674-81.
  • Nokhbeh MR , Boroumandi S , Pokorny N , Koziarz P , Paterson ES , Lambert IB. (2002). Identification and characterization of SnrA, an inducible oxygen-insensitive nitroreductase in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium TA1535.Mutation research. 508(1-2): 59-70.
  • Carroll CC, Warnakulasuriyarachchi D, Nokhbeh MR, Lambert IB., (2002). Salmonella typhimurium mutagenicity tester strains that overexpress oxygen-insensitive nitroreductases nfsA and nfsB. Mutat Res. 501:79-98.
  • Lambert IB, Carroll C, Laycock N, Koziarz J, Lawford I, Duval L, Turner G, Booth R, Douville S, Whiteway J, Nokhbeh MR., (2001). Cellular determinants of the mutational specificity of 1-nitroso-6-nitropyrene and 1-nitroso-8-nitropyrene in the lacI gene of Escherichia coli. Mutat Res. 484:19-48.
  • Lambert IB, Carroll C, Laycock N, Duval L, Whiteway J, Lawford I, Turner G, Booth R, Douville S,  Nokhbeh MR., (1998). The mutational specificity of 1-nitroso-6-nitropyrene in the lacI gene of Escherichia coli strains deficient in nucleotide excision repair. Mutagenesis 13:9-18.