Ghazal Mirabnahrazam
2022 SFU 3MT Finals: People's Choice

February 15, 2023

Tell us a little about yourself, your program and your research

My name is Ghazal and I’m a recent SFU graduate. I’m originally from Iran and I moved to Canada to pursue my Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. I worked in the FAISAL lab under the supervision of Dr. Mirza Faisal Beg and my research was mainly focused on Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is an issue that I feel deeply connected to as I have witnessed its impact on those close to me. This is what inspired me to focus my Master's studies on the possibility of predicting the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease in adults using brain MRI and genetic data. I used artificial intelligence to examine how each of these data types can help us predict whether a person will develop AD in the future or not.

Why did you want to participate in 3MT?

The announcement of the 3MT competition came just as I was wrapping up three years of hard work and preparing for my Master's thesis defense. I saw this as an incredible opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and showcase my work to a wider audience. The competition also provided me with an opportunity to raise awareness about my research and gain confidence ahead of my thesis defense, which I greatly appreciated.

What did you find out about yourself and/or your research through your participation?

I never considered myself a public speaker. Even back in high school and during my undergrad, I used to fear public speaking. I had tried to improve and practiced in a class setting before, but 3MT was the first time I had to present in English to a diverse audience. It was a big step for me, but I eventually grew to like it. This experience taught me that if I set my mind to something and work hard for it, I can accomplish great things.

In three words, describe your experience?

Empowering, invigorating, enlightening

What are you doing now and what's next?

I defended my Master’s thesis and graduated back in April 2022. I’m now working as a Machine Learning Research Scientist at a stealth start-up based in Vancouver, BC. I work on developing AI solutions for Autonomous Driving. I really enjoy working in such a fast-paced and innovative industry, and I'm looking forward to launching our product and making a positive impact on the future of transportation.

What would you say to someone thinking of participating in 3MT? 

Don’t overthink it, sign up and enjoy the ride! Just being a part of the competition and having the chance to present your work in such a unique format is an accomplishment in its own. Regardless of the outcome, 3MT will be an amazing experience that you will be proud to remember.

2022 SFU People's Choice

Master's in Engineering Science

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