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Fatemeh (Leila) Vahedi

Academic Research Associate


Leila (Fatemeh Vahedi) was a post-Doctoral fellow in the Ashkar Laboratory for 7 years and has been appointed as academic research associate in 2022. She earned her Ph.D. in medical Immunology.


Leila is experienced in respiratory mucosal immunology as she finished a fellowship in Central Queensland University, Australia (2009). She also has experience with gastrointestinal mucosal immunology, as she spent a 1-year fellowship in Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute Department of Medicine, McMaster University (2017-2018). Now she is continuing her study of humanized mice model for Hepatitis B infection and also the role of gastrointestinal innate immunity in inflammatory diseases and viral infection in the Ashkar Lab. 


Leila started working at McMaster University in the Ashkar Lab as a 3-year post-doctoral fellow. In this period, she investigated the roles of NK cells during Hepatitis C infection. It was performed through the generation of autologous double humanized mice with human liver and human immune cells, which provides a unique system to study the interaction of innate and adaptive immunity with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infecting the human liver cells in a relevant in vivo model. She was also generating different versions of humanized mice, which have been implemented in versatile forms of research. These humanized mice were used by different laboratories within the McMaster Immunology Research Centre for various models of human diseases including HIV, TB, and cancers. Moreover, during this time, she experienced teaching by supervising students and by cooperating on different projects. She wrote a chapter in “Innate Antiviral Immunity” Methods and Protocols series titled: “The Application of Humanized Mouse Models for the Study of Human Exclusive Viruses”. During this time, she practiced her skills in making murine models, genotyping, sampling, husbandry of immunodeficient mice, and setting up in vivo experiments.

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