Hamid Nikbakht

I have been told that I was born when my parents were on a trip but on my birth certificate it says I was born in Tehran (back then my parents were living in Tehran (Iran). Well, they still are living there.) I’m the second oldest among my siblings (one older sister and two younger brothers.) I have two nieces whom I love dearly. Nava, the older one who is going to second grade this year is a very smart artistic and happy girl. The younger one, Tara is a big ball of energy. She leaves you speechless how witty and quick she is. Some times you forget she is only 3.

Back to myself, aside from my enthusiasm for science, I love: mountain climbing (specially outdoor rock climbing), animation, music (I’m very picky on this one), writing, movies (again very picky), computer graphic (used to work for part time a publishing company designing their book covers), photography (not professionally), painting, skiing and cooking new recipes. I’m passionate about carpentry! It feels so good when you see the results specially if you can use it (my last product was my own queen size full framed bed with a headboard!)

My favorite sport to do is soccer, ping pong (if I have a good opponent, I can go on playing for hours) and beach volleyball. My favorite sport to watch is soccer and ice hockey (I started enjoying this sport since I move to Canada).

The best book I’ve ever read is “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. I don’t think any book could beat this one specially because I don’t read as much anymore (I listen to audiobooks now instead ). The last book I read was called “The emperor of all maladies, the biography of cancer” by Siddhartha Mukherjee. The best movies I’ve ever seen are: “Lives of others“, “The Truman Show“, “Modigliani“, “Cast Away“, “The Shawshank Redemption“, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest“, “Forrest Gump“, “Saving Private Ryan“, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind“, “Braveheart“, “Ben-Hur“, Fountain, and of course “Cinema Paradiso” (the list can go on).

You usually find me with my headphones on! I enjoy listening to Indie rock and alternative rock music. I also have a tooth for Indie ambient and sometimes jazz. This last one is mostly when I want to work but not too hard! My favorite bands are “1- Pink floyd, 2- Radiohead 3-British sea power, 5- Black lab” and recently have been enjoying Neil Halstead, Gem Club, and Bishop Briggs. I love country music but it has its own moments for me. Johnny Cash, no brainer!

My biggest passion? Animation movies! Want to make me happy? Invite me to an animation movie! I cannot list those I loved since it will become a very long list! But my all time favorites (after the great Miyazakis’) so far are: “Monsters Inc and Monsters University”, Zootopia, “Minions”, Inside out, Ice age series, Hell and Back, and of course, “Rango”, “WALL·E” and “Ratatouille”.. this list never ends!

I usually keep myself busy blogging, doing research, reading (mostly online), listening to audiobooks, programming, and watching comedy TV shows (I cannot stand drama TV series unless they are really I mean really good). My favorites are: Family guy, Simpsons, South park, Rick and Morty, Seinfeld, Friends, HIMYM, 30 Rock, and of course Big bang theory. Among drama series, I love Shameless (comedy drama), GOT, Mad Men, House MD, Gotham, House of Cards (the last two are not my favorites but I got hooked up to them since there was nothing else out there at the time they came out!)

I also like painting, doing some computer graphics, taking photos and spending quality times with people who I like their company! Even though I am a very social person in general and love people’s company, I usually find some time for myself to reflect and organize my thoughts. Usually this happens over the weekends at a cafe.

I have started learning French and German, and I’m liking it. I lived in lovely Montreal for almost 10 years by now (2016). I moved to Guelph, ON in 2013 for seven months for a post doctorate positions in next generation sequencing lab. However, I quit my post-doctorate position there and started another one in a field and place closer to my heart. I moved back to the beautiful city of Montreal and started a new post-doc at McGill university, department of human genetics (Genome Quebec innovation center.) I am working on children’s  brain cancer genome and its evolution and spread.

I feel very fortunate and lucky to work with two very respected professors Dr. Majewski and professor Jabado. Science aside, I have learned a lot from them.

I cannot express in words how passionate I am about working in Cancer (epi)genomics field and more specifically children’s cancer and even more specifically children’s brain tumors. I feel children have been neglected relative to how much care is being given to adult tumors. I am willing to spend more time to learn more and do more in this field. Working on childhood cancer makes me feel great about myself and I really hope I can do some good in this field.