Heart attack research spawns degree pair for MFRM graduate Sara Moghaddamjoo

Oct 07, 2011

Sara Moghaddamjoo hopes her biomedical engineering master’s degree research at Simon Fraser University will help to better predict heart attacks before they happen.

And to ensure the commercial success of a non-invasive wearable device that she has developed she concurrently pursued a master’s degree in financial risk management (MFRM) at SFU’s Beedie School of Business.

Moghaddamjoo, a North Shore resident, is the first student at SFU to earn two master’s degrees simultaneously. She completed both in just one year while also working as a financial risk-management intern  – and serving on the senate and student appeals board.

She also served as chief operations officer for the Beedie School’s student investment advisory service, Canada’s largest student-run investment fund, managing a $10.8-million SFU endowment.

But despite her unexpected financial prowess – she never took a finance course before her MFRM – Moghaddamjoo’s first love is biomedical research. Her undergraduate engineering honours thesis was so comprehensive she was able complete her MASc thesis in a year instead of the normal two years.

Her research is focused on a wearable device that uses lasers and lights to non-invasively monitor levels of a protein that increases in the blood about 30 minutes before a heart attack. That prompts the device to send a wireless signal to the wearer’s cellphone to alert emergency medical personnel.

The Iranian native says her business degree has given her the knowledge, contacts and network she needs to fund a possible spin-off company based on her research.

Moghaddamjoo received her MASc in June and will collect her MFRM on Oct. 7. She’s now completing a PhD in biomedical engineering at UBC and is negotiating for a job on Wall Street.


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