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Lassonde professor receives provincial funding in recognition of emerging research leadership


Hossein Kassiri, an associate professor in the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science department at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering was recently honoured with a prestigious, Early Researcher Award (ERA) from the Government of Ontario.

ERA recognizes rising stars in the initial stages of their research journeys, who are leading impactful work. This highly competitive award fuels innovation across Ontario by providing recipients with generous funding to help build teams of brilliant researchers who will support the future of innovation.

Professor Kassiri was the only researcher at York University to receive an ERA this year.

“This award is one of the most prestigious recognitions an academic can receive early in their career – it’s a great feeling to be acknowledged,” says Professor Kassiri. “Receiving an ERA indicates that I’m headed in the right direction with my research and it brings me a sense of fulfillment to be recognized by my peers in the community.”

He plans to use his ERA funding to recruit talented graduate students who will help support his interdisciplinary research spanning across disciplines from electrical engineering to neuroscience. This research focuses on the design and development of miniature brain implants that can help monitor, diagnose, and treat neurological disorders such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Professor Hossein Kassiri and members of his Integrated Circuits and Systems Lab (ICSL)
Professor Hossein Kassiri and members of his Integrated Circuits and Systems Lab (ICSL)

These small powerful implants work wirelessly and do not require batteries. They can sense neuronal activities in different areas of the brain, process them using machine learning algorithms that are specifically tailored for each patient and provide responsive feedback to the brain through electric or optical pulses.

“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to my dedicated and brilliant students, their relentless efforts and innovative ideas are the driving force behind our research endeavours,” says Professor Kassiri. “I am also immensely thankful to the Lassonde School of Engineering for their unwavering support and all other collaborators for their contributions. This award will provide the financial support necessary to hire more excellent researchers and advance the development of medical device technologies.”