Who We Are

Maryam Nafari, BA

Maryam is our administrative assistant. She received her B.A degree in Business Administration in 1996 and complemented with a Medical Terminology License from Medix College in Toronto. She has more than 10 years experience in administration and coordination, planning and supporting daily operational and administrative functions in various capacities, as well as 3 years of Medical Administration experience. Maryam joined MHIU team in November, 2016.

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Elena Zvaritch, PhD

Elena received her M.S. degree from Moscow State University, Russia, and her Ph.D. degree from Russian Academy of Sciences. She worked with Dr. Yuri Ovchinnikov (Moscow, Russia), a prominent scientist in the field of protein and bioorganic chemistry; with Dr. Ernesto Carafoli (Zurich, Swizerland), a renowned specialist in Ca2+ binding proteins; and with Dr. Michael Lazdunski (Sophia-Antipolis, France), a leading specialist in ion-transporting systems. From 1995 till 2015, she worked as a scientific researcher at the University of Toronto in the laboratory of Dr. David MacLennan, a leading specialist in Ca2+ homeostasis and muscle diseases. Elena is the creator of the first animal model of the MH/CCD myopathy. In 2016, Elena joined MHIU, where she took up responsibility for the immunochemical and protein analysis of malignant hyperthermia. Together with Dr. Natalia Kraev, Elena works on the analysis of the animal model of MH/CCD and on the development of novel markers for MH diagnostics.

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Iqra Razzaq, BSc., MSc

Iqra received her BSc. Degree in Microbiology and MSc. Degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph. She worked in industry assisting a food manufacturer successfully obtain GMP certification by passing a CFIA audit; at Johnson & Johnson she assisted with batch release of their pharmaceutical products and ensuring compliance for a Health Canada audit. Prior to joining the MHIU in January 2022, Iqra worked as a molecular medical lab technician for Halton Healthcare for validation of new molecular techniques and diagnostic testing.

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Sheila Riazi, MSc, MD, FRCPC

Sheila received her MD at the University of Tehran, Iran. Following obtaining her M.Sc. at the Hospital for Sick Children/ Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto, she completed her residency in Anesthesia, and a fellowship in regional anesthesia at the University of Toronto. She joined Toronto Western Hospital as a staff anesthesiologist, and became the director of the Malignant Hyperthermia Investigation Unit. She works at MHIU one day a week, where she oversees muscle biopsy and testing and runs the malignant hyperthermia consult clinic.

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