Storm the Wall at UBC 2017 - There were two members of the Hafeli lab storming the wall in the graduate student team of Pharmaceutical Sciences!

Sahan after his defense with the Stoeber and Hafeli labs, and the examining committee Mu Chiao, Rizhi Wang and Roger Tam.

Lab outing to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery on December 9, 2016 and goodbye to Aish and Andreas.

Jovan Gill won the poster prize of the summer student program 2016. Congratulations!

Mehrdad after receiving his PhD at the convocation 2016. Congrats!

The Hafeli lab on the boat - Magmeet 2016

The Pharm Sci soccer team has lots of Hafeli lab members in it. Go ... and goal!

Mehrdad Bokharaei's Defense on March 23, 2016 - Well Done!

Veronika Schmitt's Defense December 2, 2015 - All Done!

Summer student season - August 11, 2015

Picnic in UBC's Nitobe Japanese Garden - May 28, 2015

The Hafeli lab on March 16, 2015.

Sahan's Monitoring Paper Inside Microneedles Highlighted on UBC Website

Sahan's new paper got mentioned on UBC's website. He developed a clinically useful assay for the drug vancomycin. The novelty are the following two things:

“This is probably one of the smallest probe volumes ever recorded for a medically relevant analysis,” said Urs Hafeli, associate professor in UBC’s faculty of pharmaceutical sciences. Hmm, I guess that's what I said. And it might be true, although records are there to be broken.

“The combination of knowhow from UBC and PSI, bringing together microneedles, microfluidics, optics and biotechnology, allowed us to create such a device capable of both collecting the fluid and performing the analysis in one device,” said Victor Cadarso, a research scientist and Ambizione Fellow at PSI. The Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland is where Sahan went to do this research last year.

Great job Sahan!

And if you want to check out the paper for yourself, here is a link.

Our Lab is Part of the ISOSIM Program

The Hafeli lab is part of the Isotopes for Science and Medicine (IsoSiM) CREATE (NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program) program which has been developed in response to the growing importance of applications of nuclear isotopes in a broad range of fields from environmental science, preclinical medical research, and characterization of new materials, to investigations of the foundations of the universe. It provides training in the production, preparation, and application of nuclear isotopes for science and medicine developing the unique skills required for employment in isotope-related fields, development of new radioisotopes, and promotion of innovative new isotope applications in environmental science and medicine. IsoSiM encourages student mobility through a student placement program that builds on strong existing collaboration between UBC/TRIUMF and partners in Germany, as well as it provides the opportunity of having an internship in one of the industrial partners.

Check out the detailed program offers on the ISOSIM website Also, ISOSIM organizes regular talks, currently held at TRIUMF.

Research Interests

* Preparation of growth factor-releasing magnetic microspheres and their testing in vivo in a diabetic leg ulcer model.

* Ongoing laboratory research and testing of different radioactive and magnetic microspheres for tumor brachytherapy.

* Synthesis of poly(L-lactic acid) derivatives to bind the radioisotopes In-111, Y-90 and Re-186/188 more quickly and with higher affinity.

* Characterization of the magnetic forces necessary for in vivo movement of magnetic microspheres.

* Toxicological tests of different particles in vitro and in vivo.

* Preparation of monosized microspheres with the help of microfluidics and nanotechnology.

* Development of novel PET and SPECT-based blood pool imaging agents.

* Synthesis of radioiodinated lipids for the quantitative investigation and imaging of lymph-going lipophilic drug delivery systems.

Dynamic Pictures from the Lab

One way to make biodegradable microspheres is to dissolve the polymer material in chloroform and inject it into a water phase. The chloroform then diffuses into the water phase (solvent extraction), while the polymers are insoluble in water and make up perfect microspheres. In these movies you see how we use a microfluidic chip to make droplets, each of which turns then into a microsphere.


Magnetic Targeting

A particularly interesting area of research for our lab is making magnetic drug delivery happen. For more information, please check out

Last Modified: September 24, 2012.
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