Skip to main content
Career Profile

Nguyen-Vi Mohamed

Postdoctoral fellow in Neuropathologies
Dr Fon's laboratory
Nguyen-Vi Mohamed | Chercheuse postdoctorale en neuropathologies
Nguyen-Vi Mohamed | Chercheuse postdoctorale en neuropathologies
Location Now
Education Pathway
School Subject

Nguyen-Vi Mohamed is a Postdoctoral fellow in Neuropathologies at Dr Fon's laboratory.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Paris, France

I now live in: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I completed my training/education at: I did my Masters degree at University Paris V in France. Then I went to University of Montreal for my Ph.D. I'm now a postdoctoral fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University.

What I do at work

My work is to develop a new model similar to the real human brain, in order to better understand Parkinson’s disease and find new drugs. From patients’ stem cells, which can give rise to any body cell type, I produce neurons. Those neurons grow in three dimensions, self-organize with other neuronal cells, similar to the real human brain. They reach 4 mm in size and can be kept in culture up to two years. This new model in research is called “organoid brain” or “minibrain”. This innovative model allows me to investigate the mechanisms leading to Parkinson’s disease.

I spend time every day making minibrains, feeding them, and performing experiments after they have grown for a few weeks. In order to have success in my experiments, I criticize my results every day. There are a lot of failures before getting a positive result. But we learn a lot from failures, which help us improve the science. Moreover, my research involves a lot of teamwork. Thanks to the expertise of everyone in the laboratory, we solve problems every day and make important discoveries together. In my laboratory, people come from many places (China, Ireland, France, Mexico, India, Iran) and we speak English to understand each other and talk science. I think a good scientist is someone who has curiosity, tenacity, and who is open minded.

My career path is

I always knew that I would like to work in the biomedical field to help people. I was always very excited about science and my favorite class was mathematics. For the first two years of my Bachelor’s I was not focused at all. Looking back, I realize it’s because nothing interested me. However, when I came across neuroscience – that is when everything changed. I am totally fascinated by the brain – this organ that defines who you are. While I’m totally committed to studying the brain, I also have an interest in baking. When I arrived in Montreal I opened two bakeries. I still run these today in addition to my academic life. I love working with my hands, creating something that others will enjoy. I find that working in a bakery and working in a lab have a lot in common. We work as a team to control temperature and humidity.

I am motivated by

Like all ageing western societies, Canada is facing a huge socioeconomic burden associated with neurodegenerative diseases. This is happening because there are only limited treatments and no cures for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. These diseases present challenges for drug discovery. I like the discovery challenge and that this work is important. I love my work because I try to help people. I’m passionate about my work because it’s interesting and important to find a cure.

This career is ideal for me because I like to help people, and I’m very curious. I like to learn and discover things every day. Moreover, to find answers, we need creativity to design our experiments. It’s very stimulating. The other aspect that I really like is the fact that we share our knowledge across the world. We present our results at international conferences and build collaborative relationships with other scientists. Biomedical sciences are a collaborative process and this helps speed up our discoveries.

How I affect peoples’ lives

I try to understand the mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease in order to discover new drugs to cure the disease.

Outside of work I

I’m a very active woman and I like sports! For years I have played competitive rugby. I’m climbing now and I hope to practice jujitsu soon as I did when I was in secondary school. Because I have always liked science, planes naturally attracted me with the physics behind flight. I took flight classes and learned to fly planes in my early 20’s. I was able to fly before getting my driver license! I used to volunteer in biomedical and educational fields but also in the art field because I promote artists’ work by exhibiting their art in my bakeries.

My advice to others

Follow your passions. Do what makes you happy and excited about.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Foreign languages
  • Literature and English language arts
  • Math
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
  • Technology
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Liked helping people
  • Organized activities for my friends
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Was motivated by success
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Liked reading
  • Was really creative
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Always knew exactly what I wanted to do
  • Liked to take things apart to see how they worked

Related Topics

Explore Career Profiles

  • Meghana Munipalle outside on summer day in front of tree

    Meghana Munipalle (she/her)

    Graduate Student, Biomedical Engineering

    I am a graduate student working towards my PhD in biological and biomedical engineering.
  • Areej Riaz headshot

    Areej Riaz

    Operations Manager

    I work with individuals and organizations on programs that help address climate change.
  • Tristan Lecompte Headshot

    Tristan Lecompte

    Environmental Program Officer

    I interpret and communicate pollution data collected by the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI).
  • Dr. Bukola Salami with nursing student seated at computer.

    Bukola Salami (she/her)

    Professor, Faculty of Nursing

    I do research with Black communities and teach undergraduate and graduate students.
  • close up of technicians hands showing pipette with blood sample from a container

    Marta V. (she/her)

    Forensic Search Biologist

    I examine evidence from crime scenes for biological material such as blood, semen, or touch DNA.
  • Dr. Paula Littlejohn headshot

    Dr. Paula Littlejohn (she/her)

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow

    I research problems that affect peoples’ health, specifically in children.
  • Dolcy Meness doing water sampling

    Dolcy Meness

    Nagadjitodjig Aki (Guardian)

    I work as a Guardian for the environment and cultural teachings of my community, Kitigan Zibi.
  • Brock Fenton headshot

    Brock Fenton (he/him)

    Emeritus Professor

    I study bats around the world.
  • Molly Neave holding tray of produce inside growing unit.

    Molly Neave (she/her)

    Horticulture Research Associate

    I grow and research crops in an indoor, vertical farm.
  • Olivia Ivany headshot outside with trees and green field in background

    Olivia Ivany

    Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

    I perform different kinds of ultrasounds on different parts of the body.
  • Winston Campeau headshot

    Winston Campeau

    Researcher - Evolutionary Processes

    I use computer simulations and math to research how animals' behavior changes when their environment changes.
  • Portrait de Kim TallBear

    Kim TallBear (she/her)

    Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience and Society, Faculty of Native Studies

    I teach university and do research on science and technology from an Indigenous perspective.
  • Mahesh Rachamalla in his lab wearing white lab coat

    Mahesh Rachamalla (he/him)

    Graduate Student (Toxicology)

    My research will help find solutions for protecting aquatic species from the effects of heavy metals.
  • Dr. Molly Shoichet headshot

    Molly Shoichet (she/her)

    Professor and Research Team Lead

    I teach undergraduate students in engineering and I lead a research team in biomedical and chemical engineering.
  • Kaitlin Guitard working on site of an aquaculture setting.

    Kaitlin Guitard

    Water Quality Technician

    I monitor the sea water at salmon farms for harmful plankton and jellyfish.
  • Portrait de Devon Hardy

    Devon Hardy (she/her/elle)

    Program Director

    I run a non-profit program that supports environmental sustainability in the arts.
  • Mike Bryan on walkway over fish tank

    Mike Bryan (he/him)

    Hatchery Technician

    I work at a fish hatchery in the aquaculture industry.
  • Megan Coles headshot with blurred buildings and landscape in the background

    Megan Coles

    Pediatric Nurse

    I care for the inpatients admitted to the medical-surgical units at my local children's hospital.
  • Nicole Redvers headshot

    Nicole Redvers (she/her)

    Associate Professor and Director of Planetary Health

    I carry out Indigenous health research and support Indigenous communities and organizations in their health research needs.
  • Portrait de Gabriel Hould Gosselin

    Gabriel Hould Gosselin

    Research Associate

    I support teams that collect data on the melting permafrost layer in the arctic.