Mehdi Arbabi-Ghahroudi


Mehdi Arbabi-Ghahroudi
Adjunct Professor, Senior Research Officer, National Research Council of Canada

Room: Room 3031, 100 Sussex Street, Ottawa ON K1A 0R6
Office: 613-998-5398

Dr. Mehdi Arbabi Ghahroudi


Dr. Mehdi Arbabi is a senior research scientist at the National Research Council Canada and has held Adjunct professor positions at the Carleton University (2010-present) and the University of Guelph (2011-2017). Dr. Arbabi is a pioneer and a leading scientist in the field of Molecular Immunology-single domain antibodies/Nanobodies. The results of his PhD thesis established the proof-of-principle of a novel class of antibodies with unique antigen-binding properties for the first time in the world that was published in well-respected journals including Nature Structural Biology, EMBO, FEBS letter. The findings were indeed, the cornerstone for more than 2500 scientific articles and related-patents published as of 2019, as well as the foundation of a number of Camel Patents filed between the years 1995-2001, leading to the establishment of the Belgium biotech company Ablynx in 2001(now acquired by Sanofi) and the very first FDA-approved Nanobody-based drug Caplacizumab in 2018.  Dr. Arbabi got his honour B.Sc. degree in Genetics, M. Sc. degree in Molecular Biology, and his PhD in Molecular Biology/Immunology from the Free University of Brussels (Vrij Universiteit Brussel; VUB), Belgium. In 2004, Dr. Arbabi joined Antibody Engineering Group in Human Health Therapeutics research center at National Research Council of Canada- as a Research Scientist where he contributed significantly in the establishment of Camelidae and human single domain antibody platform technology. Dr. Arbabi got an NRC industrial partnership (with Novartis Company) award in 2011 for his excellent contribution in human single domain technology development. In 2016, he got a second NRC outstanding achievement award (Research and Technology Breakthrough) in developing Nanobodies which could cross blood-brain barrier.  Dr Arbabi has so far published more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and has been the inventor of 12 different patents at the NRC. A close-to one million dollar Weston Brain Institute grant was recently awarded to the NRC-BMI Team in which Dr. Arbabi plays a major role in identifying functional and blocking nanobodies against NLRP component of inflamasome complex for the treatment of chronic neurodegenerative diseases.


Research Interests

Performing advanced and innovative research in the area of antibody engineering, particularly with single-domain antibodies (sdAbs), and Phage Display and other in vitro display technologies.  Engineered antibodies, and in particular bi-and multi-specific antibodies, could be efficiently applied in combating cancer, neurological, bacterial and viral diseases. They would also be effective as immunohistochemical, diagnostic and proteomic reagents and in environmental applications. .Another exciting line of research in the field of sdAbs is developing novel class of single domain antibodies which are capable of blocking/modulating ion channel function. These novel target-specific reagents could replace chemical drugs in pain management in near future.



Fields of Interest

  • Single domain antibodies and their applications
  • Antibody engineering and phage display technology
  • Bi- and multi-specific Antibodies; Immune cells (Macrophage & NK cell) engagers: engagers
  • Inflammasome complex and neurodegenerative disease
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