Parisa Mehrkhodavandi is a Professor at the Department of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She completed her Ph.D. work at MIT (R. R. Schrock) and her postdoctoral work at Caltech (J. E. Bercaw) before starting her independent career at UBC in 2005.
Prof. Mehrkhodavandi has garnered a number of awards including the Killam Research Fellowship and the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship.
The persistence of petroleum-based materials in our waterways and our land and food systems has become an important factor in the global climate emergency. Prof. Mehrkhodavandi’s research is focused on developing catalysts for the synthesis of biobased and biodegradable polymers, with a goal of eventually replacing valuable polymeric material with sustainable alternatives.
Primary Recipient Awards
As a Wall Scholar Dr. Mehrkhodavandi will work with colleagues in disparate fields to try to understand the impacts of changing our polymer sources: technically, environmentally, and in terms of policy and politics. She aims to address these questions from a multidisciplinary perspective, with a strong Indigenous focus, in order to bridge the gap between the social science, science, and engineering aspects of sustainable plastics.
Generating personal protective equipment such as N95 masks is essential for the fight against COVID-19 and a return to stability. These masks are made from petrochemically derived, non-degradable material. We are interested in developing a bio-based and biodegradable alternative. We are working directly with a BC company, ABC3D, who is developing a lignin-based (lignin is a major component of wood) filter for N95 masks. We aim to contribute a cellulose-based, anti-viral body for the mask. We aim to implement this project in collaboration with our partner and to develop a prototype within a few months.