Nicholas Vafai, Ph.D., M.B.A.
As a very young boy, Nicholas Vafai, Ph.D. recalls feeling so excited and grown up as his father perched him on a stool in his lab so he could peer through the microscope at the numerous clusters of cells growing in the cell culture flask. These memories of accompanying his father to the lab and watching him work were awe-inspiring and piqued his curiosity. In fact, they are probably responsible for his continued keen interest in science overall and molecular biology and virology, in particular.
“I will never forget seeing counters crowded with flasks, various chemical reagents, microscopes and other specialized equipment which, at the time, was quite a sight to behold for a young boy.”
Dr. Nicholas Vafai went on to explain, “My father would often tell me about DNA and how it determined the genetic blueprint for life. In fact, his love of DNA is what drove him to pack up his bags and immigrate to America with almost nothing, where he would later meet my mom, Jeanette Vafai. With hard work, love and support of each other, they worked as a team to surmount the many set-backs through long years of research it took to arrive at where we are today. These family values, talking with Dad about science, the gifts of microscopes and frequent visits to his lab definitely influenced my decision to follow in his footsteps. Consequently, after earning a B.S. in biomedical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2010, I was accepted to the Department of Biological Science at Florida State University and earned my Ph.D. in biological science in May of 2018. It was there that I discovered another passion…becoming an entrepreneur. While working on a project involving drug uptake in lipids in Dr. Steven Lenhert’s lab, I and several colleagues won first place in a contest with our business plan to commercialize our work on a model for drug uptake using lipid microarray and high-throughput drug screening (this venture is still in the developmental phase).”
Of their goals for Viro Research, LLC, Dr. Nicholas Vafai says, “It is my great fortune now to have this opportunity to pursue my passions for science and business in the start-up of Viro Research. As president and founder and my father as senior scientific advisor, we are endeavoring to provide better diagnostic testing products to the medical community for diagnosis of human viral diseases.”