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A Master Builder of HealthTech that Matters

There is a certain thrill when you find parts and use them to build something new. For Sonic Incytes’ Lead Hardware Engineer Mohammad Honarvar, the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

Growing up, Mohammad spent much of his time in his dad’s machine shop, watching him fix everything. It wasn’t long before Mohammad started dreaming about what toys he could build. “I have always loved finding parts and thinking about what to build with them,” says Mohammad. “I enjoy creating something, and seeing it work and be useful.”

His dad’s mechanical prowess had an everlasting influence on Mohammad. Combine that with two older sisters in engineering and a mom who was a high school physics and chemistry teacher, Mohammad had influential role models in every member of his immediate family.

With “engineering in his genes,” Mohammad received his Bachelor and Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

He then completed his PhD in Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2015 at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada. Working closely with leading experts in medical imaging, Dr. Robert Rohling and Dr. Tim Salcudean, Mohammad’s research focused on the inverse problem algorithms used in vibro-elastography.

“As a new medical imaging technique, elastography measures the viscoelastic properties of soft tissue, which is useful in detecting chronic diseases such as cancer or fatty liver disease,” explains Mohammad. “This research contributed to the development of Sonic Incytes and its lead product, VelacurTM, the first handheld 3D liver health assessment solution.”

While working as a postdoc in the Robotics and Control Lab in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UBC, Mohammad was instrumental in designing and building the activation unit and control unit – key components of the VelacurTM system – and also developing the core data processing algorithms used in the system.

“Our vision is for VelacurTM to be the leading elastography solution for healthcare providers so they can easily assess and manage patients for fatty liver disease,” adds Mohammad. “I’m proud to have helped design and build a full commercial product from the start.”

In 2017, Sonic Incytes Medical Corp. was formed to commercialize the VelacurTM technology, and Mohammad joined Sonic Incytes as Lead Hardware Engineer. VelacurTM received FDA clearance in late 2020.

During his career, Mohammad has published his research in 12 peer-reviewed journals and at 20 conferences, and is an inventor on three patents.

Forever dreaming up new ‘toys’ to build, this master builder is proud to create healthtech that paves the way for liver health.