Youssef Helwa


Youssef is a graduate student in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo. He has a Bachelor of Honour’s Science degree in Nanotechnology Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Youssef has over two years of experience working in the field of microfabrication and four peer-reviewed publications in the field of biosensors. Youssef has worked previously in Professor Juewen Liu’s and Professor Guo-Xing Miao’s laboratories.  His work focused on the development of biosensors & the formation of hydrogels for DNA and biomarker analyses. In addition, Youssef worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where he performed neutron interferometry research.


Amr Abdelgawad


Amr Abdelgawad has a Bachelor of Honor’s Science degree in Nanotechnology Engineering from the University of Waterloo and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MBET) at the University of Waterloo. Amr has extensive experience in polymer chemistry, process engineering, and materials and business development through various internship experiences in Professor Qin Min Pan’s laboratory at Soochow University in China and in the coal-mining industry working as a Technical Marketing analyst at Teck Coal Ltd. In addition, Amr has gained extensive business experience through the enterprise co-op program at the University of Waterloo.


Mohamed Yousri Okasha


Mohammed Okasha is a Biochemistry and Biomedical Science graduate from McMaster University. Mohammed has decided to pursue a major in Biochemistry in order to gain strong research and critical thinking skills. His interest in entrepreneurship awakened after his startup experience at NERv, and has been contributing his skills to the team ever since. He is responsible for NERv’s biochemical and biological research as well as developing some of NERv’s biosensors. His current project is the development of a nano-sensor for bacterial detection. Mohammed is also interested in computational Biochemistry and Bioinformatics as well as programming, which drove him to do his senior thesis project in a similar field. 


Abdallah El-Falou


Abdallah El-Falou holds an Honours Bachelor degree in Biomedical Engineering from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Abdallah is currently pursuing a MASC degree in Electrical Engineering, specialized in Analog/Mixed-Signal IC Design. Abdallah has also gained experiencd in Digital Hardware and Medical Imaging through his various internship experiences.


Alexandria Catalano


Alexandria Catalano is a graduate from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Sciences. Health, physical activity and helping people have always been great passions of Alexandria’s. Her passions in combination with her inquisitive nature lead her to peruse Biomedical Engineering with a minor to compliment. At NERv, Alexandria assists with multiple different components, with a focus on biomaterial and biocompatiblilty R&D.

Advisory Board

Lamia El-Sebay


Dr. El-sebay is an Ob/Gyn surgeon. Dr. El-sebay provides NERv with continuous feedback regarding the development of its biosensors and their working mechanisms. In addition, her mentorship encompasses providing NERv’s team with the appropriate anatomical knowledge that would help NERv tailor its biochip to function appropriately in the human body.


Bo Cui


Dr. Bo Cui, a Waterloo University professor, is an expert in the field of microfabrication and microfluidics. NERv’s core technology will focus on miniaturizing the biosensors from the macro-scale to the micro-scale to be able to develop the biochip. Therefore, Dr. Cui’s presence on the team is essential to help NERv develop its biochip.


Wayne Chang


Wayne Chang, PhD, is at the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology Centre, in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo.  He works full-time  with undergraduate startups teaching course on Venture Creation, and as the Enterprise co-op (internship) program Coordinator.  This specialized co-op (internship) program allows university students kick-start their own startups, while being students at the undergraduate level.  In his 5 years at the university, he has taught and advised/mentored over 400 student-led start-ups.  He supports the start-up ecosystem on campus, and is a consultant for a number of startups in the Waterloo Region and Toronto.