Hojatollah Vali

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Faculty of Dentistry


Photo of Hojatollah Vali

Science Director, Electron Microscopy Centre

Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building, Rm 144 [Map]
3640 rue University Montreal Quebec Canada
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 0C7

External website 


Research interests

Investigation of process occurring at the interface between inorganic and organic phases leading to the nucleation and growth of crystals (biomineralization) in both natural and synthetic systems. This is achieved through an interdisciplinary approach that integrates mineralogy, morphology, and molecular biology in two distinct areas: (I) pathogenic mineralogization and calcification in mammalian cells and tissues. Current research involves studying both bacteria controlled and protein based mineralization in Fe-oxides, Fe-sulphides, carbonates, hyroxyapapite, and clay minerals. (ii) Investigating biomarkers as signatures of ancient biological activity interrestrial and extraterrestrial materials. This research invloves the investigation of Martian meteorite and terrestrial analog samples. Current research topics related to bacteria-rock interaction and biomineralization processes under harsh conditions, which are relevant to Astrobiology and the Mars Sample Return Missions, are studied in various environments particularly: (a) deep-sea hydrothermal vents, (b) deep subsurface sedimentary basins, and (c) Antarctic and Canadian High Arctic permafrost environments.

Lab personnel

Fereshte Azari, PhD Post Doctoral Fellow

Yung-Ching Chien, MSc Candidate

Fariba Kalantari, PhD student

Shahab Faghini, PhD Candidate

Richard McLaughlin, PhD Post Doctoral Fellow

Christina Ponte, MSc Candidate


Astrobiology (ANAT-205B, EPSC-205B) - Click on "External link" above for more information.