My name is Tayyab Pirzada.
I am pursuing an Hon. B.Sc. in Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Toronto with the future goal of in shā’ Allāh (God Willing) becoming a clinical neurologist or clinical neuropsychologist.
Originally, my ancestry is from Afghanistan. My mothertongue is Pashto, however I also have knowledge of Arabic and Urdu.
I’m passionate about research, science, education, healthcare, philanthropy, languages, art, public speaking, and Islam.
In regards to research, I have experience researching in clinical neuropsychology, social neuroscience, educational psychology, mental health and addictions, and Islamic Studies.
I was a research assistant for a study on mental health and drug addiction in high-risk youth in the GTA, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
I also conducted research in Islamic Studies with Dr. Shafique Virani at the University of Toronto Mississauga, in which my topics of research were sayyid genealogies, Islamic phraseology and benedictions, and symbolic interpretations of prophetic biographies by medieval Muslim mystics and philosophers.
In addition, I was a research assistant in the Toronto Laboratory of Social Neuroscience, where I conducted studies using EEG (electroencephalography) to measure brainwave patterns, and I was also a research assistant with Dr. Steve Joordens of the University of Toronto Scarborough for which I conducted a study in which we developed smartphone technology for use in the university classroom.
Currently, I am a research assistant in clinical neuropsychology (which is one of my passions) at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Toronto General Hospital, where I am analyzing cognitive deficits associated with cancer and chemotherapy on young adults who are cancer survivors, using neuropsychological assessments.
In regards to science, I am very passionate about neuroscience, physiology and medicine, chemistry, and clinical neuropsychology.
I was an avid science educator at Let’s Talk Science UTSC, an organization in which I have taught chemistry, neuroscience, and molecular biology to students in high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools across Ontario through innovative experiments and activities. I also taught acid-base chemistry in relation to human biological systems and the aquatic environment of fish for Science Rendezvous 2013 at the Toronto Zoo.
I also teach young students science weekly for Visions of Science Network for Learning Canada, through innovative experiments like building geodesic domes and acid-base reactions using cabbage juice.
I am also a supplemental instructor for organic chemistry at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
In regards to healthcare, I was a volunteer at William Osler Etobicoke General Hospital for 3 years, in the Emergency, Ambulatory Treatment Centre and CAT Scan departments. In addition to this, I am certified in CPR, first-aid and AED. I have also shadowed a clinical neurologist as well as clinical dietitians in a hospital setting, where I met cancer patients and urology patients on dialysis.
Currently (as previously noted) I am working for Princess Margaret Cancer Hospital as a cancer research in the palliative care and psychosocial oncology department.
I also work as an exam invigilator for students with disabilities and impairments who require special needs, at the University of Toronto.
Regarding philanthropy, I was the president of OneProsper International UTSC, a non-profit charitable student group with the aim of helping Indian farmers in poverty, and volunteer for a plethora of charitable organizations and awareness groups including the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario, and Free the Children.
Regarding languages, my mothertongue is Pashto, and I have studied Arabic for many years on my own as well as at the university level to understand the intricacies of the Fus’ha Arabic of the Qur’an, as well as Urdu to understand the eloquent speech of the Imām al-Mahdī (Promised Spiritual Reformer of Islam), Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. I hail from the Ahmadiyya spiritual order (a peaceful Sunni Islamic spiritual movement started in the late 19th century with the motto of “Love for All, Hatred for None”), and obey the Khilāfat al-Masīh (Divine Caliphate), including the present Caliph of Islam, Imam Masroor Ahmad (may God be his helper).
In regards to art, I am a graphic designer, and spoken word poet. Here is a spoken word poem of mine:
In regards to Islamic Studies, I have an ongoing interest in studying Prophetic traditions within Islam as well as Islamic history, and did research with Dr. Shafique Virani at the University of Toronto in Islamic Studies. I have written many papers on the topic, including a landmark research paper on the Masīh al-Dajjāl (Antichrist of the Latter Days) according to Islamic traditions which has al-Hamdu li’Allāh (all praise to God) canvassed over 2,000 reads thusfar. In addition to this, I have written many articles on the subject, which are available on this website in the ‘Articles’ section.
Here is a talk I delivered on the legacy of the Islamic scientific renaissance in the medieval period: