Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Get to know a little more about some of our skilled and committed team members by reading the short biographies below.  

Dr Morteza Afrasiabi

Managing Director

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Dr Morteza Afrasiabi

Managing Director

Morteza is the Founder and Managing Director of Fortress Diagnostics. Before starting the company in 2000, Morteza completed a PhD in Immunohaematology in Queen’s University Belfast and worked for 16 years in clinical biochemistry, immunology and haematology posts in Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Trinity College Dublin (St. James’s Hospital). It was this multi-disciplinary experience across various branches of pathology which helped Morteza gain the knowledge and experience required to lead a company to develop a portfolio of products for commercial manufacturing. It was this multi-disciplinary experience across various branches of pathology which helped Morteza gain the knowledge and experience required to lead a company to develop a portfolio of products for commercial manufacturing.

“I am passionate about developing high-quality, high-technology products in areas of unmet needs and helping people in the world’s most vulnerable countries.”

Dr Rosita Zolnourian

Operations Director

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Dr Rosita Zolnourian

Operations Director

Rosita is the Co-Founder and Operations Director of Fortress Diagnostics and has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company for the past 18 years, overseeing the Sales & Marketing, Accounting & Finance and HR & Administration functions. Following the completion of a PhD in Molecular Biology at Queen’s University Belfast, Rosita worked as a Clinical Scientist in Belfast City Hospital’s Medical Genetics Centre where she gained vast experience and knowledge of gene mutations in colon and breast cancer as well as cancer markers.

“It has been extremely rewarding to work alongside a dedicated team to bring Fortress Diagnostics from 3 people, manufacturing 25 products for a few customers, to now supplying over 1,000 products to a wide customer base in over 100 countries worldwide.”

Mervyn Russell

Export Development Manager

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Mervyn Russell

Export Development Manager

Mervyn is our longest-serving employee, having joined Fortress Diagnostics in 2006 with 18 years’ prior experience in sales of IVD products across Africa and the Middle East. Mervyn has played a leading role in the company’s growth, developing sales strategies which have helped bring our products to many new international markets across every continent whilst developing and maintaining existing business.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of a company that has grown substantially year-on-year. I enjoy overcoming barriers in challenging markets in order to deliver products to many complex environments that other suppliers tend to avoid."

Gerard O’Neill

Senior Sales Consultant

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Gerard O’Neill

Senior Sales Consultant

Gerard joined Fortress Diagnostics in 2014 and is responsible for all aspects of the sales cycle from prospecting for new distributors, to generating new sales and providing after-care support to end users. With a strong background in biochemistry and engineering, Gerard has 16 years’ experience across many disciplines, in addition to sales, including R&D, engineering and product support.

“The most fulfilling part of my job is building and maintaining relationships with distributors worldwide and watching their company grow alongside ours.”

Karen Kiernan

Customer Services

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Karen Kiernan

Customer Services

Karen joined Fortress Diagnostics in 2014 and has been an integral part of the Sales & Marketing Team, bringing with her over 30 years’ experience in sales management, customer service and logistics. Karen’s day to day role involves liaising with customers to help with any queries and keeping them up to date with the status of their order. Karen works daily with all functions within the company including production, logistics, accounting and purchasing to ensure customer requirements are fulfilled in a timely and efficient manner.

“The speed at which our business operates means that no two days are the same. My role offers vast day-to-day variety I love speaking to customers every day from all over the world, building relationships with people from Cameroon to Vietnam to Bolivia!”

Dr Paul Millar

Senior R&D Scientist

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Dr Paul Millar

Senior R&D Scientist

Paul is the newest team member here at Fortress Diagnostics having joined in March 2019. After completing a PhD in Metabolism and Diabetes at Ulster University and developing extensive knowledge of biochemistry and stratified medicine, Paul undertook a postdoctoral research position working on an international project covering gene-nutrient interaction in biomarker discovery. Paul leads the Research & Development department at Fortress Diagnostics and is responsible for the design and development of innovative assays as well as optimising our current product range.

“Taking an idea from the initial concept right through to an end product is the most rewarding part of working within R&D and with Fortress Diagnostics, I have the opportunity to develop assays that will ultimately be used in the clinic by health professionals all around the world.”

Craig Allan

Purchasing Manager

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Craig Allan

Purchasing Manager

Craig has been part of the Fortress Diagnostics team since 2017 and is responsible for evaluating suppliers, negotiating contracts and planning and executing the purchase of all equipment, supplies and materials. Craig has over 10 years’ experience across logistics and purchasing within the IVD manufacturing industry and applies his knowledge of the business to ensure high quality, competitive price and speed of delivery are maintained by our vendors and subsequently passed on to our customers.

“I thrive on making efficiencies for the company; liaising with internal teams to forecast stock levels and negotiating with suppliers to ensure we purchase the highest standard of products at the best price.”

Cherith Morris

Quality Control Manager

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Cherith Morris

Quality Control Manager

Cherith heads up Fortress Diagnostics’ clinical chemistry team and is responsible for ensuring all products are developed and manufactured to the highest quality. Cherith also works closely with the R&D team and is involved in new product development as well as the process of optimising existing products.
Cherith joined Fortress Diagnostics in 2014 as a Quality Control Analyst, having received a BSc Honours in Animal Sciences followed by 6 years’ experience across global technical support, application specialist and QC analyst roles within the IVD industry.

"I love the new challenges Fortress Diagnostics offers and the chance to work together with a friendly and experienced team of Scientists to improve existing performance claims, offering the best quality product on the market.”

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