• Peony Banik

    Peony Banik

    Research Associate, Cell Resource Core (CRC)
    Research Technician, Center for Engineering in Medicine (CEM)

    Education:
    BS, Biochemistry, Minor in Biomedical Engineering
    University of Rochester, 2016

    Contact:
    Contact by email

    As a part of the organ reengineering team, I'm currently involved in animal surgery to isolate highly viable rat hepatocytes for use by lab members and hospital researchers. Additionally, I perform rodent liver harvests for projects such as liver recellularization/decellularization. I am also responsible for distribution and monitoring of controlled substances for the CEM. As a member of the CRC, I routinely perform human hepatocyte isolations and cryopreservation. My research area focuses on prolonging the time transplantable human organs and tissues remain alive ex vivo via perfusion techniques and supercooling methods. My goals consist of creating and developing life-saving technologies in the field of transplant surgery.


  • Stephanie Cronin

    Stephanie Cronin

    Research Technician

    Education:
    MSc Biology, University of Massachusetts Boston, 2016

    Contact:
    Contact by email

    Studying the potential of various cryopreservation techniques for improving organ storage prior to transplantation, as well as the biology of organ storage.


  • Fatemeh Jalali

    Fatemeh Jalali

    Education:
    MS, Villanova University
    BSc, Shahid Beheshti University

    Contact:
    Contact by email

    I started in Dr Irimia’s lab by volunteering to establish bacterial research to an interduce interface of bacteria and white blood cells in microfluidic devices. I am working on the effect of different antibiotics on neutrophils recruitments against Staphylococcus aureus. I am also involved in several projects that are in collaboration with people outside our lab including Forsyth Institute. We are trying to replicate in vitro of the human oral microbiome in a microfluidic device and imaging the interaction of individual taxa that comprise the oral microbial community.


  • Michelle Jewett

    Michelle Jewett

    Education:
    BS, Santa Clara University, 2017

    Contact:
    Contact by email

    As part of the BioMEMS Resource Center, I microfabricate, test, and analyze novel microfluidic devices for ultra high-throughput blood cell sorting. I also focus on the development of nanofluidic devices for size-based nanoparticle sorting.

    In another aspect of my research, I isolate, expand, and characterize circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood-based liquid biopsies. I maintain a variety of cell lines to optimize the growth conditions for CTCs, as well as to provide cells for other lab members’ experiments.


  • Anika Marand

    Anika Marand

    Title:
    Research Engineer

    Education:
    BS in Biological Sciences and BS in Biochemistry, Virginia Tech, 2016

    Contact:
    Contact by email

    Research: I am involved with a clinical study with ER patients that uses microfluidics as a diagnostic tool for early detection of sepsis using a drop of whole blood. I look at the interactions between antibiotic treated neutrophils and S. aureus, which have led to clinical studies taking skin biopsies and blood samples from patients with staph infections. This will hopefully lead to future developments of diagnostic platforms for better diagnosing diseases like cellulitis.

    Lastly, I’m working at the forefront of the Dicty World Race where laboratories from around the world send in genetically engineered dictyostelium discoideum cells, other amoebas and mammalian leukocytes to race against neutrophils, the ultimate chemotaxic cell.


  • Sonal Nagpal

    Sonal Nagpal

    Associate Product Manager, Cell Resource Core
    Research Technician, Center for Engineering in Medicine

    Education:
    BS, College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 2016

    Contact:
    Phone: 617-722-3000
    Contact by email

    Research:
    I am part of the Cell Resource Core (CRC) and the organ reengineering team. I perform rodent and human hepatocyte isolations, to consistently provide highly viable primary cells for researchers. I also conduct rodent liver harvests and custom isolations upon request. I am involved in a hepatocyte cryopreservation project and an extended ex-vivo kidney perfusion project, as my research interests lie in rescuing discarded organs and maximizing donor organ viability.


  • Camilo Rey Bedon

    Camilo Rey Bedon

    Education:
    BSc Biochemistry & Genetics, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, 2017

    Contact:
    Contact by email

    Research: At the CEM I am involved in two major research projects. First, the elucidation of drug-drug interactions at the transcriptional level, where we transfect primary hepatocytes and different hepatic cell lines, with reporter plasmids under the regulation of drug metabolizing pathways. My second project relies on the development of liver-on-a-chip disease models, where we culture hepatocytes in microfluidic devices to mimic, optimize and test various in vitro disease states, currently NAFLD and NASH. Both studies involve several molecular biology techniques including genetic cloning, quantitative PCR and other methods such as various biochemical assays and fluorescent and confocal microscopy.


  • Syukri Shukor

    Syukri Shukor

    Education:
    BSc Biotechnology (Bioinformatics Specification), Rutgers University New Brunswick

    Contact:
    Contact by email

    Research: I am a research technician involved in molecular biology and cell engineering efforts to develop genetic constructs and stable cell lines which culminates in a study on stem cell therapeutics. Additionally, I combine molecular biology and bioinformatics tools to optimize long adaptor single stranded oligonucleotides (LASSO), a robust and high throughput molecular biology tool pioneered by previous researchers in the Parekkadan Lab demonstrated to capture kilobase long genomic sequences in a multiplexed manner. My passion lies in integrative molecular biology and bioinformatics research with discovery and translational applications in mind.


  • Jessica Wallace

    Jessica Wallace

    Research Engineer

    Education:
    BS, Biomedical Engineering, University of Connecticut, 2017

    Contact:
    Contact by email

    I am currently working on isolating circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor cell clusters from whole blood samples. These cells, and more prominently cell clusters, can give important information on the diagnosed cancer. Using various microfluidic technologies, we are working to develop an optimum chip to isolate these cells, for further research, without damaging them.


  • Yibin Chen

    Yibin Chen

    Research Technologist

    Education:
    MS, RWTH-Aachen University, Germany, 2014
    Diplom, Luebeck University of Applied Sciences, Germany, 2011
    BS, East China University of Science and Technology, China, 2011

    Contact:
    Phone: 857-540-8703
    Contact by email

    Using whole-liver engineering technique, I'm attempting to reconstruct functional artificial livers with intact vascular structure and biliary tree via recellularizing decellularized liver matrix. This way we hope to improve the quality of marginal donor livers to solve the transplantable liver shortage crisis.