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Directory of Faculty by Research Thrust

Postdocs

Meet the postdoctoral research fellows from the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Aylin Acun, PhD

Aylin Acun, PhD

Education:
PhD, Bioengineering Graduate Program, University of Notre Dame, 2018
MS, Biotechnology, METU, 2013
BS, Biological Sciences, METU, 2010

Contact:
Contact by email

Research:
My research at CEM focuses on the development of functional liver substitutes using donor livers that were rejected for transplantation. We aim to repurpose such livers through decellularizing them and subsequently repopulating them with primary hepatocytes or human induced pluripotent stem cells. In addition, I am interested in identifying the extracellular matrix factors that play role in liver function and regeneration through studying rat and human livers at different ages and disease conditions.


Daniel Browe, PhD

Daniel Browe, PhD

Education:
BS, Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2012
PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University, 2018

Contact:
Contact by email

Research:
My main research goal is to regenerate the corneal stroma by controlling the self-assembly of type I collagen. Our hypothesis is that the highly precise and ordered morphology of the corneal stroma is the result of collagen monomers self-assembling under highly precise conditions, and we aim to reproduce those conditions in vitro. My secondary project investigates the limbal epithelial stem cell niche.


Beyza Bulutoglu, PhD

Beyza Bulutoglu, PhD

Education:
PhD, Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, 2017
MS, Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, 2011
BS, Chemical Engineering, Bogazici University, Turkey, 2010

Contact:
Contact by email

Research:
During my masters studies, my research focused on the synthesis of theranostic nanoparticles for dual drug-delivery/imaging purposes. My doctoral thesis work concentrated on basic and applied aspects of protein engineering as well as molecular biology, focusing specifically on engineering different biomolecular interfaces for biotechnology applications, such as proteinaceous hydrogel formation. At CEM, I am using my background in protein and genetic engineering for medically oriented studies. My current research activities are focused on elucidating drug-drug interactions at the transcriptional level in hepatocytes and constructing recombinant bioactive peptides for tissue engineering purposes.


Luciana Da Silveira Cavalcante, PhD

Luciana Da Silveira Cavalcante, PhD

Education:
Postdoc, Cryobiology, University of Alberta, Canada 2017-2018
PhD, Biopreservation, University of Alberta, Canada, 2017
MSc, Clinical Biochemistry, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, 2011
BSc, Pharmacy and Laboratory Medicine, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, 2009

Contact:

Research:
I am a pharmacist and medical laboratory technologist who specialized in biopreservation. My interests and expertise revolve around the area of preservation of clinically relevant cell types and cryobiology, I recently joined CEM/Mass General as a research fellow where I will develop novel methods for the handling and bio-stabilization of hearts for transplantation.


Reinier J. de Vries, MD

Reinier J. de Vries, MD

Education:
MD, (Cum laude), Medicine, University of Amsterdam, 2018
BSc (Cum laude), Medicine, University of Amsterdam, 2014
BSc (Cum laude), Mechanical Engineering, Technical University Delft, 2013

Contact:
Phone:617-515-3518
Contact by email

Research:
As a research fellow with a combined background in medicine and engineering I focus on the development and translation of (bio)technological innovations in surgery. Considering the current donor organ shortage crisis, my research is focused on biopreservation for transplantation, ranging from cells to whole human organs. In particular, I am working on machine perfusion of liver and kidneys; high subzero liver preservation by supercooling and partial freezing; and isolation, slow freezing and vitrification of primary hepatocytes for their use in cell transplantation and bioartificial liver support systems.


Felix Ellett, PhD

Felix Ellett, PhD

Education:
PhD, Medical Biology, the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, 2011
BS (Hons), the University of Melbourne, 2006

Contact:
Phone: 617-724-3209
Contact by email

Research:
My research is centered on achieving a deeper understanding of the innate immune response during inflammation and infection, with a particular focus on sepsis. Using microfluidic technologies, I study alterations in immune cell activity that occur during sepsis. These assays can be used both as a diagnostic tool, and to provide insight into the fundamental biology that underpins sepsis development in at-risk patients.


A. Aslihan Gokaltun, PhD

A. Aslihan Gokaltun, PhD

Education:
PhD, Chemical Engineering, Hacettepe University, 2014
MS, Chemical Engineering, Hacettepe University, 2009
BS, Chemical Engineering, Hacettepe University, 2007

Contact:
Contact by email

Research:
I have a strong background that crosses polymer design, synthesis and characterization, materials science and surface engineering. In my past studies, I synthesized new, promising reactive polymeric microparticles and monoliths for the separation of various compounds in chromatographic applications with suitable chemistries, porosity properties and high specific surface areas. I’m also an expert in various chemical synthesis/surface functionalization methods for the prevention of the fouling or the non-specific adsorption of proteins and other biomacromolecules on surfaces. Non-specific protein adsorption is a significant challenge in biomaterials including biomicrofluidic devices. At CEM, I am using my background in chemical engineering and I’m designing and synthesizing novel polymeric materials to control bulk and surface properties of PDMS using scalable approaches to significant challenges in the manufacture of microfluidic devices with no added steps.


Shijie He, PhD

Shijie He, PhD

Education:
PhD, Biomechanics, Beijing Institute of Technology, 2016
BS, Engineering of Mechanics, Dalian University of Technology, 2010

Contact:
Contact by email

Research:
I am mainly interested in cell mechanics, i.e. the roles of physical/mechanical factors including forces, stiffness, geometries in cell migration, proliferation, and differentiation. Currently I am studying the effects of extracellular matrix on intestinal organoids which are derived from primary intestinal stem cell.


Alex Hopke, PhD

Alex Hopke, PhD

Education:
PhD, Microbiology, The University of Maine, 2016
BS, The University of Maine, 2010

Contact:
Phone: 978-758-0692
Contact by email

Research:
Using a micro-spotting machine, I am examining the behaviors of immune cells during interactions with microbes, particularly the “neutrophil swarming” behavior. The role of neutrophil swarming during injury and infection in humans is poorly understood. Through our investigations we hope to both gain insight into the importance of swarming in humans and to apply this knowledge to develop ways to assist patients who may have swarming defects.


Gunes Kibar, PhD, MS

Gunes Kibar, PhD, MSc

Education:
PhD, Bioengineering, Hacettepe University, 2016
MSc, MBA,Hacettepe University, 2015
MSc, Bioengineering,Hacettepe University, 2009
BSc, Chemical Engineering,Hacettepe University, 2007

Contact:
Contact by email

Research:
Targeted drug delivery systems are vital for the treatment of inoperable with only local disease and unreseactable types of liver cancer, which are the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the worldwide. The project offers a new drug loading strategy to improve drug delivery efficacy, increase the fusion with target cell, reduce side effects, lower treatment cost by using microfluidic systems for the production of micro/nanostructured lipid carriers in monodisperse, negative charged and para-magnetic form. The performance of drug carrier/cell interaction will be tested on hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines.


Jae Jung Kim, PhD

Jae Jung Kim, PhD

Education:
PhD, Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2017
BS, Chemical & Biological Engineering, Seoul National University 2012

Contact:
Phone: 857-200-0458
Email: Contact by email

Research:
My research focuses on the development of a ‘skin-on-a-chip’ device to study the neutrophil behavior in the skin. Using the controllability of microfluidic devices, this study will provide the fundamental knowledge of how neutrophil function in skin disease, such as cellulitis. Eventually, I will apply my knowledge towards the development of rapid diagnostic tool for skin disease.


Safak Mert, PhD

Safak Mert, PhD

Education:
PhD, Ankara University, Biotechnology Institute, 2013
MSc, Hacettepe University, Natural Sciences Institute, 2008
BSc, Hacettepe University, Biology Department, 2003

Contact:
Contact by email

Research:
I’m currently working on identification of liver metabolic changes throughout the period of ischemia, reperfusion and subnormothermic machine perfusion (SNMP). Using these information, we hope to develop new perfusion techniques and improve both the quality of organ preservation and time of storage. Our final goal is reconditioning of ischemia injured organs and use them for transplantation


Baris R. Mutlu, PhD

Baris R. Mutlu, PhD

Education:
PhD, Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2016
MS, Mechanical Engineering, Middle East Technical University / Turkey, 2010
BS, Mechanical Engineering, Middle East Technical University / Turkey, 2007

Contact:
Phone: 617-643-4545
Contact by email


Sinan Muldur, PhD

Sinan Muldur, PhD

Education:
PhD, Nano-Biotechnology, University of Lyon I, France, 2016
MS, Biomedical Engineering, King’s College of London, UK, 2011
BS, Biomaterial and Tissue Engineering, Sheffield University, UK, 2010

Contact:
Contact by email

Research:
My research currently focuses on studying the effect of complement cascade activation and inhibition on human neutrophil behaviour (migration, swarming and phagocytosis) both in isolated neutrophils and in whole blood using microfluidic platforms. The precise characterization of neutrophil migration signatures to specific chemokines could have broad implications for our understanding of inflammatory responses hence the design of new therapeutic modulators.

Furthermore, I am also working on the clinical validation study and optimization of our “Sepsis Chip”, a promising microfluidic device that permits early diagnosis and monitoring of septic patients from one drop of blood.


Jenny Nesbitt, PhD

Jenny Nesbitt, PhD

Education:
PhD, Chemistry, Vanderbilt University 2016
BS, Chemistry, Wake Forest University 2010

Contact:
Contact by email

Research:
My research at the CEM focuses on biopreservation as it relates to Global Health, specifically infectious diseases such as malaria. I work on the development of several cryopreservation strategies for the mosquito Anophelese gambiae and multiple stages of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.


Ruben V. Oganesyan, MD

Ruben V. Oganesyan, MD

Education:
MD, Sechenov University, Moscow, 2017


Contact:
Contact by email
LinkedIn

Research:
My research is focused on tissue engineering of liver and skin derivatives. The liver project is aimed on vasculature restoration using endothelial cells following organ decellularization. The skin project is conducted in collaboration with Plastic Surgery Department of Mass General and aimed on improving cosmetological outcomes after breast cancer surgeries. Im also interested in mechanical engineering and developing custom perfusion bioreactors for our research projects at the CEM.


Joao Paulo Oliveira da Costa, PhD

Joao Paulo Oliveira da Costa, PhD

Education:
PhD, Pathology, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2014
MS, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2010
DDS, Alfenas Federal University, Brazil, 2006

Contact:
Phone: 617-643-7213
Contact by email
Website

Research:
My research is focused in identifying molecular markers of progression in adult and pediatric solid tumors. We use circulating tumor cells and exosomes as models for blood-based biopsies to identify such markers, and better understand how tumors spread and metastasize. Using microfluidic technologies, we isolate tumor-specific exosomes and circulating tumor cells for downstream analysis such as single cell RNA sequencing, digital droplet PCR, label-free mass spectrometry and next generation sequencing.

Furthermore, I still try to integrate Anatomic Pathology into state-of-art technologies, such as microfluidic isolation of tumor-derived cargo, and to single-cell analysis of tumor content. Maintaining tissue architecture as part of analysis is a powerful way of understanding more than cell signaling pathways, but also to understand how those different tumor cells interact in space. To achieve this goal I apply multispectral imaging and multiplexed immunohistochemistry to validate single cell RNA-Seq results, providing important clues on how tumor architecture helps shape the multiclonal nature of tumor cells, and how they interact with the microenvironment.


Derin Sevenler, PhD

Derin Sevenler, PhD

Education:
PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 2017
BS, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, 2011

Contact:
Contact by email
Website

Research:
I'm a biomedical engineer with a background in optics, automation and biomolecular assay development. I'm broadly interested in technology development for both biomedical research and applications in healthcare. Right now I'm working on several projects related to infectious disease and biopreservation. For example, one of my current projects involves researching new approaches to cryopreserve living cells, model organisms and pathogens so they can be studied in the lab or made available for therapeutic use.


Alfred Tamayo, PhD

Alfred Tamayo, PhD

Education:
PhD, Molecular Medicine, Cell and Molecular Biology, Boston University School of Medicine, 2010
BA, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Boston University, 2003

Contact:
Contact by email

Research:
My current research interest lies in integrative molecular biology and builds off my experience in studying protein toxin delivery and circadian clocks. I am designing DNA libraries that encode full-length biomolecules from whole genomes with the intent of discovering new transcriptional regulations, protein functions, and functional genetic mutations in a high throughput format. These libraries are built using a powerful technology developed in the Parekkadan lab that can capture and clone large DNA fragments in a massively parallel and multiplexed manner.


T. Onur Tasci, PhD

T. Onur Tasci, PhD

Education:
PhD, Bioengineering, University of Utah, 2013 / Postdoc, Chemical and Biological
Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2017

Contact:
Contact by email

Research:
My current research is about developing microfluidic systems for the preparation of oocytes for Assisted Reproductive Technologies.


Xiao Wang, PhD

Xiao Wang, PhD

Education:
PhD, University of Cincinnati, 2016
BS, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 2010

Contact:
Phone: 513-484-9685
Contact by email
Website: http://albertxiaowang.wixsite.com/xiaowang

Research:
My research is focusing on developing in vitro microfluidic assay to study the migration and interaction of immune cells in physiological and pathological conditions.


Technical Staff

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.


Suhaas Garre

Suhaas Garre

Research Engineer



Education:

BS Bioengineering, UC Berkeley 2018

Contact:
Contact by email

As part of the Stott Lab, I am mainly involved with computational spatial analysis of Multi-Spectral Imaging (MSI) data, as well as implementation of deconvolutional methods for RNA sequencing. I am also researching the application of computer vision to the problem of cell segmentation.


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.


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.


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.


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 Che

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.


Other Personnel

Personnel at the Center for Engineering in Medicine, part of the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Jon F. Edd, PhD

Jon F. Edd, PhD

Education
PhD, Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 2006
BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX, 2001

Contact:
Contact by email

Research:
As a member of the innovation team at the Center for Engineering in Medicine, my primary focus is to develop rare cell isolation technologies. This includes antigen-agnostic isolation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), CTC clusters, and bacteria, from whole blood.


Ravi Kupur, PhD

Ravi Kupur, PhD

Education
PhD, Bioengineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, 1995
MS, Bioengineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, 1991
BE, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, India, 1989

Contact:
Phone: 781-363-3530
Contact by email
Website: www.micro-medicine.com

Research:
Innovation to bring nascent technologies through development, clinical translation and commercial launch. Specializing in rare cell isolation for detection, diagnosis and therapy. Current initiatives include the transition to commercial setting of the circulating tumor cell isolation platform & commercial development of automated microfluidic platform for autologous cellular therapy and diagnosis.


Jonah Poster

Jonah Poster

Education
BA, Honors Economics and Sociology, New York University, 2013
Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program, Harvard Extension School, 2017

Contact:
Contact by email
Website: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1868-5963

Director of Sponsored Clinical Research
I am responsible for the management of sponsored clinical research studies for pediatric acute burn injuries. This primarily involves investigational device and investigational drug studies on burn imaging, phototherapy to reduce microbial burden, regenerative epithelial suspension and debridement enzyme agents. Additionally, I write papers analyzing critical care methods and surgical techniques of pediatric burn wounds.