Lab Members

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Staff

Barbara E. Layne

Barbara E. Layne

Administrative Assistant
blayne@mit.edu

Barbara Layne has been a support staff member of the Materials Processing Center (MPC) since 1985. In 1991 she became the administrative assistant to Prof. Michael Cima. A portion of her responsibilities include assisting with coursework for 3.091. In addition she provides administrative support to the Cima Lab technician, post docs, and research assistants.

 

Postdocs

Canan Dagdeviren

Canan Dagdeviren, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate
canand@mit.edu

B.S., Physics Engineering, Hacettepe University
M.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Sabanci University
Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Project: Brain Injectrode

Canan was the top of the list in her field to be entitled to a Fulbright Doctoral Fellow, which was given for the first time in Turkey in 2009, and she pursued her Ph.D. in Material Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under supervision of Prof. John A. Rogers. The primary focuses of her Ph.D. research are applications of ferroelectric/piezoelectric materials and patterning techniques for unusual electronics with an emphasis on bio-integrated systems, such as bio-sensors, actuators, transducers, and mechanical energy harvesters in flexible/stretchable forms. Currently, she is a postdoctoral associate at Langer’s Lab, Cima’s Lab and Graybiel’s Lab at MIT. Currently, she has 14 journal papers, is inventor on 1 patent application, and holds over 30 prestigious awards. Recently, she has been named as the innovator of the year among the first generation innovators of MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 Turkey (default candidate of TR35 Global 2015).

Oliver Jonas

Oliver Jonas, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate

Vincent Liu

Vincent Liu, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate
v_liu@mit.edu

Helen N. Schwerdt

Helen N. Schwerdt, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate
schwerdt@mit.edu

B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2008
M.S.E., Electrical and Computer Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2009
Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Arizona State University, 2014

Project: Injectrode

My broad research interests are in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), nonlinear microwave devices, wireless implantable devices, bioelectronics, and instrumentation for understanding and/or treating the brain and its related disorders. I am also interested in applying wireless modulation and/or interrogation schemes towards more clinically relevant applications including neuromodulation, drug delivery (ie. blood brain barrier), etc.

   

 

Graduate Students

Ashvin Bashyam

PhD Student

Project: MR Contrast Agents and Devices   

Ashvin grew up in Austin, TX where he attended The University of Texas at Austin. During that time, he worked on medical imaging techniques for cancer staging using photoacoustic imaging and plasmonic nanoparticle contrast agents. Eager to make a clinical impact outside of his research, he explored a diverse set of translational projects which included image processing of X-ray fluoroscopy for diagnosing spinal disorders, robotic ultrasound-based surgery for cancer ablation, laparoscopic electrosurgery tools for general surgery, and intravenous fluid warming for hypothermia and trauma. After four years immersed in the development and commercialization of medical devices, Ashvin saw a need for better long-term disease-state monitoring technologies to improve patient outcomes.
 
As a PhD student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT supported by the Hertz Fellowship and NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, he working on devices to perform minimally-invasive, longitudinal, NMR-based chemical and physiological sensing. These implantable sensors, interrogated by an external low-field NMR probe, will find applications in trauma, general surgery, and cancer. Outside of the lab, Ashvin spends his time playing competitive soccer and ultimate.
Lina Colucci

Lina Colucci

PhD Student
lcolucci@mit.edu

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Duke University

Project: Hydration

Lina’s research focuses on developing a non-invasive, portable sensor for assessing fluid status in congestive heart failure patients. Lina graduated from Duke University in Mechanical Engineering. As a Robertson Scholar, she was a dual student at both the University of North Carolina (UNC) as well as Duke. Having a life at both of these universities is blasphemy in basketball but a very complementary experience in everything else. Lina was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, moved extensively between Brazil, Canada and the United States, and has done research in India and Sweden. Lina is also a ballerina, an avid classical and jazz clarinetist, and a lover of art in all forms.

Gregory Ekchian

Gregory Ekchian

PhD Student
gekchian@mit.edu

BS, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University
MEng, Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Project: MR Contrast Agents and Devices   

Greg is a PhD student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He graduated from Boston University with a BS in Biomedical Engineering (2009) and from MIT with an MEng in Materials Science and Engineering (2010). In the Cima Lab Greg focuses on the development of novel injectable materials for long-term in vivo monitoring of oxygen and pH. These sensors provide clinicians with critical information necessary to enable more efficacious treatments tailored to individual patients for many indications including cancer and traumatic limb injuries. Greg is also passionate about transitioning new technologies from the lab to the clinic to improve patient outcome, achieve wider access to healthcare, and make the delivery of healthcare more efficient.

Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee

PhD Student
christopher.lee@mit.edu

B.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Connecticut
M.S. Bioengineering Innovation and Design, Johns Hopkins University

Project: Bladder/Ureter

Christopher Lee hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is a PhD student in the joint Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology program. Previously, Chris attended UConn (’12) and Johns Hopkins (’13) for his bachelors and masters, respectively. After working in management consulting, Chris realized that his true interests lie at the intersection of biotechnology and entrepreneurship, and decided to return to graduate school to pursue his passion for developing medical devices and goals to commercialize his own technologies.

Matthew Li

Matthew Li

PhD Student
m_li@mit.edu

B.S., Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego

Project: Hydration

Matthew grew up in the birthplace of freedom – Lexington, MA. He obtained a B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2009 with academic and industrial research focuses on high throughput assay development in neurologic (Silva Lab), neuropathic, and atherosclerotic (Neurocrine Biosceinces) diseases as well as microfluidic research tools (Hasty Lab). Upon graduation, Matthew moved back to the better coast and took a research technician position at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH, Parekkadan Lab). He focused on harnessing derived protein therapeutics from adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) towards the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as acute kidney injury (AKI) and sepsis. After a wondrous two years at MGH, Matthew moved to MIT to join the Health Sciences Technology (HST) program. He currently works in Dr. Cima’s lab towards the development of novel nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods and devices to measure hydration status in individuals with a specific focus on dehydration and hypovolemia. When he’s not in lab, you’ll be able to find him on his bike – commuting in the middle of a blizzard or out on a 200-mile ride up to Maine. He’s the cyclocross captain of the MIT Cycling Team, so if you want to be awesome and get rad on your bike, this is the guy you want to talk to.

Aikaterini (Katerina) Mantzavinou

Aikaterini (Katerina) Mantzavinou

PhD Student
amantzav@mit.edu

B.S., Bioengineering, Harvard College

Project: Ovarian Cancer

Katerina is a third-year PhD student at the Harvard-MIT HST. She grew up in Greece and graduated from Harvard College before coming to MIT. Her research focuses on a device for continuous intraperitoneal drug delivery to treat peritoneal cancer metastasis. She has previously worked on similarly translational projects including expandable scaffolds for infant tissue repair and modulating the tumor microenvironment using antihypertensive agents to improve cancer drug delivery. She works on innovating low-cost medical technologies with MIT Hacking Medicine, the MGH Center for Global Health, and the MIT DLab. Her interests outside medical engineering include art and exploring the world.

Kevin Spencer

Kevin Spencer

PhD Student
kspencer@mit.edu

B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Project: Injectrode

Kevin is a PhD candidate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and obtained a B.S. in Materials Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kevin’s research interests include medical device fabrication, drug delivery to the central nervous system, and device- tissue interactions. Interests outside of lab include watching/playing baseball, cooking, and live music.

Laura Tanenbaum

Laura Tanenbaum

PhD Student
laura_t@mit.edu

B.S., Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Rice University

Project: Ovarian Cancer Drug Delivery

Laura grew up in Miami, FL and earned her B.S. degree from Rice University in 2011. She is currently an NSF Graduate Student Research Fellow and a PhD Candidate in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics (MEMP) in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Her previous research in Jennifer West’s laboratory evaluating the stability of PEG-coated nanoshells for use in photothermal cancer therapy inspired her interest in cancer research. Laura is currently working on developing an implantable drug delivery device to improve the current standard of ovarian cancer care. Her thesis work includes demonstrating the feasibility of sustained chemotherapy delivery as a viable treatment strategy for ovarian cancer, as well as determining the optimal cisplatin dose for treatment in humans. Laura is passionate about research at the interface of engineering and medicine, although her backup career plan is to open a bakery with her college roommate.

Khalil Ramadi

Khalil Ramadi

PhD Student
kramadi@mit.edu

B.S. Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering, Penn State University

Project: Injectrode

Khalil is a Medical Engineering and Medical Physics PhD student in the Harvard-MIT division of Health Sciences & Technology, concurrently pursuing a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. He attended Penn State University as an undergraduate, working on cancer cell mechanics and CTC capture microfluidic devices. His research interests lie at the intersection of microfluidics, nanomedicine, and medical devices. He is currently working on the injectrode project, which aims to treat neuropsychiatric disorders using a chronically implantable probe. When he isn’t in lab, Khalil enjoys latin dancing and sailing. Unfortunately, however, Boston’s weather makes only one of those things a year-long hobby.

 

Undergraduate Students

Yuechen (Mark) Yang

Yuechen (Mark) Yang

UROP
markyang@mit.edu

Project: Injectrode

Mark is from Maryland and is currently a freshman UROP at the lab, working with Helen. He is interested in studying electrical engineering and is also currently a midshipman from the MIT NROTC unit. He wishes to work with neuro-prosthesis after his academic and military career. During his spare time, Mark plays the accordion and paints.

 

Technicians

Lenny Rigione

Lenny Rigione

Technician/Lab Manager
rigione@mit.edu

Lenny has helped and guided numerous Cima lab grad students and postdocs with our myriad analytical and processing equipments. When not in lab, he rides his bike to raise money and awareness for charitable causes to fight diseases such as cancer and cystic fibrosis.

Christopher (Chris) Evan Davis

Christopher (Chris) Evan Davis

Lab Tech
davisce@mit.edu

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Project: Pfizer Cell Metabolism Project, In-Vivo Drug Sensing

Born in Washington D.C., Chris graduated from MIT in 2014. He has a passion for engineering, and enjoys building things in his spare time.

Pauline Joe

Lab Tech

Project: Injectrode Project

Alex Lammers

Alex Lammers

Lab Tech
lammers@mit.edu

B.A., Physics, Pomona College

Project: Pfizer Cell Metabolism Project, Implantable microdose drug delivery devices

Alex grew up on the foothills of the Black Hills in South Dakota. His senior thesis focused on the redesign of a super-lightweight semi-trailer design through finite element analysis. During his free time he enjoys anything outdoors including: climbing, biking, surfing, and landscape photography.