Lab Members



Wendy E. Brown

Senior Administrative Assistant

Wendy Brown has been at MIT since 2006 in various support positions. In 2017, she became the administrative assistant to Professor Michael Cima. Wendy provides support to the Cima lab team—including lab technicians, postdocs, and research assistants at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. She also provides support for Professor Cima’s teaching activities and his responsibilities as co-director of the MIT Innovation Initiative and the associate dean of innovation of the School of Engineering. Wendy additionally offers some administrative and financial support to the Lemelson-MIT Program and MIT's Glass Lab, both of which Professor Cima serves as faculty director.



Gregory Ekchian

Gregory Ekchian

PhD Student, Materials Science and Engineering

B.S., 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.

Ritu Raman, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University
M.S, Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Project: Injectrode

Ritu is a L’Oréal USA Postdoctoral Fellow in the Langer and Cima Labs. Her research interests focus on developing smart responsive implantable devices for sensing and drug delivery in the body. She is passionate about understanding and utilizing the dynamically adaptive nature of biological systems, and aims to establish an academic research lab focused on biohybrid design in the future.

Ritu grew up in India, Kenya, and the United States and this inspires her to help democratize and diversify STEM research and education around the world. She is deeply interested in science communication and science policy, and enjoys speaking, writing, and planning outreach events advancing opportunities for underrepresented minorities in STEM. 

Helen N. Schwerdt

Helen N. Schwerdt, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate

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

Max Cotler

PhD Student, Health Sciences and Technology

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, Boston University

Project: Injectrode

Max grew up in Sarasota, FL then made the questionable decision of leaving the warmth for Boston to attend Boston University where he focused on nanoparticle drug delivery. Max is now a NSF fellow and PhD candidate in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program studying medical engineering and medical physics with a focus in chemistry. Max has a broad array of drug delivery experience through his undergraduate research in liposomal drug delivery and polymer coatings on medical devices. His current project is focused on designing and testing chronic implanted drug delivery systems to treat brain disease. Max focuses on developing a system to treat focal brain disease in patients who fail traditional oral therapies with the hope of minimizing side effects and maximizing efficacy. Outside of lab, Max enjoys trying new restaurants, cooking, and skiing.  

R. Joshua Murdock

PhD Student, Health Sciences and Technology

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Central Florida

Project: MR Contrast Agents and Devices

Josh is a third-year Ph.D. candidate and NSF Fellow in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program studying Medical Engineering & Medical Physics. He hails from Orlando, FL where he graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and minors in Bioengineering & Mathematics before starting at MIT. Through his undergraduate years, Josh worked on biomaterials and medical diagnostics projects spanning magnetic/optical assays, virus-based point-of-care sensors, and nanoparticle-mediated therapeutics delivery to brain cancer cells. His current research primarily focuses on the development of magnetic resonance-readable nanoparticle devices for continuous measurement of cardiovascular disease markers in vivo. This sensing technology allows clinicians access to constantly changing chemical medical data between visits, enabling more effective treatment for chronic conditions. Apart from research he also works on improving the collaboration between local biotech industry and academia through the MIT Biotech Group and the HST Joint Council. When not in lab, Josh enjoys training and competing in Taekwondo, playing viola and violin, running, and cooking.

Erin Rousseau

PhD Student, Health Sciences and Technology

B.S., Nanoscale Science, University of Albany

Project: Injectrode

Erin is an NSF Fellow and PhD candidate at the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program. She is currently developing minimally invasive neural probes that enable chemical sampling of distinct brain regions. The goal of this work is to allow for long-term monitoring of the neural peptide landscape across disease states. She is particularly interested in diseases impacting motivation such as substance use disorder, major depression, and Parkinson’s. Erin has worked on projects ranging from patch-clamp reuse for automated neural recording to three-dimensional stem cell culture for maintained pluripotency. Erin is deeply committed to science advocacy and works to ensure federal support for research. She holds a B.S. degree in Nanoscale Science from the University at Albany

Sydney Sherman

PhD Student, Health Sciences and Technology
B.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Dallas
Project: NMR Sensor
Sydney is an NSF Fellow and PhD student studying medical engineering and medical physics with a focus on electrical engineering at the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program. She is currently developing a nuclear magnetic resonance-based sensor for use as a clinical diagnostic tool. The goal of this work is to allow for rapid, point-of-care quantification of volemic status, a measurement critical for care in many disease states including kidney disease and CHF. Previously, Sydney has worked on projects including the development of softening spinal cord stimulators and elucidation of the mechanisms of motor recovery with spinal cord stimulation. While originally from Pennsylvania, she holds a B.S. degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas. When not in the lab, Sydney enjoys hiking, training for triathlons, playing the violin, and volunteering for science initiatives.

Kriti Subramanyam

PhD Student, Health Sciences and Technology

B.S., Engineering Sciences, Harvard College

Project: Ovarian Cancer

Kriti grew up in Boston, MA and earned her B.S. from Harvard College in Bioengineering in 2015. She is currently a PhD Candidate in the Health Science and Technology department at MIT and Harvard Medical School, studying Medical Engineering and Medical Physics. In the Cima Lab, Kriti’s research focuses on the development of a device for continuous intraperitoneal drug delivery to treat peritoneal cancer metastasis and the interaction between this device and a patient’s immune system. She has previously worked on similarly translational projects including the development of combined liposome and hydrogel nanoparticles for cancer drug delivery. Outside of the lab, Kriti enjoys singing, dancing, baking, and spending time with her beagle.

Masters Students


Healey Ann Montague-Alamin

MS Student, Mechanical Engineering

B.S., Biomechanical Engineering, Stanford University

Projects: Nanopump/Injectrode, Implantable Microdevice

Healey is a second year masters student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She grew up in California and graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in biomechanical engineering. During her undergraduate years, she worked in the intersection of mechanical engineering and human biology, particularly in the realm of gait analysis and clinical intervention and, at the D-school, how to design critical medical devices that fulfill user needs. In the Cima lab, she works on two projects: the mechanical and electrical infrastructure for a peristaltic pump with bi-directional nanofluidic flow and a repeatable, user-centric system for filling a microdevice used to test anticancer agents in an expedited timeline. Outside of the lab, Healey enjoys reading, listening to live music, skiing, and camping.