New bioengineering cohort doubles enrollment, adding diversity to program

2021 BIOE Cohort

Incoming PhD Class Infuses Bioengineering Program with New Talent, Doubles Enrollment

The Knight Campus welcomed 12 new graduate students this fall term, doubling the enrollment within the bioengineering PhD program.

The incoming class brings a wealth of inspiring research talents and interests, including students conducting research in biomaterials, tissue engineering, protein design, molecular sensors, and human performance.

The cohort also increases the diversity of the emerging bioengineering program, including greater global representation from Cuba, Ethiopia, India, Iran, and the Netherlands.

Sruthi Ranganathan
Sruthi Ranganathan

Hometown: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Undergraduate Studies: Tech Bioengineering, SASTRA Deemed University (2018)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Robert Guldberg

"Amongst the variety of graduate schools, the Knight Campus simply stood out in a unique way—driving students and faculty towards the path of innovation and impact. The Knight Campus facilitates holistic development through science, entrepreneurial and regulatory board trainings. I found Dr. Robert Guldberg’s work to be a perfect match with my interests in regenerative medicine! This was the place I wanted to be and realize my dream of being a part of a wonderful research group and make my humble contribution towards helping patients get another chance at living a better life."

Visit the Guldberg Lab

Yan Pacheco
Yan Carlos Pacheco

Hometown: Havana, Cuba
Undergraduate Major: Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida (2021)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Marian Hettiaratchi and Dr. Nick Willett

"The opportunity to work in a collaborative environment with both Dr. Willett and Dr. Hettiaratchi seemed like an unpassable opportunity. I would ideally like to work in a field that keeps the cycle of innovation alive and allows me to make an impact in the community through outreach as this is one of my main driving forces for research. The most interesting kind of research to me is that which applies theories and techniques from other fields into solving problems in bioengineering. What really keeps me interested in research is answering questions that nobody has thought to ask yet."

Visit the Hettiaratchi Lab

 
 
Alycia Galindo

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Undergraduate Studies: Chemical Engineering concentrating in Bioengineering, University of New Mexico (2021)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Bala Ambati

"The Knight Campus is a one-of-a-kind place, it has great resources and a mission to allow the translation of “bench top to bed side.” The research that intrigues me the most is the discovery and development of drugs, more specifically, drug delivery. After graduation I would like to lead a therapeutics team to research and develop drugs. "

Visit the Ambati Lab

Alycia Galindo
Alycia Galindo

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Undergraduate Studies: Chemical Engineering concentrating in Bioengineering, University of New Mexico (2021)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Bala Ambati

"The Knight Campus is a one-of-a-kind place, it has great resources and a mission to allow the translation of “bench top to bed side.” The research that intrigues me the most is the discovery and development of drugs, more specifically, drug delivery. After graduation I would like to lead a therapeutics team to research and develop drugs. "

Visit the Ambati Lab

Vincent de Jong
Vincent de Jong

Hometown: Enschede, The Netherlands
Undergraduate Major: Biomedical Engineering, University of Twente (2015)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Gabriella Lindberg

"The Knight Campus focuses on translating research to industry and has invested in getting a group of great leading scientists to run the labs, opening up the opportunity to collaborate and move forward. It focuses on key aspects of being a researcher that are typically learned “on the job,” such as presenting research and academic writing, as well as presenting yourself and structuring these concepts into courses. I am interested in large, complex biomimetic structures that are the precursors to creating fully functional organs."

Visit the Lindberg Lab

Eyersalem Gebreyesus
Eyerusalem Gebreyesus

Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Undergraduate Major: Biomedical Engineering, Addis Ababa University (2017)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Keat Ghee Ong

"On top of the exciting research the Ong Lab is working on, the Knight Campus plan to develop and accelerate innovations that are targeted at the needs of society resonated with me. I am interested in research that is based on the current needs of the global community and one that will improve people’s quality of life. After graduation, I hope to join the industry and conduct research on implantable medical devices and contribute towards healthcare innovations that will support developing countries."

Visit the Ong Lab

 
 
Patrick Hall

Hometown: The Woodlands, Texas
Undergraduate Studies: Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University (2021)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Jonathan Reeder

"I chose the Knight Campus because of the variety of opportunities I could have to choose my own path and tailor my experience to strengthen my strengths and lessen my weaknesses. The wide array of research topics and disciplines on display here at the Knight Campus will allow me to become the best scientist and engineer I can be. Whether someone is planning on entering academia or industry post-graduation, I’m confident the Knight Campus will help them gain the skills they need to succeed. I want to help move disruptive technologies from the lab to the clinic and provide methods for patients to retake some control of their biometric data."

Visit the Reeder Lab

Patrick Hall
Patrick Hall

Hometown: The Woodlands, Texas
Undergraduate Studies: Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University (2021)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Jonathan Reeder

"I chose the Knight Campus because of the variety of opportunities I could have to choose my own path and tailor my experience to strengthen my strengths and lessen my weaknesses. The wide array of research topics and disciplines on display here at the Knight Campus will allow me to become the best scientist and engineer I can be. Whether someone is planning on entering academia or industry post-graduation, I’m confident the Knight Campus will help them gain the skills they need to succeed. I want to help move disruptive technologies from the lab to the clinic and provide methods for patients to retake some control of their biometric data."

Visit the Reeder Lab

Julia Harrer
Julia Harrer

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Undergraduate Major: Biomedical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University (2019)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Nick Willett

"I am interested in the field of regenerative rehabilitation, which combines tissue regeneration strategies with mechanical stimuli to improve functional recovery. My research focuses on bone healing and functional restoration following traumatic injuries, which presents a significant clinical burden. I enjoy the collaborative nature of this field as scientists and engineers work closely with clinicians to develop strategies to promote patient recovery."

Visit the Willett Lab

Diana Ostojich
Diana Ostojich

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Undergraduate Major: Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2019)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Jonathan Reeder

"What initially drew me to bioengineering was wanting to understand how micron-scaled technology could be made. A lot of biomedical technology utilizes microfabrication techniques to make devices that are suitable to fit on or inside the body. After learning more about the applications for these tiny, cool, inventions, I learned about the important role that bioengineers play in the advancements in medicine and knew that I wanted to contribute to research aimed at helping others."

Visit the Reeder Lab

 
 
Anissa Benabbas

Hometown: Sunnyvale, California
Undergraduate Studies: Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz (2015)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Calin Plesa

"I chose the Knight Campus because it is an exciting, new bioengineering program with ambition and promise towards innovation. The Knight Campus is focused on the scholarship of academic research, with an eye on innovative technologies that are directly applicable to the biotech space. I'm interested in bioengineering living systems through molecular biology and computational tools, in hopes of developing therapeutics. I would like to work in a bioengineering biotech startup."

Visit the Plesa Lab

Anissa Benabbas
Anissa Benabbas

Hometown: Sunnyvale, California
Undergraduate Studies: Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz (2015)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Calin Plesa

"I chose the Knight Campus because it is an exciting, new bioengineering program with ambition and promise towards innovation. The Knight Campus is focused on the scholarship of academic research, with an eye on innovative technologies that are directly applicable to the biotech space. I'm interested in bioengineering living systems through molecular biology and computational tools, in hopes of developing therapeutics. I would like to work in a bioengineering biotech startup."

Visit the Plesa Lab

Elham Azadvari
Elham Azadvari

Hometown: Sabzevar, Iran
Undergraduate Major: Biotechnology, University of Tehran (2021)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Parisa Hosseinzadeh

"The research done at the Knight Campus is well-aligned with my interests. I like the entrepreneurial and interdisciplinary perspective of the program. I think that mentoring new graduates from the very start and getting them ready for ethical research has made the Knight Campus unique. I really enjoy the lab side of the research, but overall what matters and excites me the most is that our final results will make a difference in society, too."

Visit the Hosseinzadeh Lab

Kaylee Meyers
Kaylee Meyers

Hometown: Essexville, Michigan
Undergraduate Major: Biomedical Engineering, Michigan Tech (2021)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Keat Ghee Ong

"I came to the Knight Campus because I believe in the mission to bring more practicality and translatability into a medical-based engineering learning environment. Personally, I find fulfillment in performing research where I can design and build technologies to help solve problems medical professionals encounter daily and create innovative STEM education programs that will outlive me. After graduation, I would like to become a biomedical engineering educator and create more collaborative academic programs between engineering and medicine to bring additional resources to rural areas."

Visit the Ong Lab

John O’Hara-Smith
John O’Hara-Smith

Hometown: Hollister, California
Undergraduate Major: Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley (2019)
Affiliated Lab: Dr. Marian Hettiaratchi

"The University of Oregon has historically set precedents in new programs within the life sciences—the Institute of Molecular Biology was among the first of its kind founded in the world, and the use of zebrafish as a model organism was also pioneered here. As a molecular biologist who worked with zebrafish and other fish before starting my PhD, I recognized that the Knight Campus at the UO represents both the promise of highly integrative, high-impact work, and a connection to the storied history of molecular biology that’s come out of the university."

Visit the Hettiaratchi Lab


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