Current Students

Meet UW’s Molecular Engineers! 

2014 Cohort

Graduate Student

Dion Hubble

Graduate Student
web site | hubbld@uw.edu |

Dion received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2014, followed by a Master's Degree in Molecular Engineering from the University of Washington in 2016.

Research Experience: While at Texas A&M he worked with Drs. Partha Mukherjee and Hong Liang on theoretical modeling and novel materials for lithium batteries. Now a graduate researcher in the lab of Dr. Alex Jen, Dion is investigating rational molecular design of multifunctional polyelectrolyte materials for improved lithium-sulfur batteries.
Interests: Room temperature ionic liquids, polymer redox chemistry, high-capacity battery materials, materials engineering for battery systems, electrochemical characterization
Awards: NDSEG Fellowship - 2016, CEI Graduate Fellow - 2015 and 2016
Publications: He, X., Hubble, D., Calzada, R., Ashtamkar, A., Bhatia, D., Cartagena, S., Mukherjee, P.P., Liang, H. "A silver-nanoparticle-catalyzed graphite composite for electrochemical energy storage." J. Power Sources 2015 (275), 688-693.

Liu, Z., Hubble, D., Balbuena, P.B., Mukherjee, P.P. "Adsorption of insoluble polysulfides Li2Sx (x = 1, 2) on Li2S surfaces." Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2015 (17), 932-939.

Graduate Student

Ian Nova

Graduate Student
web site | novai@uw.edu |

Ian graduated with a BS in Bioengineering from from Santa Clara U - California.

PI: Jens Gundlach (Physics)
Current Research: Single molecule nanopore sequencing.

Graduate Student

Hao Shen

Graduate Student
web site | shenh2@uw.edu |

Hao graduated with a BS in Biological Science from Tsinghua University - China

PI: David Baker (BioChem/Bioengineering)
Current Research: Computational Design of a 1- Dimensional Self-Assembling Protein Fiber.
Current Interests: Hao says that he really enjoys learning something new everyday through tackling protein design challenges and working with so many talented and enthusiastic people. "Protein is so amazing and designing protein is when science meets art. Beautiful protein structures visit my dreams a lot."
Hao likes reading, singing, swimming, archery, playing basket ball… through which he can concentrate and keep improving himself.

Graduate Student

David Sparkman-Yager

Graduate Student
web site | dwsy@uw.edu |

David graduated with a BS in Biochemistry from Western WA University.

PI: James Carothers (ChemE)
Current Research: Computational Design and Cellular Characterization of RNA Switches

Graduate Student

Ivan Vulovic

Graduate Student
web site | imv@uw.edu |

Ivan graduated with a BS in Computer Science from the UW.

PI: David Baker (BioEng/BioChem)
Current Research: Nanoparticle Vaccines (CD8Vax/pH-responsive design)

2015 Cohort

Graduate Student

Ruihong Wang

Graduate Student
web site | wangrh05@uw.edu |

Ruihong Wang graduated with a BS Chemical Engineering: Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering from UW..

PI: Michael Jensen (Bioengineering) and John Stamatoyannopoulos (Genome Sciences).
Research Experience: Focused on optogenetics control on bacteria and nanoparticle-based immunoassay development.
Current Research: Involves development of new probes for living cell imaging and of epigenome editing in T-cell therapy.
Academic Interests: Mammalian synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, stem cell and T-cell therapy, epigenome editing.
Hobbies: Cooking, hiking, tennis, and other sports.

Graduate Student

Grant Williamson

Graduate Student
web site | grantwil@uw.edu |

As an undergraduate in UW Chemical Engineering and now as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in Molecular Engineering and a member of the 2017 Husky 100, I have thrived at UW, finding my passion for research, science communication and policy. In the Holmberg research group, I focus on developing high-capacity batteries to enable a clean energy system.
Previously, I have done research on fuel cell durability in the Schwartz group at the University of Washington and on the water-stability of zeolite membranes in the Falconer group at the University of Colorado-Boulder as part of an NSF-REU.
Outside of the lab, I do science outreach in the community and with legislators, foster interdisciplinary connections as a Graduate and Professional Student Executive Senator and work to implement new technology and programs that benefit society.

Graduate Student

Jason Fontana

Graduate Student
web site | jfontana@uw.edu |

Jason Fontana graduated with a BS in Biomolecular and a MS in Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology both from U. Trento, (Italy).

PI: James Carothers (Bioengineering and ChemE) and Jesse Zalatan (Chemistry).
Research Experience: RA at the Armenise-Harvard Laboratory of Synthetic and Reconstructive Biology at CIBIO (Prof. S. Mansy) worked on Engineering artificial cells that communicate with natural cells.
Interests: Synthetic Biology.
Publications: Lentini et al, Integrating artificial with natural cells to translate chemical messages that direct E. coli behavior, Nature Comm, 2014.

Lentini, R. et al. Two-Way Chemical Communication between Artificial and Natural Cells. ACS Cent. Sci. acscentsci.6b00330 (2017). doi:10.1021/acscentsci.6b00330

Graduate Student

Jiaxu Qin

Graduate Student
web site | jxqin@uw.edu |

Jiaxu Qin graduated with BS in Chemical Engineering from Zhengzhou University (China), and a MS in Biochemical Engineering from Zhejiang University (China).

Research Experience: Anti-fouling materials and water purification membrane design
Interests: Self-healing materials development for high-capacity Li/S battery and flexible electronics applications.
Awards: Triple "National Scholarships of China"
Publications: 1. J.X. Qin, X.G. Dai, et al. Desalting and recovering naphthalenesulfonic acid from wastewater with concentrated bivalent salt by nanofiltration process. Journal of Membrane Science, 2014, 468, 242–249.

2. J.X. Qin, S.S. Lin, et al. 4-Dimethylaminopyridine Promoted Interfacial Polymerization between Hyperbranched Polyesteramide and Trimesoyl Chloride for Preparing Ultralow-Pressure Reverse Osmosis Composite Membrane, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2013, 5, 6649−6656.

Graduate Student

Mengying Zhang

Graduate Student
web site | myz16@uw.edu |

Mengying Zhang graduated with a BS in Biological Science from Sichuan University, Chengdu (China).

PI: Elizabeth Nance (ChemE)
Research Experience: Thermosensitive hydrogel research for delivering drugs to the site of brain cancer. Currently working on nanoparticles, especially quantum dot based biomarkers for neonatal brain disorders.
Interests: Nanomedicine, neonatal brain disorders, nanoparticle biomarkers, quantum dots, brain imaging, neuroscience, drug delivery.
Publications: Tsao C T, Hsiao M H, Zhang M Y, et al. Chitosan‐PEG Hydrogel with Sol–Gel Transition Triggerable by Multiple External Stimuli[J]. Macromolecular rapid communications, 2015, 36(3): 332-338.

Graduate Student

Adam Moyer

Graduate Student
web site | apmoyer@uw.edu |

Adam Moyer graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware.

PI: David Baker (BioEng/BioChem)
Research/Work Experience: Computational modeling of non-newtonian thixotropic blood flow in arterial bifurcation; Development of a biochemical process for bio-fuel production at a startup company.
Awards: Industrial Sponsor's Senior of the Year by the University of Delaware ChemE Department.

Graduate Student

Sinduja Marx

Graduate Student
web site | skmarx@uw.edu |

Sinduja Marx graduated with a BS in Bioengineering: Biotechnology from U. of California, San Diego (CA).

PI: Jens Gundlach (Physics) and David Baker (BioEng/BioChem)
Work and Research Experience: Two years at Illumina Inc. working on biochemistry and platforms for nanopore sequencing technology.
Interests: Point of care diagnostics and synthetic gene networks.
Awards: UCSD Excellence in UG Research Award (2011-2), Wyss Institute Silver in Biomolecular Design Competition (2012)

Graduate Student

Yanjiao Han

Graduate Student
web site | yanjiao@uw.edu |

Yanjiao Han graduated with a BS and a MS in Material Science and Engineering from Tianjin University, Tianjin (China).

PI: Shaoyi Jiang (ChemE)
Research Experience: Stem cell behaviors on hydrogel platforms.
Interests: a) Hydrogel applications in stem cell and T cell-based immunotherapy. b) CRISPR/CAS9 gene editing tools.
Publications: 7 peer reviewed papers (2 as first author, 1 as co-first author) published in international journals.

Graduate Student

Justin Davis

Graduate Student
web site | justid3@uw.edu |

Justin Davis graduated with a BS in Mathematics and Physics from Linfield College, McMinnville (OR).

PI: Igor Novosselov (MechE)
Interests: At the National Renewable Energy Lab., Golden (CO) researched mitigating the role of oxygen in silicon solar cells.
Research Experience: Modeling and analysis of solar cell capacitance.
Awards: 2015 APS ‘Outstanding Presentation of Undergraduate Research'.

Graduate Student

Will Chen

Graduate Student
web site | wchen108@uw.edu |

Will Chen graduated with a BS in Biotechnology from ShanDong University, Jinan (China), and a MS in Applied and Engineering Physics from Cornell University.

PI: Jay Shendure (Genome Sciences)
Research Experience: Cell imaging including super-resolution imaging, confocal, and image analysis.
Interests: Single cell sequencing with interest in developing technologies, computational methods, and data mining.

2016 Cohort

Graduate Student

Daniel Lee

Graduate Student
web site | dcl254@uw.edu |

Daniel Lee graduated with a BS in Chemistry and Chemical Biology, 2nd major in Psychology from Cornell University.

PI: Suzie Pun (BioE)
Research/Work Experience: Researched how different synthetic modulators affect the single channel kinetics of the glutamate receptor in HEK cells. In industry, worked on mitigating uncontrolled polymerization in high fouling services of steam ethane cracking.
Future research: Controlling polymer topology for applications in drug delivery and organic electronics..
Hobbies: Daniel coaches the UW policy debate team.

Graduate Student

Tyler Jorgenson

Graduate Student
web site | tylerjor@uw.edu |

Ty Jorgenson graduated with a BS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

PI: Mehmet Sarikaya, Materials Science and Engineering; Co-PI: René Overney, Chemical Engineering
Undergraduate Research: Designed and characterized structural DNA nanotechnology for the nucleation of DNA nanotubes with defined orientation for the self-assembly of nanoscale circuit interconnects.
Current Research: Utilizing scanning probe microscopy techniques to understand the self-assembly process and energetics of genetically engineered solid-binding peptides on single layer atomic materials towards the development of bioelectronics.
Interests: Biomolecular self-assembly, biotic-abiotic interfaces, scanning probe microscopy based materials characterization, bioelectronic/nanoelectronics, distance running and downhill skiing.
Publications: Jorgenson, T.D.; Mohammed, A.M.; Agrawal, D.; Schulman, R., Self-Assembly of Hierarchical DNA Nanotube Architectures with Well-Defined Geometries. ACS Nano (2017), 11, 1927-1936

Graduate Student

Xiaojing Xia

Graduate Student
web site | xiaxj@uw.edu |

Xiaojing Xia graduated with a BS in Materials Physics from Nanjing University (China). Interests: Photonics, organic conductive polymer, energy storage.

PI: Peter Pauzauskie (MSE)
Research Experience: Photo-alignment of liquid crystal polymers, generating vortex beam with liquid crystal. Designing and fabricating flexible waveguide on polymers.
Awards: First class fellowship for outstanding new graduate student (2 per year) Nanjing University, First class AEGON Scholarship (One undergraduates per grade) Nanjing University.

Graduate Student

Jiajie Guo

Graduate Student
web site | jguo16@uw.edu |

Jiajie Guo graduated with a BS in Macromolecular Materials and Engineering from Fudan University, (China).

PI: David Ginger (Chemistry)
Undergraduate Research Experience: Designed flexible and stretchable fiber-shaped supercapacitors based on aligned carbon nanotubes; Highly stretchable gel electrolyte for wearable devices.
Current Research: High transconductance organic electrochemical transistors based on polymer matrix composite for bioelectronics.
Interests: Bioelectronics, Polymer Engineering, Mixed ionic and electronic transport, Atomic-force microscopy based materials characterization.
Awards: The Xu Zengshou Scholarship.
Publications: Li, H.; Guo, J.; Sun, H.; Fang, X.; Peng, H.* “Stable hydrophobic ionic liquid gel electrolyte for stretchable fiber-shaped dye sensitized solar cell”, ChemNanoMat 2015, 1, 399-402.

Graduate Student

Runbang Tang

Graduate Student
web site | rt367@uw.edu |

Runbang Tang graduated with a BENGR in Materials Science and Engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology (China) and an MS in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell.

PI: Buddy Ratner (BioE)
Interests: Energy storage, photovoltaics.
Research Experience: High Loading Lithium Sulfur Battery, Iridium Perovskite Catalysts for OER, Strain Effect in Band Gap Engineering, APXPS Analysis of Manganese Perovskites.
Publications: Nie, Y.,Tang, R., Shen, K., Scholom, D., Suntivich, J.(2015). Interplay Between Strain, Electronic Structure, and Oxygen Evolution Electrocatalysis in Iridates. Meeting of The Electrochemical Society.

Tang, R. Nie, Y., Kawasaki, J., Kuo, D., Petretto, G., Hautier, G., Rignanese,G., Shen, K.,Schlom, D., Suntivich, J.(2016).Electrocatalysis of Oxygen Evolution Reaction on SrIrO3 epitaxially grown using Molecular Beam Epitaxy. Journal of Materials Chemistry A

Graduate Student

Dylan Shea

Graduate Student
web site | dshea8@uw.edu |

Dylan Shea graduated with a BENGR in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware.

PI: Valerie Daggett (BioE)
Interests: Energy, biomaterials, gene/drug delivery, metabolic engineering.
Research Experience: Synthesis of various zeolite complexes, perform ion exchanges for creation of active metal-ion-catalyst, utilize zeolite catalysts in methane/NO/CO oxidation reactions to maximize conversion.

Graduate Student

Phuc (Sam) Nguyen

Graduate Student
web site | phbn@uw.edu |

Phuc (Sam) Nguyen graduated with a BS in Biochemistry from California State University – Long Beach.

PI: Hao Yuan Kueh (BioE)
Interests: Synthetic Biology, Metabolic Engineering, Protein Engineering, Biofuel Production.
Research/Work Experience: Purification and characterization of Artemia metallothioneins. Synthesizing of a metallothionein-bound material for heavy metal removal.
Awards: Four years on President’s List, graduated with Cum Laude.
Publications: Nguyen, P. H. B., Wu, Y., Guo, S., and Murray, R. M. 2015. Design Space Exploration of the Violacein Pathway in Escherichia coli Based Transcription Translation Cell-Free System (TX-TL). bioRxiv. doi: 10.1101/027656

Graduate Student

Daniel Lachance

Graduate Student
web site | lachad2@uw.edu |

Daniel Lachance graduated with a BS in Biochemistry/Biophysics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY).

PI: Neel Dey (Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology)
Research Experience: Metabolic Engineering, Protein Expression, High Throughput Screening, Gnobiotic Mouse Models.
Interests: Synthetic Biology, Metabolic Engineering, Genetic Engineering.
Publications: Jones, J.A., Vernaccio, V., Sinkoe, A., Collins, S. M., Ibrahim M., Lachance D.M. et al. Experimental and computational optimization of an Escherichia coli co-culture for the efficient production of flavonoids. Metabolic Engineering 2016

Jones, J. A., Vernaccio,V. Lachance, D. M. et al. ePathOptimize: A Combinatorial Approach for Transcriptional Balancing of Metabolic Pathways. Scientific Reports 2015

Graduate Student

Brian Coventry

Graduate Student
web site | bcov@uw.edu |

Brian Coventry graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering from CU Boulder.

PI: David Baker (BioChem/BioE)
Research Interests: Computational Protein Modeling as well as Enzyme Design.
Accomplishments: Brian knows 9 programming languages, and has written over 400,000 lines of code. He also has over 200,000 downloads between his Android apps and calculator programs. Outside of the UW, Brian enjoys rock climbing and skiing.

Graduate Student

Theodore Cohen

Graduate Student
web site | tacohen@uw.edu |

Theodore Cohen graduated with a BS in Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis (MO).

PI(s): Daniel Gamelin (Chemistry), John D. MacKenzie (MSE), Christine K. Luscombe (MSE)
Research Experience: Flame synthesis of TiO2 mesoporous gels with Prof. R. Chakrabarty and design of flame aerosol reactor for large-scale production of NiO and ZnO nanoparticles with Prof. P. Biswas. Synthesis and characterization of sol-gel ZnO and NiO nanoparticle thin films for printed perovskite solar cells with Prof. D. Mackenzie.
Interests: Industrial scale synthesis of clean energy devices, computational modeling, and sailing.
Awards: CEI DIRECT program inductee, WUSTL S.S. & I.M.F. Marsden Senior Prize in Chemical Engineering.
Publications: Hu, Y., Jiang, H., Li, Y., Wang, B., Zhang, L., Li, C., Wang, Y., Cohen, T., Jiang, Y. and Biswas, P. (2017), Engineering the outermost layers of TiO2 nanoparticles using in situ Mg doping in a flame aerosol reactor. AIChE J., 63: 870–880.

Graduate Student

Ben Tickman

Graduate Student
web site | btickman@uw.edu |

Ben Tickman graduated with a triple major in Biochemistry; Chemistry; and Physics: Biophysics from the UW.

PI: James Carothers (BioE and ChemE)
Research Experience: Laboratory Technician, UW Nanopore lab.
Interests: Nanoscale biophysics, protein folding and function, energy harvesting, biology and materials in extreme environments, nanoscale measurement.
Publications: I. M. Derrington, J. M. Craig, E. Stava, A. H. Laszlo, B. C. Ross, H. Brinkerhoff, ... & J. H. Gundlach: Subangstrom single-molecule measurements of motor proteins using a nanopore. Nature Biotechnology 33, 1073-1075 (2015).

J. M. Craig, I. M. Derrington, M. Svet, H. Brinkerhoff, B. C. Ross, I. C. Nova, ... & J. H. Gundlach: Direct Detection of Unnatural DNA Nucleotides dNaM and d5SICS using the MspA Nanopore. PLoS ONE (2015).

2017 Cohort

Graduate Student

Alex Carr

Graduate Student
web site | avcarr@uw.edu |

Alex graduated from UC San Diego with a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry.

PI(s): Nitin Baliga and Sean Gibbons (Institute for Systems Biology)
Current Interests: Dynamic regulation of metabolic pathways, synthetic biosystem engineering, gene regulation and signaling, protein engineering, and genome scale metabolic modeling.

Graduate Student

Liwen Xing

Graduate Student
web site | liwenx@uw.edu |

Liwen graduated with a BE in Polymer Materials and Engineering from the Beijing University of Chemical Technology (China) and a MS in Polymer Science from the University of Akron.

PI: Christine Luscombe (Department of Materials science & engineering)
Research Experience: Synthetic organic chemistry, polymer synthesis (controlled radical polymerization), organometallic chemistry.
Current Research: Synthesis of donor-acceptor conjugated polymers via CH/CH functionalization.
Interests: Organic chemistry, polymer synthesis and characterization, organic semi-conductors.

Graduate Student

Eric Yang

Graduate Student
web site | eriyang@uw.edu |

Eric Yang graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a major in Biochemistry and minors in Biology and Philosophy.

PI: Jennifer Nemhauser (Biology).
Research Experience: Tracking the sources of E. coli contamination through sequencing and clustering with the Cal Poly Pyroprinting Project.
Lateral flow based in vitro diagnostic devices (IVD) development for PeptideCham Co., Ltd.
Interests: Synthetic Biology, Genetic Circuits, Metabolic Engineering. I also enjoy learning to play new instruments and rocking out when no one is watching.

Graduate Student

Nathan Chan

Graduate Student
web site | nathanrc@uw.edu |

Nathan graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelors Degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering.

PI: James Bryers (BioE).
Research Experience: Iron-oxide core nanoparticle synthesis and surface functionalization at STEMCELL Technologies; computational modeling of aptamer discovery in HI-FI SELEX; encapsulation of neonatal porcine islets in alginate beads; designing targeted and triggered release drug delivery systems for cancer therapy at the BIOMOD biomolecular design competition.
Current Interests: Tissue engineering, biopolymers, injectable biomaterials, drug delivery, nanoparticles.

Graduate Student

Shin Ya (Emerson) Chen

Graduate Student
web site | syc2017@uw.edu |

Emerson graduated from National Taiwan University with a Bachelor Degree in Chemical Engineering.

PI: Qiuming Yu (ChemE)
Current Research: Utilizing conducting polymers materials to fabricate Organic Electrochemical Transistors (OECT) devices for bio-sensing.
Interests: Conducting polymers, Organic thin film transistors (OFET, OECT), Biosensors, Point of Care (POC).

Graduate Student

Rene Cheng

Graduate Student
web site | rene2718@uw.edu |

Rene graduated from National Taiwan University with a Bachelors Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science and Medical Biotechnology.

PI: Richard James (Seattle Childrens Hospital).
Research Experience: ChE: Hybrid amyloid fibril and albumin formed hydrogels as a drug delivery vehicle; effects of nanoparticles on the structure of protein and amyloid fibril formation; anti-biofouling hydrogels.
Pharmacology/ Mol biology: cAMP BRET biosensor; investigating a novel mode regulation of Glucagon-like Peptide (GLP)-1 receptor signaling; developing a new approach in diabetes/neurodegenerative disease drug screening; YAP-1/LATS1 protein purification.
Virology: Investigated the emergence and evolution of avian influenza viruses.

Current Interests: Drug delivery, biomaterials, biosensors.
Publications: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ssbQYd0AAAAJ&hl=en

Graduate Student

Fatima Davila

Graduate Student
web site | fadh@uw.edu |

Fatima graduated from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education with a Bachelors Degree in Biotechnology Engineering.

PI: David Baker (BioChem/Bioengineering).
Research Experience: Research experience in microbiology, plant biotechnology, phytochemicals and plant tissue culture. Molecular biology techniques (genomic library construction). Recent work using renewable materials for applications in photoprotection and controlled release of fertilizers at CONACyT’s Center for Applied Chemistry.
Interests: I recently stepped out of my comfort zone into the realm of materials engineering, aiming to collaborate in a merging area where the engineering of biologic and hybrid systems is applied to environmental technologies. Bio-inspired research. Science & Policy. Agroecology. Rock climbing and outdoors.
Publications: Navarro-Guajardo, N., García-Carrillo, E. M., Espinoza-González, C., Téllez-Zablah, R., Dávila-Hernández, F., Romero-García, J., … Pariona, N. (2017). Candelilla Wax as Natural Slow-Release Matrix for Fertilizers Encapsulated by Spray Chilling. Journal of Renewable Materials. (Accepted for Publication).

Graduate Student

Hang Hu

Graduate Student
web site | hanghu@uw.edu |

Hang received a Bachelors Degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a MS in Materials Science and Engineering from the UW.

PI: Xiaosing Li (Chemistry)
Research Experience: Synthesis of inorganic nanomaterials and their application in energy devices.
Current Interests: Ab initio simulation; Energy nanomaterials & devices; Data Science.
Publications: Hu, H., Wang, Z., Ye, Q., et al. Substrateless-Welding of Self-Assembled Silver Nanowires at Air/Water Interface. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2016, 8(31), 20483-20490.

Graduate Student

Huiyun Sun

Graduate Student
web site | hsun45@uw.edu |

Huiyun received a BS in Biological Sciences from Nanjing University and a MS in Biology concentrated in Microbial and Cellular Biology from Emporia State University.

PI: John Lee (Department of Medicine)
Research Experience: Protein-ligand docking; synergistic function of Dam, MutH, and MutS in methylation-directed mismatch repair in Escherichia coli.; activation of p53 downstream genes in malignant melanoma cells with different genetic contexts.
Research Interests: Protein design, protein-protein interaction, prostate cancer therapeutics, cancer genetics, next-generation sequencing, gene regulation and signaling.
Publications: Hu, C., Zhao, Y., Sun, H., & Yang, Y. (2017). Synergism of Dam, MutH, and MutS in methylation-directed mismatch repair in Escherichia coli. Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis, 795, 31-33.

Graduate Student

Hao Tang

Graduate Student
web site | hao33@uw.edu |

Hao received a Bachelors Degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Georgia Tech and a MS in Materials Science and Engineering from the UW.

PI: Bruce Hinds (MSE)
Current Interests: Synthesis of nanomaterials for energy harvest and storage; photovoltaic device design and modification.
Research Experience: Static and dynamic light scattering for latex nanoparticles; interface/surface modification of CdS/CdSe co-sensitized solar cells.
Publications: Huang, F.; Hou, J.; Wang, H.; Tang, H.; Liu, Z.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, Q.; Peng, S.; Liu, J.; Cao, G.* "Impacts of surface or interface chemistry of ZnSe passivation layer on the performance of CdS/CdSe quantum dot sensitized solar cells". Nano Energy, 32, 443-440, 2016.
Zhao, J.*; Liu, Z.; Tang, H.; Jia, C.; Zhao, X.; Xue, F.; Wei, L.; Kong, G.; Wang, C.; Liu, J.* "Enhanced performance of solar cells via anchoring CuGaS2 quantum dots". Science China Materials, 1-10, 2017.

Graduate Student

Steven Wu

Graduate Student
web site | sjw017@uw.edu |

Steven graduated from UC San Diego with a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering.

PI: Steven Henikoff (Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center)
Current Interests: Biomaterials/Drug Delivery, Regenerative Medicine (Stem Cells), Protein Structure/Folding, Cellular Signal Transduction, Synthetic Biology.

Graduate Student

Michael Xie

Graduate Student
web site | mxie8@uw.edu |

Michael graduated with a B.S (Cum Laude) in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Ohio University (Athens, Ohio).

In the Dudley research group, Michael focuses on using yeast as a model organism for developing technology and high throughput methods to study complex genotype-phenotype relationships.
Previously, Michael has worked on drug discovery for Cryptococcus neoformans infections in the Farnoud research group at Ohio University, thermoplastic processing as a material science co-op at ContiTech’s research and development department (Akron, Ohio), and protein engineering for enzyme immobilization in the Blenner research group at Clemson University as part of an NSF-REU.

PI: Aimée Dudley (Pacific Northwest Research Institute)
Research Interests: Synthetic Biology, Genomics, High Throughput Methods, NGS, Biotechnology, Diagnostics

Graduate Student

Jorge Cardozo

Graduate Student
web site | nickc94@uw.edu |

Jorge Cardozo graduated with a BS in Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Florida.

PI: Luis Ceze (CSE)
Research Experience: Nanoparticle synthesis, assembly, and surface engineering while evaluating their use in catalysis and drug delivery. Regulation of cells by proteolytic enzymes from the methanogenic and halophilic archaea.
Interests: Immune engineering and cancer, immune-therapy and stem cell biology, regenerative medicine, as well as traveling, snowboarding and tennis.

Graduate Student

Kacper Lachowski

Graduate Student
web site | lachok@uw.edu |

Kacper Lachowski graduated with a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (IL).

PI: Lilo Pozzo (ChemE)
Undergraduate Research Experience: Thin and flexible electronics for therapeutic and optogenetic applications. Redox reactions across conductive polymer membranes.
Current Research work at the UW: Targeting sono-photoacoustic contrast agents for imaging and thrombolysis.
Personal interests/hobbies: Cooking, weightlifting, hiking.

Graduate Student

Julian Freedland

Graduate Student
web site | jfreedl@uw.edu |

Julian Freedland graduated with a B.S. in Nanoscale Science and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University at Albany.

PI: Fred Rieke, Physiology & Biophysics
Undergraduate Research: Expressing human P450 enzymes in yeast to measure carcinogen-associated genotoxicity.
Current Research: Adaptational mechanisms of visual circuits.
Interests: Physical/mathematical approaches to experimental biology, sensory perception, neural circuits. Philosophy of science. Eating nachos.
Publications: Google Scholar

Julian also tutors K-12 students in his spare time.

2018 Cohort

Graduate Student

Gökçe Altin

Graduate Student
web site | galtin@uw.edu |

“Gökçe Altın graduated from Istanbul Technical University, Food Engineering Department with a BE and received an MSc degree in Food Engineering from Istanbul Technical University-Science, Engineering and Technology Institute. During her graduate study, she was invited as an exchange masters student at Northeastern University.

Research Experience: She worked in the Beraat Ozcelik Lab at Istanbul Technical University and the Peter Kang Lab at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. She focused on nanoencapsulation of bioactive compounds such as phenolic acids, flavonoids and peptides, investigation of antioxidant capacity, in vitro bioaccessibility studies, development of functional and medical foods
Research Interests: Nanomedicine, theranostic nanoparticles, biomaterials and bioactive compounds.
Hobbies: Latin dances and world science history.
Awards: The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, Science Fellowship. Council of Higher Education of Republic of Turkey, 100/2000 Doctorate Scholarship.
Publications: Altin, G., Gültekin-Özgüven, M. & Ozcelik, B. (2018). Chitosan Coated Liposome Dispersions Loaded with Cacao Hull Waste Extract: Effect of Spray Drying on Physico-chemical Stability and in vitro Bioaccessibility. Journal of Food Engineering.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2017.12.005
Altin, G., Gültekin-Özgüven, M. & Ozcelik, B. (2018). Liposomal dispersion and powder systems for delivery of cocoa hull waste phenolics via Ayran (Drinking Yoghurt): Comparative studies on in-vitro bioaccessibility and antioxidant capacity. Journal of Food Hydrocolloids
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2018.02.051

Graduate Student

Stephen Blaskowski

Graduate Student
web site | blasks@uw.edu |

Stephen Blaskowski graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder majoring in Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology and Neuroscience.
Since graduating he has worked as a Research Associate with the Military HIV Research Program in the lab of Dr. Victoria Polonis, and most recently as a Research Associate at Zymergen in the Platform Research & Development department.

Research Experience: At CU Stephen worked in the lab of Dr. Shelley Copley on novel E. coli genome engineering methods and biochemical pathway evolution. At MHRP Stephen worked in the lab of Dr. Victoria Polonis on high throughput cell-based assays assessing the efficacy of candidate HIV vaccines. At Zymergen Stephen worked in the Platform Research and Development group developing novel genome engineering tools for gram positive bacterial species, among other projects.
Research Interests: Computational biology, data science, genomics, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology.
Hobbies: Outdoor adventuring, cooking, painting, music.
Publications: Kim, Juhan, Anthony M. Webb, Jamie P. Kershner, Stephen Blaskowski, and Shelley D. Copley. "A versatile and highly efficient method for scarless genome editing in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica." BMC biotechnology 14, no. 1 (2014): 84.

Wieczorek, Lindsay, Punnee Pitisutthithum, Sorachai Nitayaphan, Suwat Chariyalertsak, Jaranit Kaewkungwal, Sebastian Molnar, Stephen Blaskowski et al. "Delayed Boost of ALVAC (R) HIV and AIDSVAX (R) B/E gp120 Following the RV144 Regimen, Significantly Increases HIV-1 Neutralizing Antibody Responses." In AIDS RESEARCH AND HUMAN RETROVIRUSES, vol. 32, pp. 100-100. 140 HUGUENOT STREET, 3RD FL, NEW ROCHELLE, NY 10801 USA: MARY ANN LIEBERT, INC, 2016.

Graduate Student

Steven Hsu

Graduate Student
web site | cchsuxp@uw.edu |

Cheng-Chieh (Steven) Hsu graduated from the University of Washington majoring in Bioengineering: Nanoscience & Molecular Engineering.

Research Experience: Characterization of human islet amyloid polypeptide, which associate with the development and progression of type II diabetes, and development of potential therapeutic with alpha-sheet structure.
Interests: Learning new things, cooking, enjoying the sun, sleeping, and listening to the rain.

Graduate Student

Yeon Mi Hwang

Graduate Student
web site | ymhwang@uw.edu |

Yeon Mi Hwang graduated with a major in Genetics and Plant Biology, emphasis on Biotechnology and Bioenergy, from the University of California at Berkeley.

Research Experience: Heterologous Production of Isoprene Hydrocarbons in Cyanobacteria in Melis Lab at UC Berkeley(PI: Anastasios Melis), Genome analysis of pine mushroom in Synthetic Biology and Computational Biology Lab at Korea University (PI: In Geol Choi).
Research Interest: Synthetic Biology, Systems Biology, Metabolic Engineering, Data Science.
Hobbies: Video Editing, Filming, Photography, Hiking.

Graduate Student

Ellie James

Graduate Student
web site | elliej3@uw.edu |

Ellie graduated from Western Washington University with a Biochemistry degree and materials science minor. Her research experience at Western involved conductive polymers templated into 3D structures with self-assembling peptides. Though that project has helped her to grow as a student and scientist, she also has interest in protein dynamics and engineering that she intends to explore as a MolE graduate student. When she finds time outside of the lab, she enjoys reading and adventuring with her dog.

Graduate Student

Cholpisit (Ice) Kiattisewee

Graduate Student
web site | cholpk@uw.edu |

Cholpisit (Ice) Kiattisewee graduated from Mahidol University, Thailand with Bachelor and Master degrees in Chemistry and worked as a researcher at Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC), Thailand before joining the University of Washington.

Research Experience: Mechanistic study of chemical reactions (focused on an allene functional group), Medicinal Chemistry of antibiotics, Metabolic Pathway Engineering in E. coli, and Enzyme Chemistry (Engineering, Purification, Kinetics, Mechansims).
Research Interests: Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering.
Interests: Outside scientific works, Ice enjoys reading novels, comics, and loves cuisine. He would be more than happy to present you some Thai food!

Graduate Student

Justin Lee

Graduate Student
web site | daho1688@uw.edu |

Justin received both BS in Physiology and MS in Applied Bioengineering from the University of Washington.

His previous research before joining the MolE Ph.D. was focused on nanotopography guided mechanical manipulation tools for muscle tissue engineering.
Outside of Academia, he co-founded of NanoSurface Biomedical Inc., one of the UW-Comotion Lab’s biotech start-ups. He also had two startup projects selected as finalists for Hollomon Innovation Challenge in 2017.
For his Ph.D. study, he is interested in developing next-generation molecular tools for large-scale biomedical research.
Please check his website linked below for publications and all other information about Justin!
Website: justindaholee.com

Graduate Student

Phil Leung

Graduate Student
web site | pleung@uw.edu |

As an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, Phil double majored in Biochemistry and Genetics, and worked in several labs, researching in the areas of medicinal chemistry, synthetic biology, protein engineering, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

At present, as an incoming NSF Graduate Research Fellow in Molecular Engineering, Phil is interested in harnessing the potential of synthetic biology and bio-molecular engineering to solve real world problems in industry, agriculture and and healthcare.
As far as his interests go, he is a pretty active person, and he especially enjoy weight training, acroyoga and bouldering, as well as most outdoor activities including motorcycling.

Graduate Student

Jinrong Ma

Graduate Student
web site | majorn@uw.edu |

Jinrong received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University and a MS in Chemical Engineering from the UW.

Research Experience: Zwitterionic materials development; Living radical polymerization; Anti-fouling surface coating; Characterization of small molecules and polymers.
Research Interests: Organic synthesis, Polymer, Biomaterials.
Extracurricular interests: Hiking, Guitar.
Publications: B.Li, Z.Yuan, HC.Hung, J.Ma, P.Jain, et al, Revealing the Immunogenic Risk of Polymers, Angew.Chem, 2018, 130,1-5.
P.Jain, HC.Hung, X.Lin, J.Ma, P.Zhang, et al, Poly(ectoine) Hydrogels Resist Nonspecific Protein Adsorption, Langmuir, 2017, 33, 11264-11269

Graduate Student

Sanaa Mansoor

Graduate Student
web site | sanaam@uw.edu |

Sanaa Mansoor graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry and Computer Science.

Research Experience: Developed virtual screening as a substitute for experimental high-throughput screening at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. Used kinetic Monte Carlo to understand how the presence of one proton effects the proton conduction pathways of another proton in yttrium doped barium zirconate. Worked on synthesizing biodegradable polymeric nanocomposites, using mineral oils, that target antibiotic resistant bacteria

Interests: Computational protein design, drug discovery and delivery, computer aided drug discovery, and cats.

Publications: Biodegradable Nanocomposite Antimicrobials for the Eradication of Multidrug-Resistant Bacterial Biofilms without Accumulated Resistance Ryan F. Landis, Cheng-Hsuan Li, Akash Gupta, Yi-Wei Lee, Mahdieh Yazdani, Nipaporn Ngernyuang, Ismail Altinbasak, Sanaa Mansoor, Muhammadaha A. S. Khichi, Amitav Sanyal, and Vincent M. Rotello Journal of the American Chemical Society 2018 140 (19), 6176-6182

Graduate Student

Yuhuan Meng

Graduate Student
web site | yuhuan@uw.edu |

Yuhuan Meng received a Bachelors Degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Tianjin University and a MS in Materials Science and Engineering from the UW.

Research Experience: From 2016-2018, Yuhuan worked on printed electronics in Dr. J. Devin MacKenzie’s lab. The project is designed to develop highly conductive silver nanowire/particle composites inks and 3D printing processing in antenna and flexible electrodes applications.
From 2013-2016, Yuhuan worked on two projects, photocatalysis and lithium-ion battery at Tianjin University. The topic of photocatalysis is the design and synthesis of multi-component heterojunction nanowires to promote hydrogen-producing efficiency for water-splitting. The main aim of lithium-ion battery was the design and synthesis of layer-by-layer graphene/MoS2/graphene heterostructure to solve polysulfide shuttling problems.
Research Interests: Solar cells, high-capacity battery materials, characterization, synthesis.
Publications: Biao Chen, Yuhuan Meng, Enzuo Liu, Fang He, Chunsheng Shi, Chunnian He, Liying Ma, Jiajun Li, and Naiqin Zhao*. Thermal decomposition-reduced layer-by-layer nitrogen-doped graphene/MoS2/nitrogen-doped graphene heterostructure for promising lithium-ion batteries. Nano Energy, 2017, 41, 154-163

Graduate Student

Tatum Prosswimmer

Graduate Student
web site | tpro@uw.edu |

Tatum Soleil Prosswimmer graduated from Santa Clara University with a major in Bioengineering and a minor in Chemistry.
Research Experience: Engineering a synthetic antibody in E. Coli for prostate cancer detection. Reverse engineering of iBFP through site-directed mutagenesis of a GFP construct.
Interests: Protein engineering, synthetic biology, yoga, running, and being outside!

Graduate Student

Amy Stegmann

Graduate Student
web site | Amybrehm@uw.edu |

Amy graduated from the University of Washington with honors in Materials Science Engineering and is now an NSF Graduate Research Fellow.

Amy is part of an Energy Frontiers Research Center collaboration working under Jim De Yoreo to investigate the self-assembly and nucleation of hybrid organic/inorganic nanostructures.
Research Experience: As an undergraduate, she used DNA origami as a method to create a substrate for the spacing of molecules of interest for force characterization using an atomic force microscope.
Current Interests: Organic/Inorganic hybrid nanostructures, nucleation, electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, in-situ microscopy, and she likes to play strategy board games.

Graduate Student

Jingyi Xie

Graduate Student
web site | jingyx6@uw.edu |

Jingyi received a bachelor degree in Biomedical Engineering from Southeast University (Nanjing, China) in 2016, followed by a Master's degree in Bioengineering from University of Washington in 2018.

Research Experience: From 2016-2018, Jingyi worked on the biomedical application of zwitterionic materials in Dr. Shaoyi Jiang's lab. Topics: zwitterionic nano-cage for the delivery of protein drug with enhanced drug efficiency and reduced immunogenicity; the effect of hydrophilicity on nanoparticle-induced immune modulation; zwitterionic nanoparticles for induction of prophylactic tolerance to allergic airway inflammation. She also worked as a clinical research data assistant in UW medicine for one year.

Research Interests: Immunoengineering, synthetic biology, drug delivery
Hobbies: Badminton, clarinet and saxophone.
Publications: B. Li, J. Xie, Z. Yuan, P. Jain, X. Lin, K. Wu and S. Jiang. Mitigation of Inflammatory Immune Responses with hydrophilic Nanoparticles. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 4527. http://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201710068

Graduate Student

Yao Yan

Graduate Student
web site | yanyao@uw.edu |

Yao graduated with a BS in Polymer Science and Engineering from Sichuan University, China.

Research Experience: Computational materials; lithium-ion battery; hydrogel sensor for copper ion detection; protein separation system.
Interests: Biomaterials and data science. Outside of research, Yao loves marathon running, exploring new restaurants, and learning different languages.