PhD Students

Photo of Ahmad Acosta Alassaf Ahmad Alassaf Research Assistant

Ahmad Alassaf was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. After earning his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Technology from King Saud University, he came to the US for his Master’s in Biomedical Engineering from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. There he gathered research experience optimizing 3D biological scaffolds for ultrasound mediated drug delivery.…

Photo of Sarfaraz Baig Sarfaraz Baig Research Assistant
Photo of Wyndham Batchelor Wyndham Batchelor Graduate Assistant

Wyndham Batchelor received his B.S. in Physics with a minor in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary, located in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2016. That same year, he joined the Biomedical Atomic Force Microscopy Laboratory, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. Wyndham uses atomic force microscopy to study the eye and eye disease, and is interested in applications of AFM in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.…

Tatiana Bejarano Research Assistant

Tatiana Bejarano was born and raised in Miami, FL in 1990. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Florida International University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering with a certificate in Medical Physics at the University of Miami. Her current research is in the field of medical informatics using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and cTAKES software to mine the Electronic Health Record and determine outcomes of radiation therapy in prostate cancer.…

Photo of Cassie Bennett Cassie Bennett Research Assistant

Cassie Bennett received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Engineering (2016) from Mississippi State University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami. She studies tissue responses in brain machine interfacing applications in the Neural Interfaces Lab.

Lab: Neural Interfaces Laboratory

Advisor: Dr. Abhishek Prasad

Photo of Rachel Besser Rachel Besser Research Assistant

Rachel Besser received her BS in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Florida, Gainesville. She joined the Physiomimetic Microsystems Laboratory in Fall 2015, where she is currently pursuing her PhD. Rachel’s research is focused on cellular and tissue engineering with a primary focus on cardiac engineering and biomaterials. Her projects include recapitulating the dynamic microenvironment of cardiac development to mature stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and recreating the neuromuscular junction in vitro to model CMT disease.…

Photo of Ritambhar Burman Ritambhar Burman Research Assistant

Ritambhar Burman received B.E. degree in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. His research interests include generalized linear modelling, optimization and image processing.

Lab: Physiologic Imaging and Modeling Laboratory

Advisor: Dr. Noam Alperin

Photo of Carlos Carballosa Carlos Carballosa Teaching Assistant

Carlos Carballosa received his B.S. (’10) and M.S. (’12) in Biomedical Engineering (BME) from the University of Miami. Currently, under the mentorship of Dr. Herman Cheung, Carlos is pursuing a Ph.D. in BME and investigating the effects of electronic cigarette vapor on the regenerative potential of adult stem cells. Carlos is also the co-founder of Cryo43, LLC, a stem cell-based start-up venture with fellow lab-mate Jordan Greenberg, whose business plan received accolades at The University of Miami and Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine World Congress Business Plan Competitions.…

Photo of Yu Cherng Channing Chang Yu Cherng Channing Chang Research Assistant

Channing Chang received his B.S. degree at Johns Hopkins University. He has been pursuing his MD/PhD at the University of Miami since 2013. His research interests include image processing and Optical Coherence Tomography.

Lab: Ophthalmic Biophysics Center

Advisor: Dr. Fabrice Manns

Photo of Mariluz De Ornelas-Couto Mariluz De Ornelas-Couto Research Assistant

Mariluz De Ornelas-Couto received her B.S. from the University of Miami in Biomedical Engineering with Electrical concentration (2008). She then pursued her M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Medical Physics (2011) at UM. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering/Medical Physics. Her research involves inverse dose optimization methodologies for lung and head-and-neck cancers.…

Photo of Shubham Debnath Shubham Debnath Research Assistant

Shubham Debnath received B.S. degrees in both Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2011. He then received the M.S. degree in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. He has been pursuing his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami since 2014, with research focused on the development of brain and spinal cord machine interfaces.…

Photo of Deon Dick Deon Dick Research Assistant

Deon Dick received her B.Sc. in Physics (Cum Laude) from Florida International University, Miami, FL and her M.Sc. in Medical Physics from Duke University, Durham, NC. She has been pursuing her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, specializing in Medical Physics, at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL since 2014. Her research interests include fiducial-less tumor tracking, machine learning and image processing.…

Photo of Heather Durkee Heather Durkee Research Assistant

Heather Durkee received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biomedical Engineering in 2013 at the University of Miami, Coral Gables. After graduation, she was awarded a Whitaker International Fellowship and she worked at the Institute of Applied Physics – CNR, Florence, Italy. In 2014, she began pursuing her Ph.D. at the Ophthalmic Biophysics Center at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute under the mentorship of Drs.…

Photo of Freddy Gonzalez Badillo Freddy Gonzalez Badillo Research Assistant

Freddy Gonzalez received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Universidad Rafael Urdaneta in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Following that, he obtained an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami, Coral Gables. He joined the Islet Immunoengineering Laboratory at the Diabetes Research Institute in 2015, where he is currently pursuing his PhD. Freddy’s research is focused on the characterization of an immune cell population that participates in self-tolerance induction, as well as trying to mimic their environment and behavior in vitro through a tissue engineering approach.…

Photo of Jordan Greenberg Jordan Greenberg Teaching Assistant

Jordan Greenberg received his B.S degree with honors in Chemical Engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. He joined the Tissue Engineering Laboratory in 2011, where he is currently pursuing his doctorate. Jordan’s research is focused on the role of nicotine and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors role in intracellular calcium cycling of stem cell derived cardiomyocytes.…

Photo of Matthew Ishahak Matthew Ishahak Research Assistant

Matthew Ishahak received his Bachelors and Master’s Degrees in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami, Coral Gables. He joined the Physiomimetic Microsystems Laboratory in 2015, where he is currently pursuing his PhD. Matthew’s research is focused on the development of microphysiological systems for drug discovery and disease modeling. His projects included engineering an improved pancreatic microenvironment to model diabetes and recapitulation of the kidney glomerulus.…

Photo of Lukas Jaworski Lukas Jaworski Teaching Assistant

Lukas Jaworski received his B.Sc. in Biological Engineering (2012) from the University of Florida, Gainesville. He is currently working on his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami, Coral Gables. His research interests include intervertebral disc metabolism, mechatronics, and bioreactor design.

Lab: Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory

Advisor: Dr.…

Photo of Weitao Jiang Weitao Jiang Research Assistant

Weitao Jiang received his Bachelor’s degree in 2012 from Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. His research interests include infrared radiation stimulation of vestibular system.

Lab: Sensory Electrophysiology Laboratory

Advisor: Dr. Suhrud Rajguru

Photo of Chitvan Killawala Chitvan Killawala Research Assistant
Photo of Che Liu Che Liu Research Assistant

Che Liu received her B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Capital Medical University, Beijing, China, and received her M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami. Her research interests include image processing and glaucoma pathological mechanism.

Lab: Physiologic Imaging and Advance Image Processing Laboratory

Advisor: Dr.…

Vera Mayo Research Assistant

Vera Mayo was born and raised in Lima, Peru and moved to the U.S. in 2003 where she got her Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering at Drexel University. Vera has gathered research experience at the Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute. After picking up a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at UM, she joined our PMLab where her main research interests are stem cell and tissue engineering.…

Photo of Ramanamurthy “Raja” Mylavarapu Ramanamurthy Mylavarapu Research Assistant

Ramanamurthy Mylavarapu (Raja) received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami. He joined the Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Engineering in 2016. His research mainly focuses on the fields of signal processing and brain machine interfacing.

Lab: Neural Interfaces Laboratory

Advisor: Dr. Abhishek Prasad

Photo of Karli Pena Karli Pena Teaching Assistant

Karli Peña received her B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL in 2010. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in the Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. Her research interests include investigation into the thermal and electrical properties of the kidney and modeling of microwave ablation for the treatment of small renal masses.…

Photo of Jeffrey Peterson Jeffrey Peterson

Jeff Peterson received his B.S. in Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the University of Miami in 2014 to do an M.D./Ph.D. In 2016, Jeff joined the Ophthalmic Biophysics Center, where he is currently pursuing his Ph.D. Some of his research interests include creating a mathematical model for antibiotic resistance S. aureus corneal infection and creating ophthalmic devices.…

Photo of Darrian Rice Darrian Rice Research Assistant

Darrian Rice received her B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. Her research is focused on optical stimulation of the vestibular system.

Lab: Sensory Electrophysiology Laboratory

Advisor: Dr.…

Photo of Samantha Rincon Samantha Rincon Research Assistant

Samantha Rincon received her B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Miami in 2017. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in the in the Biomedical Engineering Department. Her research focuses on the use of therapeutic hypothermia to mitigate cochlear injury from over-exposure to noise.

Lab: Sensory Electrophysiology Laboratory

Advisor: Dr.…

Photo of Aaron Stock Aaron Stock Research Assistant

Aaron Stock was born in Belize City, Belize, and received an AS degree in Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry from St. John’s College in 2013. He graduated from Saint Louis University (St. Louis, MO) in 2016, with a BS in Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry, and a minor in Engineering Mathematics. In June 2016, he joined the Immunoengineering Lab at the Diabetes Research Institute at the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine, where he is pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering under the direction of Dr.…

Photo of Zenith Acosta Torres Zenith Torres Research Assistant

Zenith Acosta Torres received her B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Florida International University and her M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Miami. She is currently pursuing her PhD at the Nasser Al-Rashid Orbital Vision Research Center at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Zenith’s research is focused on optimizing stem cell-derived retinal progenitor cell differentiation and expansion for stem cell therapy, disease modeling and drug screening platforms.…

Photo of Siobhan Williams Siobhan Williams Research Assistant

Siobhan Williams is an international Ph.D. student from the Bahamas. Prior to enrolling in the accelerated B.S. to Ph.D. program, she received her B.S. at the University of Miami, Coral Gables. Siobhan pursues her research interests in image segmentation, quantitative image analysis, software development, and data management at the Ophthalmic Biophysics Center under the mentorship of Dr.…

Photo of Ziqian Xie Ziqian Xie Research Assistant

Bio: Ziqian Xie received his B.Sc. Degree in Applied Physics from Sichuan University, Chengdu. He joined the Neural Interfaces Lab in 2013, where he is currently pursuing his Ph.D. Ziqian’s research is focused on the development of decoding algorithms for the brain computer interface.

Lab: Neural Interfaces Laboratory

Advisor: Dr.…

Photo of Keying “Karen” Xu Keying Xu Teaching Assistant

Keying Xu received her B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2009 from Capital Medical University, China and her M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2013 from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Medical Physics in BME and a teaching assistant at UM. Her research interests include gold nanoparticle enhanced optical imaging and small animal irradiation systems.…

Photo of Xue “Sherry” Yin Xue Yin Teaching Assistant

Xue Yin received her B.S. degree with Magna Cum Laude in Bioengineering in George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. She joined the Mechanobiology Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami in 2014, where she is currently pursuing her Ph.D. Xue’s research focuses on the development of quantitative models to analyze the nutritional and mechanical factors involved in intervertebral disc cell metabolism and treatment strategies.…

Yuwei Zhou Research Assistant

Yuwei Zhou received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Southeast University, China, and her M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Engineering, specializing in Medical Physics, at the University of Miami since 2017. Her research interests include image processing, machine learning, and tumor modeling.…

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