People

 

Principal Investigator

David Odde, Ph.D. 

David Odde

Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Associate Director, Strategic Research Initiatives, Institute for Engineering in Medicine

Ph.D. Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University 1995
M.S. Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University 1992
B.ChE. Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota 1988 

C.V.

Contact Information:
7-132 Nils Hasselmo Hall 
612-626-9980
[email protected]

Postdoctoral Fellows

Jay Hou, Ph.D.

Jay

Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University 2018
[email protected] 

Research Interests: Computational biomechanical and biophysical modeling of cell mechanics and dynamics within the extracellular matrix. I am working on the combination of cell migration simulator and tissue mechanical model to investigate the cell migration in 3D environment.

Roberto Alonso-Matilla, Ph.D.

Roberto

Ph.D. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California San Diego 2018
[email protected] 

Research Interests: Biological physics, cell migration, cell mechanics and cancer. I am particularly interested in studying migration of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells.

Graduate Students

Ghaidan Shamsan

Ghaidan

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, 2011
Program: Biomedical Engineering
[email protected]

Research Interests: I am interested in studying cell traction and migration in the context of brain tumor, Glioblastoma, using both experimental and computational methods.

Sarah Anderson

Sarah

B.S. Engineering, Harvey Mudd College, 2017
Program: Biomedical Engineering
[email protected]

Research Interests: I am studying the mechanics of glioma cell migration and how the cellular environment regulates this from both a computational and experimental perspective. 

Riley Manning

Photo of Riley

B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Alabama, 2018
Program: Biomedical Engineering
[email protected]

Research Interests: My research focuses on exploring migration and immune response differences between glioblastoma subtypes using in vivo and in vitro experimental methods as well as agent-based computational modeling. 

Nikolaos Memmos

[email protected]

Laboratory Affiliates and Staff

Mariah McMahon

Mariah

B.S. Biology, University of Minnesota, 2013
Researcher III
[email protected]

Research Interests: Studying tumor cell migration by imaging glioblastoma cells on varying degrees of substrate stiffness.

Brooke Braman

Brooke

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2018
[email protected] 

Research interests: I am working to characterize the in vivo proliferation of glioblastoma subtypes using bioluminescent imaging and statistical moment series analysis.

Former Lab Members

Brian Castle

Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota 2014
B.A. Biology, Gustavus Adolphus 2008 
[email protected] 

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of microtubule assembly dynamics and how they are regulated by MAPs and microtubule-targeting drugs.

Louis Prahl

Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota 2018

B.A. Physics, Lewis & Clark College, 2010
[email protected] 

Research Interests: I am developing physics-based models of cell migration involving the coordinated roles of microtubules and actin, and testing them experimentally in cells on engineered substrates of varying chemical and mechanical properties.

Mahya Hemmat

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, 2014
Program: Mechanical Engineering
[email protected]

Research Interests: I'm interested in investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying microtubule dynamics and their regulation by microtubule-associated proteins and microtubule-targeting drugs using both computational modeling and live cell imaging.

Lexi Doersch

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin—Madison 2018
Program: Biomedical Engineering
[email protected]

Research Interests: I am interested in studying microtubule dynamics in neurons and their regulation by microtubule-associated proteins, such as tau, from both an experimental and computational perspective. 

 

Keun-young (Kevin) Park

B.S. Chemistry, Sungkyunkwan University, 2006
M.S. Chemistry, Sungkyunkwan University, 2010 
Program: Chemistry (Advised by Dr. Mark Distefano)
[email protected]

Research Interests: I am studying platform materials to investigate the durotaxis of glioma cells. My main focus is creating stiffness gradients in polyacrylamide gels, which is done by incorporating photo-cleavable cross-linkers and controlling the amount of cleavage with photochemistry.

Maria Stanslaski

Senior, Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
[email protected] 

The effects of PDMS stiffness on the migration of glioma cells.

 

Jonathan Maleska

Senior, Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
[email protected] 

Research interests: I am investigating the effect of novel medulloblastoma driver genes on substrate stiffness sensing using traction force microscopy to better understand their impact on cancer cell migration.

Erik Tazegul

Senior, Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
[email protected] 

Research interests: I am working to elucidate certain physical parameter rules of U251 glioma cell migration for implementation in a cell migration simulator and developing a protrusion tracking software for data collection and analysis.

Matt Baxter

Senior, Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
[email protected] 

Research interests: I am investigating how the overexpression of two proto-oncogenes may impact a proneural cell's ability to adhere to a hydrogel and migrate in order to gain additional insight on medulloblastoma cancer migration.

Mikayla Baker

Junior, Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
[email protected] 

Research interests: I will be exploring whether or not the innate amount of motors/clutches in low-passage glioma cells is variable, and showing how altering the equilibrium affects migration. If variability occurs, I will research whether or not that component correlates to the subtype and/or location of tumor resection.

Brendan Herold

Sophomore, Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
[email protected] 

Research Interests: Studying the interplay between actin retrograde flow and cytoskeletal proteins in glioblastoma cell migration

Completed Postdoctoral Fellowships

Bruce Gao, Ph.D. University of Miami, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
2000-2003. 
Currently Associate Professor, Dept. of Bioengineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC. 
[email protected]

Theodore Tower, Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science 
2001-2002. 
Currently Technical Leader at Kimberly-Clark, Neenah, WI.
[email protected]

Erkan Tüzel, Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
2007-2009. 
Currently Assosciate Professor, Dept. of Physics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA.
[email protected]

Brannon McCullough, Ph.D. Yale University, Dept. of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry
2012-2015. 
Currently Lecturer, Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ.
[email protected]

Completed Ph.D. Degrees

Joseph Fass  
Thesis Title: “Investigation of neurite initiation and elongation for neural network engineering applications”
Program: Chemical Engineering, 2003
Currently Bioinformatics Programmer / Analyst, UC Davis Genome Center, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA.
[email protected]

Yaakov Nahmias  
Thesis Title: “Laser-guided direct writing for three-dimensional tissue engineering analysis and application of radiation forces”
Program: Biomedical Engineering, 2004
Currently Director, Center for Bioengineering and Dept. of Bioengineering, Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem, Israel.
[email protected]

Mauris DeSilva  
Thesis Title: “Investigation of micropatterning and micromechanical forces towards engineering neural networks with defined connectivity”
Program: Materials Science and Engineering, 2005
Currently Research Scientist, Naval Medical Research Unit, San Antonio, TX. 
[email protected]

Andrew Bicek  
Thesis Title: “Origin and consequences of microtubule bending in living cells”
Program: Biomedical Engineering, 2007
Currently Senior R&D Engineer, Boston Scientific, Inc., Maple Grove, MN. 
[email protected]

Melissa Gardner  
Thesis Title: “Modeling and analysis of microtubule-mediated chromosome transport during mitosis”
Program: Biomedical Engineering, 2008
Currently Assosciate Professor, Dept. of Genetics, Cell Biology, & Development, University of Minnesota. 
[email protected]

Clarence Chan  
Thesis Title: “Cellular adhesion dynamics: investigation of molecular clutch attachment and force transmission”
Program: Biomedical Engineering, 2008
Currently Principal Systems Engineer, Roche Molecular Systems, Pleasanton, CA. 
[email protected]

Dominique Seetapun  
Thesis Title: “Microtubule dynamics and neuronal polarity establishment during neurite initiation”
Program: Biomedical Engineering, 2011
Currently Senior R&D Scientist, Miromatrix Medical, Eden Prairie, MN. 
[email protected]

Brian Castle  
Thesis Title: “Multiscale modeling and analysis of microtubule self-assembly dynamics”
Program: Biomedical Engineering, 2014
Currently Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 
[email protected]

Benjamin Bangasser  
Thesis Title: “Optimality in the nanomechanics of cell migration and adhesion”
Program: Chemical Engineering, 2014
Currently Engineer III, Valspar Corporation, Minneapolis, MN 
[email protected]

Rebecca Markovitz (Klank) 
Thesis Title: “Physical determinants of glioma cell migration and disease progression”
Program: Biomedical Engineering, 2015
[email protected]

Emily Tubman 
Thesis Title: “Modeling and analysis of chromosome attachment error correction and congression during mitosis”
Program: Biomedical Engineering, 2016
Currently Program Manager - Scientific Affairs, Boston Scientific, Minneapolis, MN  
[email protected]

Louis Prahl 
Thesis Title: “Microtubule-based control of glioma cell migration”
Program: Biomedical Engineering, 2018
[email protected]

Chao Liu 
Thesis Title: "Label-free optical imaging to study brain connectivity and neuropathology"
Program: Biomedical Engineering, 2018 (Advised by Dr. Taner Akkin)
Currently postdoctoral fellow in Prakash Kara's lab at the University of Minnesota
[email protected]

Completed Master of Science Degrees

Joseph Powers  
Thesis Title: "The predicted role of stereospecificity in crowding-mediated effects on reversible biomolecular association" 
B.S. Physics, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, 2012 
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2012 
M.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2013 
Currently attends the University of Washington.
[email protected]

Khoa Cao  
Thesis Title: "Estimating mechanical differences between dorsal and ventral surfaces of U251 cells" 
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2015 
M.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2016 
[email protected]

Horacio Estabridis  
Thesis Title: "Experimental and simulated cell migration in 1D and 2D nanofiber microenvironments" 
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of California-Irvine, 2015 
M.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2016 
Currently employed by Teleflex Industries, Minneapolis, MN. 
[email protected]

Former Laboratory Staff

Andrew Gardeck
B.A. Physiology, University of Minnesota, 2014
Currently Researcher II, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. 
[email protected]  

Completed Bachelor of Science Degrees

Marcus Kelly
B.S. Biology, University of Minnesota, 2018
Currently attends the University of Minnesota in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
[email protected]

Patrick Bangasser
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2018
[email protected]

Jesse Kasim
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2016
Currently attends the University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, WI. 
[email protected] 

Matthew Hunt
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2016
Currently working in Research & Development at Boston Scientific.
[email protected]  

Divya Palanisamy
B.S. Neuroscience & Philosophy, University of Minnesota, 2015
Currently participating in Teach For America Corps. 
[email protected]  

Stephanie Vogeli
B.S. Biology, University of Minnesota, 2015
Currently attends Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Hempstead, NY. 
[email protected]

Shan Zhong
B.S. Biology, University of Minnesota, 2014
Currently attends University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN. 
[email protected] 

Kelsey McCoy  
B.S. Chemistry, University of Minnesota, 2014
Currently attends Columbia University, New York, NY.
[email protected] 

Benjamin Schlichtmann
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2014
Currently Research Technician, Miromatrix Medical, Eden Prairie, MN.
[email protected] 

Alistair McIntyre
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2013
Currently attends the University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA.
[email protected]

Benjamin Fuller
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2013
Currently attends the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison, WI.
[email protected] 

Aaron Lomicka
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2013
Currently Design Assurance Engineer, Boston Scientific, Maple Grove, MN. 
[email protected] 

Jordan Bernens
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2012 
Currently attends the West Virginia University School of Medicine, Lewisburg, WV.
[email protected] 

Kwaku Opoku
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2009 
B.A. Applied Science, Concordia College, Moorehead, MN 
Currently attends the University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
[email protected] 

Allison Claas
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2011 
Currently attends the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.
[email protected] 

Thomas Hoelkinger
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2012 
Currently Engineer at Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN.
[email protected] 

Former High School students

Nathan Hinson
Currently Attends Duke University, Durham, NC.
[email protected]