Meet UW’s Molecular Engineers!
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.
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.
Ruihong Wang graduated with a BS Chemical Engineering: Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering from UW..
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.
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.
Jason Fontana graduated with a BS in Biomolecular and a MS in Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology both from U. Trento, (Italy).
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
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.
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.
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.
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)
Chun-Chih (Luke) Huang
Chun-Chih (Luke) Huang graduated with a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan U., Taiwan.
PI: Hugh Hillhouse (ChemE)
Research Experience: Colloidal research for ink preparation, thin film fabrication via inkjet printing process, and development of sensing arrays based on inkjet-printed thin films.
Interests: Colloidal and Interfacial Sciences, Nanotechnology and Energy Conversion.
Publications: 3 academic papers (as first author) published in international journals.
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.
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'.
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.
Daniel Lee graduated with a BS in Chemistry and Chemical Biology, 2nd major in Psychology from Cornell University.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Phuc (Sam) Nguyen
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
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
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.
Theodore Cohen graduated with a BS in Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis (MO).
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.
Ben Tickman graduated with a triple major in Biochemistry; Chemistry; and Physics: Biophysics from the UW.
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).
Alex graduated from UC San Diego with a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry.
Current Interests: Dynamic regulation of metabolic pathways, synthetic biosystem engineering, gene regulation and signaling, protein engineering, and genome scale metabolic modeling.
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.
Research Experience: Small molecule synthesis, polymer synthesis by ATRP, crosslinking of polymers containing 1-functionalized benzocyclobutene via photochemistry.
Interests: Polymer synthesis and characterization, biomaterials, 3D printing, organic semi-conductors.
Eric Yang graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a major in Biochemistry and minors in Biology and Philosophy.
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.
Nathan graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelors Degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering.
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.
Rene graduated from National Taiwan University with a Bachelors Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science and Medical Biotechnology.
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.
Fatima graduated from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education with a Bachelors Degree in Biotechnology Engineering.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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, drug delivery, cancer therapeutics, genetics, gene regulation and signaling, microbiology.
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.
Hao received a Bachelors Degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Georgia Tech and a MS in Materials Science and Engineering from the UW.
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.
Michael graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelors Degree in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering.
Current Interests: Synthetic Biology, Genomics, Protein Engineering, Drug Delivery, Bioprospecting, Biosensors, Microbiology, Medical Diagnostics, Therapeutics, Genetic Engineering.
Jorge Cardozo graduated with a BS in Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Florida.
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.
Kacper Lachowski graduated with a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (IL).
Research Experience: Thin and flexible electronics for therapeutic and optogenetic applications. Redox reactions across conductive polymer membranes.
Interests: Polymer synthesis and characterization for drug delivery, imaging, energy storage/generation, biosensors.
Julian Freedland graduated with a BS in Nanoscale science, and a BS in Mathematics, from the State University of New York at Albany.
Research Experience: 3 years of genetics research with budding yeast.
Interests: I dig the fusion of mathematics, physics, and data analysis with biology. Outside of that, I'm a jazz percussionist, absolutely love movies, and am a self-proclaimed semi-professional thrift store shopper.
Publications: J. Freedland, C. Cera, and M. Fasullo, “CYP1A1 I462V polymorphism is associated with reduced genotoxicity in yeast despite positive association with increased cancer risk,” Mutat. Res. Toxicol. Environ. Mutagen., vol. 815, pp. 35–43, Mar 2017.
M. Fasullo, J. Freedland, C. Cera, P. Egner, M. Hartog, and X. Ding, “An in vitro system for measuring genotoxicity mediated by human CYP3A4 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae,” Environ. Mol. Mutagen., vol. 58, pp. 217–227, May 2017.