Alumni

Michael Asensio
Michael was part of the Bhargava group during his undergrad. He received his Master's Degree from UC Berkeley and currently works for GigaGen.

Dr. Hossain Azam
Research Assistant Professor, George Washington University January, 2013
Azam was a part of the Bhargava group from the Fall 2011 to December 2012. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2012. He received his M.S. degree (environmental engineering) from North Carolina State University (NCSU) and his B.S. degree (civil engineering) from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). During his Ph.D. work, Dr. Azam investigated phosphorus removal from wastewater systems. Deeply motivated by the immense applications of chemistry and biology in real-life problems, Dr. Azam wants to integrate chemical-imaging techniques, such as Raman and IR spectroscopy, for agricultural and environmental engineering applications. Some of the recent projects he worked on are “compositional analysis of whole soybean grain by transmission Raman spectroscopy,” and “IR imaging of soybean SDS toxin.” His research interests include chemical analysis and imaging of seeds/grains and toxin/contaminants, membrane processes for water and wastewater treatment, phosphorus removal/recovery from wastewater, algae for wastewater treatment, photocatalysis, and solar energy utilization together with the use of IR and Raman spectroscopy as advanced investigative/analytical tools.

Sreeradha Biswas
Sree joined the Bhargava group as a third-year graduate student in late January 2012. She worked on three projects: Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) imaging and histopathologic analysis of breast cancer tissues, Fourier transform infrared imaging and its use in histopathology and medicine, and collaborated with the Kenis group on time-resolved Fourier transform spectroscopic studies on protein folding.

Nicholas Boltuc
Nicholas was in the Bhargava group as a senior in bioengineering.

Spencer Brady
Spencer obtained his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering with distinction from Purdue in 2007. Spencer received a master's degree in electrical engineering working with Prof. Minh Do from ECE and Prof. Bhargava. His general research interests include multidimensional signal processing, wavelets, compressed sensing, and chemical imaging. His M.S. thesis work focused on sparse reconstruction, unmixing, and superresolution of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic data. Spencer joined Cisco upon graduation.

Xiong Kai (Ben) Chng
Ben earned his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013. His research interests include computed imaging and nonlinear inverse problems in the context of optics. He worked with Prof. Scott Carney and Prof. Rohit Bhargava on deriving the forward and inverse problems of four-wave mixing processes (e.g., stimulated Raman scattering) in inhomogeneous media and the associated applications from solving such problems.
He was in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering.

Olivia Cornell
Department of Bioengineering

Caroline Cvetkovic
Department of Bioengineering 
Caroline joined graduate school at the University of Illinois on an IGERT fellowship.

Dr. Brynmor Davis
Brynmor Davis received a B.E. degree (Hons. 1) in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, in 1999; an M.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Arizona, Tucson, in 2001; and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Boston University, Boston, in 2006. His research interests include inverse problems, statistical signal processing, electromagnetics and applications in optics (particularly microscopy), and acoustics. Bryn joined Creare, Inc. upon leaving the group.

Dr. Bradley Deutsch
Brad earned a Ph.D. in Optics in 2011 at the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics. His research involved nanoscale optics, with a Ph.D. emphasis on phase-shifting interferometry for near-field optical microscopy and nanoparticle detection. At Beckman he worked with Scott Carney and Rohit Bhargava of the Bioimaging Science and Technology group. Brad’s research interests include chemical imaging and probability, and his projects included a 3D mid-IR spectroscopic imaging technique, as well as methods for nanoscale holography. He was a Beckman Institute Fellow.

Dr. Brent DeVetter
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Spring 2016

Laura Jane Elgass
Laura was in the Bhargava group as a senior in engineering physics.

Charles Feng
Charles attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned his bachelor's degree in bioengineering in 2008. Having been part of the Bhargava group since his freshman year in college, he is now a master's student working towards a thesis, after which he will pursue graduate or medical school. His work involves the automated diagnosis of skin cancer using FTIR spectroscopy in addition to computational modeling of drug diffusion and its effects on cell activation and proliferation.

Melissa Hentges
Researcher
Melissa worked with the cell and tissue culture group members and helped administer the laboratory.

Dr. Sarah Holton
Department of Bioengineering and Medical Scholars Program
University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals, July 2016
Sarah earned her B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of South Carolina in 2008 and was awarded her M.S. degree in bioengineering from the University of Illinois in 2010 and her PhD in bioengineering from UIUC in 2013. She used three-dimensional cell culture models and FTIR spectroscopic imaging to understand epithelial-fibroblast interactions during breast cancer progression. Sarah completed her MD in 2016 and will now join the University of Washington as an internal medicine resident physician.

Jason Ip
Jason attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in bioengineering in 2007. His research focused on the automated histopathology of colon tissue images obtained using Fourier transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and imaging, the detection of specific biomolecules in surgically resected intestinal tissue, and the development of filtering components applicable in FTIR imaging instrumentation. He is at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Grace Kim
Grace received her B.S. in brain and cognitive sciences, minoring in biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009. Her research interest involves using imaging to study the mechanism of brain tumor development progression. She worked on developing a 3D cell coculture model of the brain as a biomimetic platform for her study of the molecular crosstalk between glioma cells and their microenvironment. She is a graduate student at the University of Illinois.

Lindsey King
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Anil Kodali
Anil attended Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Hyderabad for his bachelor of technology (BTech) degree in mechanical engineering and obtained a master of science (M.S.) degree in mechanical engineering prior to obtaining a Ph.D. degree with Prof. Bhargava. His research specifically focused in the development of optical contrast agents based on nanoparticles to be used in novel imaging modalities developed by the Bhargava group. Anil joined Intel upon graduation.

Dr. Matthew Kole
Matthew earned his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan in 2010 and his M.S. degree in bioengineering in 2012. His research focuses on developing spontaneous and stimulated Raman instrumentation for cell and tissue imaging. He was in the Bhargava Lab from 2010 until 2016 and now works for Agilent Technologies in California.

Dr. Rong Kong
Access Business Group Clinical Research Scientist, Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 2012
Rong earned his B.S. degree in biology from the University of Science and Technology of China, M.S. degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. in bioengineering at the University of Illinois. His research interests include cellular and tissue engineering as models for disease progression, drug diffusion, and FTIR spectroscopic imaging of static and dynamic biological processes. He is a clinical research scientist at Access Business Group.

Megan Koop
Megan was in the Bhargava group as a senior in engineering physics.

Dr. Jin Tae Kwak
Research Fellow, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, November 2012
Jin Tae received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Korea University, his M.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. His research focuses on developing computational tools for cancer diagnosis and prognosis from FTIR imaging. He is interested in discovering structural and spectral imaging markers for cancer. He was coadvised by Prof. Saurabh Sinha in computer science. He is a Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Beomjin Kwon
Beomjin was in mechanical science and engineering and was cosupervised by Prof. Bhargava and Prof. King from 2008 to 2013 for his Ph.D. degree. He is a scientist at KIST.

Dr. L. Suzanne Leslie
Suzanne joined the University of Illinois from the University of Rochester where she received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Optics. Suzanne used high-resolution Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic imaging of prostate and breast tissue to advance noninvasive cancer detection methods and investigate correlations between changes in tissue morphology and prognosis. She also investigated the application of FTIR imaging to lymphatic tissue to aid in the detection and diagnosis of lymphomas.

Jui-Nung Liu
Jui-Nung earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. His research focused on development of a novel infrared spectroscopy based on guided resonances in photonic crystal slabs (design/fabrication/characterizations) and its applications in biomedical optical imaging.
He was in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering.

Margie Mathewson
Margie was in the Bhargava group as a senior in bioengineering, and worked to determine the optimal polymeric backbone material for 3D tissue scaffolds. By finding degradation profiles, she could choose a material with characteristics compatible with the growth of multiple cell types. Her results was combined with those of several graduate students in the lab to make the final constructs.

Dr. David Mayerich
David was part of the Bhargava group as a Beckman Institute Fellow from 2009 to 2012. He is an assistant professor at the University of Houston.

Tan H. Nguyen
Tan was in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and was in the Bhargava group in 2011–2012, being cosupervised with Prof. Do. He is a graduate student at the University of Illinois.

Rohun Palekar
Department of Bioengineering 
Rohun focused on engineering multilayered nanoparticle structures for use in novel cancer diagnostic methods being developed by the Bhargava laboratory. He joined the graduate school of Washington University, St. Louis.

Prof. Keunhan Park
Keunhan worked on nanoscale imaging and thermal response of microcantilevers in the group. He left to become assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Rhode Island. He is presently at the University of Utah.

Dwani Patel 
Dwani was in the Bhargava group as a senior in the Department of Bioengineering. He worked with Brent DeVetter on gold nanoparticle synthesis, surface chemistry, and particle characterization. Dwani is also interested in developing novel targeted imaging strategies to assess complex diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Nell Pounder
Nell earned her B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 2005. Her research focused on developing methods to use Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for breast cancer histopathology analysis. She is interested in designing an automated method of assigning breast tumor grades and predicting patient prognosis.

Anusha Priya
Anusha worked on computer models and algorithms for histologic segmentation. She joined the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Wisconsin upon graduation.

Pratik Randeria
Undergraduate student, bioengineering
Pratik worked on nanoLAMP synthesis and joined Prof. Mirkin's group at Northwestern after graduation.

Dr. Rohith Reddy
Rohith received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in signal processing from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai, India. His research focused on creating and enhancing mid-infrared spectroscopic imaging techniques for biomedical applications. He developed methods for prostate and breast cancer detection using FTIR spectroscopic imaging. His work involved the conception and design of infrared tomography instrumentation and entailed a deep integration of theoretical, computational, and experimental aspects of optics. In recognition of his research in infrared imaging and spectroscopy, he received several national and international awards, including the Tomas Hirschfeld Award (2012), William G. Fateley Student Award (2011), Society of Applied Spectroscopy Student Award (2011), and Coblentz Student Award (2011) among others. He received his Ph.D. in May 2013. He is currently a Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School/Wellman Center for Photomedicine.

John Saunders
John was in the Bhargava group as a senior in bioengineering pursuing an electrical systems concentration. His postgraduate plans included obtaining a Ph.D. in bioengineering, with a focus on imaging. His research work included the development of a handheld infrared optical probe in order to perform real-time experiments on dynamic cell cultures.

Dr. Matthew Schulmerich
Matt joined the laboratories in 2009 after a working at SABIC Innovative Plastics (Formerly General Electric). Matthew received a B.S. degree in chemistry (2004) and a B.A. degree in biology (2004) from St. John Fisher College (Rochester, NY) and earned his Ph.D. in chemistry (2008) from the University of Michigan, where he used Raman spectroscopy, novel optical probe configurations, and multivariate signal processing to noninvasively recover spectra of targets below several millimeters of light scattering material, including plastics and tissue. His research included building instrumentation for spectroscopic mapping, imaging, and tomography. Matthew’s interests involved integrating IR and Raman methods in a multi-model approach to obtain accurate disease diagnosis of excised tissue. Towards this effort he developed dark-field Raman microscopy as a method for rejecting signal from substrate fluorescence. He also applied his expertise in transmission Raman spectroscopy to analysis of soybeans in a pilot study to assess the feasibility of using Raman measurements to quantify the concentrations of protein, oils, and amino acids in whole soybeans. Other research interests involved working with spectral basis sets to quantify tissue components by using multivariate signal processing. Matt's website can be found here.

Lauren Sheehy
Department of Bioengineering 
Lauren was in the Bhargava group as a junior in bioengineering. Her project involved designing three-dimensional cell culture models of breast tumors and analyzing stromal-epithelial interactions and their effects on cancer initiation and progression.

Dr. Gokulakrishnan Srinivasan
Gokul worked on spectrosocpic imaging development for histologic applications and joined Bruker Optics in Germany upon leaving the group. He is presently at PerkinElmer.

Dr. Thomas van Dijk
Thomas was part of the Bhargava group as a postdoc. He currently holds the position of Klinisch Fysicus i.o. (medical physicist in residence), Zorg & Informatie Technologie, Klinische Fysica & Klinische Informatica, Máxima Medisch Centrum, Veldhoven, The Netherlands

Dr. Michael Walsh
Visiting Assistant Professor, UIC, January 2013
Michael was part of the group from 2008–2013 and joined the University of Illinois from Lancaster University (United Kingdom) where he received his B.S. degree in biomedical sciences (Hons. 1) and a Ph.D. in infrared spectroscopy for cancer and stem cell identification. Michael was the first-ever Carle Foundation Hospital-Beckman Institute Fellow from 2008 to 2011 and continued as a postdoctoral researcher in the Beckman Institute, Michael's research plan focused on advancing noninvasive cancer-detection methods. His goals include finding ways to use imaging to automate the examination and classification of tissue in order to overcome many of the limitations that exist in current pathology methodologies. This could eventually reduce the time-consuming nature of diagnosis and it could also eliminate the operator bias that can lead to misdiagnosis. His research focuses on the automated classification of breast and prostate tissue microarrays for cancer diagnosis and toward developing infrared spectroscopy as a novel prognostic tool. Other research interests involve developing infrared spectroscopy for monitoring model cell systems.   

Jing Xu
Jing was in the Bhargava group from 2008 to 2010 and was cosupervised with Prof. Insana. She is at Aerotech, Inc.

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