Active Members

Principal Investigator

Ashutosh Chilkoti

Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Alan L. Kaganov Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Staff Members

Angus Hucknall

Senior Research Scientist

Angus develops diagnostic devices that utilizing nonfouling polymer brush surface coatings.

Xinghai Li

Research Technician

Xinghai is a research technician working with Wenge on animal model design, drug delivery, and protein radio labels. He comes from Beijing by way of Chapel Hill where he worked in a lab at UNC-CH doing molecular biology. Xinghai enjoys Durham and Duke so far; when he's not working he likes to read, swim or perhaps play a game of Go.

Krissey Eutsey Lloyd

Lab Manager

Krissey is the lab manager.  She is originally from PA and has been working at Duke since 2004.  She spends her free time with her family, gardening, or catching up on a good book. 

Post-Doctoral Researchers

Davoud Mozhdehi

Davoud completed his graduate work at UC Irvine (Zot Zot Zot!) where he initially worked on peptide folding and ended up with the synthesis of self-healing polymers. Outside the lab, he can be found either listening to Louis CK’s rants or watching shows like “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” while wondering about the mysteries of the universe.


Soumen Saha

Soumen came from the land of Vedas (India). He has done his bachelors (2008) and masters (2010) in chemistry from University of Calcutta, India. He has completed his Ph.D. thesis work (2016) from CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, India. His Ph.D. thesis work is entitled “Combating Glioblastoma And Colon Cancer By Tumor Targeted New Liposomal Drug Carriers In Combination With In Vivo Dendritic Cell Targeted DNA Vaccination.” Apart from research he likes to play cricket and watch movies. He am a big fan of Sachin Tendulkar and Federer.

Graduate Students

Samagya Banskota

Samagya is from the land of Yetis (a.k.a. Nepal). Before joining Duke, she was an undergraduate Bioengineering student at Penn State. She is interested in the development of protein polymer conjugates for delivery of therapeutics. She is a big tennis fan and spends her time outside the lab thinking about tennis. The rumor has it that she even flew down under to Melbourne to watch tennis.

Simone Costa

Simone is from Pittsburgh, PA (Go Pens!) and went to Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied Biology. She is interested in incorporating non-canonical amino acids into ELP. Outside of lab she enjoys cleaning, drinking coffee, rereading any of the Harry Potter books, and playing with her two cats and dog.

Michael Dzuricky

Michael comes to the lab from Cleveland, where he earned a BME degree from Case Western Reserve University and worked at Athersys Inc. He is interested in discovering new ELP applications through modulation of their morphology and biological activity.  Outside the lab Michael enjoys cooking, reading, playing the cello, taking intramurals much too seriously (especially soccer) and enjoying the NC weather/climate anyway possible.

Cassio Mendes Fontes

Cassio is from Belo Horizonte Brazil and has a double major in Electronic Engineering and Pharmacy/Biochemistry and a Masters in Electric Engineering. He founded and ran as CEO a GMP certified diagnostics company in Brazil with over 80 FDA approved products. He is working with Angus on some top secret research. Outside the lab he likes to lift weights and hang with his first year friends.  Believe it or not, he actually prefers American football over football (soccer)!

Caslin Gilroy

Caslin is from Corvallis, Oregon and studied bioengineering at OSU (the OSU in Oregon). She is working on secreting ELP-conjugated drugs from E. coli for cancer therapy. Outside of lab she can be found cooking, baking, eating, exercising, quoting Arrested Development, and perpetuating Portlandia stereotypes (reference the "Lumberjack Softball" photo).

Daniel Joh

Daniel is from Anaheim, California. He is an MD-PhD candidate in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Duke.  Daniel joined Dr. Chilkoti's team to help develop low-cost, fully-printed diagnostic tests that would identify disease at "point-of-care".  Outside the lab, he enjoys exercise, ping-pong, cooking, and hanging out with his wife Jane and his dog Perry.

Garrett Kelly


Garrett is working with Joe on assay development for drug delivery applications. He is a Duke graduate who majored in biomedical engineering. Outside of the lab he enjoys playing the ukulele, doing puzzles, building things, playing just about any type of sport.

Kelli Luginbuhl

Kelli came to the lab from Colorado and will be continuing Mira's work on diabetes drug delivery and design. In her limited spare time she enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, dancing, and old lady hobbies like scrapbooking and sewing.

Leah Machlin

Leah is a Professional Master of Engineering student studying Biomedical Engineering. She is originally from Fort Myers, Florida and went to the University of Miami for her undergraduate studies also in BME. This spring, she and Davoud Mozhdehi Ph.D. are working to introduce functional changes to the ELPs by phosphorylation. Recognition sequences for kinases will be engineered into existing ELP sequences. When the peptide is mixed with the complementary kinase and ATP, the addition of phosphate group will trigger changes to the peptides such as: self-assembly and phase separation.

Mandana Manzari

Mandana was an undergrad in chemical and biological engineering at MIT, after which she spent a year at Eleven Biotherapeutics where she conducted protein engineering research. She's interested in drug delivery in the context of cancer therapeutics. Outside of lab, she likes to dance, write and perform poetry, and learn about different cultures through food and music.

Junseon Min

Junseon is from South Korea. She studied bioengineering and biomedical sciences as an undergraduate and a Master’s student. She is interested in developing protein-based biomaterials. Her goal is to utilize her knowledge and experience to make a better world in the near future. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, surfing the internet, watching sports games, eating delicious food and traveling to collect nice stamps around the world.

Imran Ozer

Imran is from Turkey and majored in Bioengineering, and has a Masters degree in Biotechnology. She is interested in the development of protein-polymer conjugates. Outside the lab, she loves traveling and spending time outdoors.

Stefan Roberts

Stefan was a BME undergraduate at Washington University and is currently working on developing tumor targeted peptide polymers with thermo-responsive behavior. Outside of science, he can be found playing any number of sports, with a particular fondness for soccer and disc golf. Stefan also enjoys camping, calligraphy, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of vintage PEZ dispensers.

Jeff Schaal

Jeff studied chemical engineering as an undergraduate at Notre Dame. He has joined the lab to help Wenge perform animal trials in testing ELP radiotherapy for prostate cancer. In his spare time, he can be found playing soccer, trying to learn Tae Kwon Do, or just enjoying the outdoors.

Joseph Simon

Joe studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota and currently is working on programmable protein-based materials for cancer therapy. Outside of science, he enjoys playing soccer, golfing, hiking, and camping.

Nicholas Tang

Nick was also a Duke Undergrad (BME and EE). He has joined the lab with a background in synthetic biology and is working on applying high throughput technologies to the world of peptide polymers. His hobbies include running, cycling, going to jazz performances, and playing violin/piano.

Isaac Weitzhandler

Isaac studied Chemical Engineering as an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, and is currently investigating the self-assembly properties of elastin-like polypeptides. In his spare time he enjoys playing tennis, running, and reading. He is a proud supporter of USC Trojan football, Duke basketball, and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Parisa Yousefpour

Parisa has come from Iran to work with us. She has a Masters in Biotechnology, and she is interested in working on drug delivery systems for cancer therapy. She also plays the santur!

Undergraduate Students

Rohan Achar

Rohan is a Pratt Fellow from Cleveland, Ohio and is studying biomedical engineering and computer science, while following a pre-med track. He is currently working with Cassio to develop novel immunodiagnostic systems. In his free time, he enjoys watching TV, playing ping pong, and rooting for Cleveland sports teams.

Faris Albarghouthi

Faris is a Class of 2019 undergrad from Saudi Arabia. He is a Biomedical Engineering major on the pre-med track and is working with Daniel on polymer interfaces. His hobbies include reading, playing guitar and watching movies. 

Rebecca Blair

Rebecca is a pre-med member of the Class of 2018 double majoring in Biology and Political Science. She works with Daniel Joh developing applications for the D4 Immunoassay. Outside of lab, Rebecca enjoys being a Cameron Crazie and is a member of Duke Mock Trial.

Kristen Buehne

Kristen is a pre-med student studying biology and religion. She is a St. Louis native, and is working in the lab with Davoud. Outside of school, she loves to run, watch movies, and attend Duke Basketball games.


Paige Detwiler

Paige is from San Diego, CA.  She is currently majoring in Biomedical Engineering with minors in Global Health and Evolutionary Anthropology.  Among Duke's campus, she is also involved with the Ski and Board Team and Engineering World Health.  

Jay Gupta

Jay is an undergraduate student (Class of 2020) from Northern Virginia, who is interested in studying Biomedical Engineering on the pre-med track. He is working with Daniel to develop global health applications for the D4 immunoassay. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing piano, biking, and listening to music.

Freddy Huang

Freddy is a biomedical engineering major working with Davoud. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the piano, watching tv shows, and sleeping.

Nadia Kirmani

Nadia is a pre-med student, class of 2019, from Orlando, Florida interested in studying chemistry, global health, and English literature. She is working in the lab with Samagya. In her free time, she enjoys playing violin, piano, and harp in performance groups at Duke, composing music, painting, and reading.

Camden Kronhaus

Camden is a high school student from Chapel Hill, NC going into his senior year at Durham Academy. He will be working in the lab with Dan. He enjoys watching TV, skiing, and traveling.

Enoch Kuan

Enoch is a Cary Academy student from Cary, NC.  He is working in the lab with Paige. Outside of school, he enjoys playing soccer, baseball, violin, and hanging out with his friends.

Nicholas Kuzma

Nicholas is a North Carolina School of Science and Math high school student from Pinehurst, NC. He is working with Cassio. Outside of school, he loves to play tennis and hang out with his two sisters, Anna and Nora.

Mae Lewis

Mae is studying Biomedical Engineering (Class of 2018). She is working under Davoud on the thermo-responsiveness of elastin polypeptides.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, travelling, and spending time outdoors.

Kelsey Li

Kelsey is a Biomedical Engineering major (Class of 2019) from Atlanta, Georgia. She is working in lab with Cassio. In her free time, she loves to hike, watch Netflix, and travel. 

Jason Liu

Jason is a BME undergrad from Hockessin, Delaware. He is a Pratt Fellow, working with Simone to synthesize an immunotoxin-ELP and full-length antibody fusion protein for the treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme. In his free time, he likes to tinker and make things, and enjoys skiing, volleyball, and longboarding.

Meggie Lund

Meggie is a biomedical engineering major (Class of 2017) from Villa Hills, KY. She will be working in the lab with Cassio. In her spare time, she enjoys watching Christmas movies, running, and learning how to cook.

Vincent Miao

Vincent is a biomedical engineering major in the class of 2018 from Sharon, Massachusetts working in the lab with Stefan. Outside of academics, he is president of Duke Club Sailing and enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling in his free time.

Chandler Moore

Chandler is from Milton, Georgia and is currently interested in studying neuroscience, global health, and Spanish. She is working with Mandana on cancer-focused drug delivery projects. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, spending time outdoors, reading, and listening to music.

Victoria Nguyen

Victoria is a senior at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and is from Durham, NC. She will be working with Mandana in the lab on a drug delivery project. She enjoys reading, running, and watching Grey's Anatomy.

Varun Prasad

Varun is in the class of 2017 studying biomedical engineering and following a pre-med track. He lives in Franklin, TN, and outside of school, he enjoys playing and watching sports, listening to music, and playing video games. He will be working with Parisa in the lab.


Abdulla Shahid

Abdulla is from Woodbridge, VA and is currently studying Computer Science and Biology (Class of 2020). He is working with Michael on discovering new applications of ELPs. In his free time, he enjoys playing/watching basketball, fishing, and creating iPhone apps.

Rachel Skelton

Rachel is from Irvine, California, and is studying neuroscience and global health. She is currently assisting Mandana in drug delivery of cancer therapeutics. She enjoys dancing, learning about Korean, Chinese, and Japanese cultures, and performing with the Duke University Marching Band.

Rishi Subrahmanyan

Rishi is studying biomedical engineering (Class of 2018) and will be working in the lab with Parisa. He is from Lake Oswego, Oregon, and is a huge basketball/sports fan (Go Trail Blazers)! He enjoys composing music instrumentals in his free time.

Sinan Xiong

Sinan is from Beijing, China. She received her B. Eng in Biomedical Engineering from National University of Singapore. She is interested in developing drug delivery systems based on elastin-like polypeptides. In her free time, she enjoys reading novels, listening to music and traveling with friends.

Zack Zimmers

Zack is a senior undergrad studying biomedical engineering.  His work in the Chilkoti Lab has covered synthesis of non-fouling surfaces, immunoassays, optics, and 3D modeling.

Research Technicians

Yeong-ran (Lucie) Ahn

Yeong-ran Ahn (pronounced YOUNG Nan, A.K.A. "Lucie") is a recent Duke graduate who majored in Biomedical Engineering and used to work with Parisa on a drug delivery project. She will be working with Parisa again for her Canine Project.