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. 

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.

Post-Doctoral Researchers

Ali Eghtesadi

Ali attended Sharif University of Technology, doing his B.Sc in Chemistry and ultimately completed his Ph.D in Polymer Science at the University of Akron. His Ph.D. was focused on self-assembly of polyions into responsive nanostructures. Outside the lab he enjoys traveling, watching TV shows, swimming and playing volleyball.

Cristina Fernandez

Cristina was raised in Florida. She completed her dissertation work at Duke University in the lab of George Truskey, using rapidly producible tissue-engineered blood vessels to develop a microphysiological system for human drug and toxicity testing. Outside the lab, Cristina enjoys spending time outside, watching stand-up comedy specials and movies (but only good ones), and unveiling her hidden talent as a slightly above-average bowler.

Renpeng Gu

Renpeng came from China. He completed his dissertation work at Duke University in Stefan Zauscher's lab, studying synthesis and self-assembly of amphiphilic DNA copolymers. Outside the lab, Renpeng enjoys sketching.

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 standup comedies 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).

Jacob Heggestad

Jake studied chemical engineering as an undergraduate at Northwestern University. He is interested in further developing diagnostic devices for identifying disease and enhancing patient outcomes. Outside of lab, he enjoys traveling, playing basketball, and trying out new restaurants/food.

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.

Jason Liu

Jason is from Hockessin, Delaware. He was also a Duke BME undergrad. In his free time, he likes to tinker and make things, and enjoys skiing, volleyball, and longboarding.

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.

Daria Semeniak

Daria is from Russia. She earned her undergraduate and Master's degrees in biomedical engineering at the Ural Federal University. She came in the U.S. in 2015 as a Fulbright scholar and obtained her second Master's in BME at the University of Arkansas. Now, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Chilkoti's lab and working on point-of-care diagnostic devices. Outside of the lab, she loves snowboarding, traveling, and reading. 

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.

Anastasia Varanko

Anya studied Biological Engineering as an undergraduate at Cornell University. She is interested in using ELPs for the delivery of drugs and therapeutic proteins. Outside of lab, she enjoys dancing, hiking, cooking and exploring new places with friends.

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

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. 

Hakan Berk Aydin

Hakan is a Chemistry 3rd-year student from Izmir Institute of Technology – Turkey. He is interning with Cassio for 6 months. He loves cooking, whiskey tasting, listening to Tech-House classics and playing survival video games.

Amy Cheng

Amy is a biomedical engineering major (class of 2019) from Columbia, Maryland. She is a Grand Challenge Scholar investigating circulating tumor cell capture and diagnostics. Outside of engineering, she is a member of dance teams Street Medicine and Defining Movement, as well as an organizer for HackDuke.

Caroline Forster

Caroline is a Biochemistry and Computer Science double major from Connecticut, and is working with Samagya. She loves field hockey, art, and anything and everything Star Wars.

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.

Abhi Jadhav

Abhi is a biomedical engineering undergraduate student (Class of 2021) from Atlanta, Georgia. Besides engineering, Abhi is also interested in philosophy and computer science. He is working with Imran to develop protein-polymer conjugates for drug delivery. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing table tennis, reading books, and trying new foods with friends.

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.

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.

Shourya Kumar

Shourya is a Class of 2019 undergraduate from Dallas, Texas. He is pursuing majors in Biology and Global Health while on the pre-med track. In lab, he is working with Daniel to apply the D4 immunoassay technology in multiple global health settings. Outside of lab, he enjoys rock climbing, listening to music, and traveling.

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. 

Janice Liu

Janice is an undergraduate (Class of 2020) from Fairfield, Connecticut. She is working with Parisa. Outside of the lab, she enjoys running, reading, or playing her flute.

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.

Soham Patel

Soham is an undergraduate (Class of 2019) from New Jersey, who is majoring in Biomedical Engineering and minoring Finance. He is working under Samagya and Soumen in drug delivery systems for cancer therapy. Outside of lab, he enjoys playing basketball, poker, and investing.

Aditi Pilani

Aditi is an undergraduate student, class of 2020, interested in double majoring in biomedical and electrical engineering. She is working under Parisa in drug delivery systems for cancer therapy. At Duke, she is also a part of Lasya, Duke’s classical Indian dance team. In her free time, she enjoys running and listening to music.

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.

Joel Tewksbury

Joel Tewksbury is a BME major (Class of 2018) from Presque Isle, ME currently working under Parisa. His hobbies include biking, hiking, and kayaking. He also plays trombone in the Duke University Marching Band.

Siddharth Uppal

Siddharth is a B. Pharmacy (Hons) undergraduate student (Class of 2019) from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, India. He is here for 10 weeks as a part of the Khorana Program. He is working with Soumen and Samagya in exploring the use of recombinant polypeptide to deliver platinum based anticancer therapeutics. He enjoys hiking, exploring new places, playing chess and reading about Greek mythology.

Nate Watson

Nate is an undergraduate from Tampa, FL. He is studying Biomedical Engineering and is on the pre-med track. He is working with Daniel to use the Aerosol Jet printing system to develop fully-printed diagnostic systems. Outside of the lab, he enjoys reading, listening to music, and watching netflix.

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.

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.

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.