Tian Research Group: People

Research Group Members:

Principal Investigator:

Bozhi Tian:

Bozhi Tian

Bozhi Tian

Email: Bozhi Tian

Dr. Tian received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, and the A. M. and Ph. D. degrees in physical chemistry from Harvard University in 2010, Cambridge, MA. His Ph.D. research with Professor Charles Lieber include new nanowire materials synthesis, the fundamental study of high performance nanowire photovoltaics and the application of novel nanowire devices in cells and tissue. He worked with Professors Daniel Kohane and Robert Langer as a postdoctoral scholar in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Dr. Tian started as an assistant professor in physical chemistry division in July 2012. His current research focuses on the semiconductor-enabled fundamental understanding of subcellular biophysics and soft matter dynamics. He has benefited greatly from working with a remarkable group of dedicated scientists, engineers and medical doctors. His goal at the University of Chicago is to convey to his students and postdocs the same passion, drive, insight and work ethic that his mentors instilled in him. Dr. Tianís accolades during his independent career include Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) (2016), NIH new innovator award (2016), ONR young investigator award (2016), Sloan fellowship (2016), ONR director of research early career award (2015), AFOSR young investigator award (2015), Kavli fellow (2015), NSF CAREER award (2013), Searle Scholar award (2013), and TR35 honoree (2012).

Post Doctoral Researchers:

Jaeseok Yi, PhD:


Jaeseok Yi

July 2015

Email: Jaeseok Yi

Jaeseok Yi received his B.S. and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Hanyang University. During his PhD, he studied the fundamental behavior of 1D and 2D semiconductor nanomaterials (nanowire, nanorod, graphene) and their applications in high-performance electronic devices including TFTs, LEDs, chemical sensors, photovoltaics. In 2015, he joined Tian's group and started his postdoctoral research in University of Chicago. His research interest includes synthesis and properties of nanostructures, and novel applications for bio-nano hybrid electronics.

Yin Fang, PhD:


Yin Fang

July 2015

Email: Yin Fang

Yin Fang obtained his B.S. and Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Fudan University. During his PhD, he studied the synthesis of inorganic nanomaterials and explored their bio-engineering related applications (biosensing, controlled drug release and photothermal cancer cell therapy). In 2015, he joined Tian's group and started his postdoctoral research in the James Franck Institute, University of Chicago. His research interest includes synthesis of novel nanostructures, and explore applications at the bio-nano interface.

Menahem (Hemi) Rotenberg, PhD:


Hemi Rotenberg

September 2016

Email: Hemi Rotenberg

Hemi Rotenberg received his BSc, MSc and PhD in Biotechnology Engineering from Ben Gurion University, Israel. During his MSc, he designed a perfusion bioreactor that allowed simultaneous shear stress optimization on 3D cellular constructs. In his PhD, he worked on a new modality for noninvasive temporary heart pacing using magnetic microparticles. In 2016, he joined the Tian Lab as a postdoc at the James Franck Institute, at the University of Chicago. He is working on in vivo cardiac stimulation using silicon nanowires. He enjoys riding his bicycles and playing soccer.

Xiang Gao, PhD:


Xiang Gao

October 2016

Email: Xiang Gao

Xiang Gao obtained his B.S. in Biology form Hubei University of Technology. He received his PhD in Microbiology from the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. During his PhD program, he focused on microbial engineering for the production of biochemicals, especially terpenoids. He engineered and optimized the isoprene biosynthetic pathway both in cyanobacteria and E.coli. In 2016, he joined Professor Tian's group and started his postdoctoral research at the James Franck Institute, University of Chicago. He is working on the interaction between semiconductor devices and microbial systems.

Yin Fang, PhD:


Yin Fang

Jan 2017

Email: Yin Fang

Yin Fang received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Florida in 2016. His Ph.D. research focused on the self-assembled photonic crystals, shape memory polymers, smart windows and the plasmonic sensing in photonic structures. He accolades during his Ph.D. include MRS graduate student award (2015), Chinese government award for outstanding self-financed Ph.D. students (2016). In 2017, he joined Tian's group and started his postdoctoral research in the James Franck Institute, University of Chicago. His research focuses on using the semiconductor-hydrogel composite to study the bio interface.

Graduate Students:

Yuanwen Jiang:

Yuanwen Jiang

Yuanwen Jiang

Dec. 2012

Email: Yuanwen Jiang

Yuanwen Jiang is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, entering the University of Chicago after receiving his B.S. degree in chemistry from Nanjing University, China in 2012. His undergraduate research focused on the synthesis and properties of inorganic nanomaterials. He is now seeking a deeper understanding in the biological applications of nanomaterials. Yuanwen was a Seymour Goodman fellow, a Harper Dissertation Fellow (one of the highest honors for graduate students at UChicago), and a Frances E. Knock Scholar. He also received the Elizabeth R. Norton Prize for Excellence in Research in Chemistry, and the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad.

Ramya Parameswaran:

Ramya Parameswaran

Ramya Parameswaran

Mar. 2014

Email: Ramya

Ramya Parameswaran grew up in Moraga, CA. She received a BS with Honors in chemical engineering in 2010 and an MS in chemical engineering in 2011, both from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, she studied mouse models of lymphoma in the Felsher Laboratory. Prior to joining the University of Chicago's Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in 2012, she worked as a research associate in the Weiss Laboratory at UCSF studying B cell development and anergy. She is currently doing her PhD in the biophysical sciences in both the Tian and Adams Laboratories studying the role that the T cell receptor (TCR) may play as a voltage sensing protein in TCR triggering events. Ramya was a class 2014 Soros Fellow and is currently an NIH F30 fellowship awardee.

Hector Acaron Ledesma:

Hector Ledesma

Hector Ledesma

Mar. 2014

Email: Hector Ledesma

Hector Acaron Ledesma grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He graduated with honors from Cornell University in 2013 with a BS in biological engineering. He worked with Dan Luo as an undergraduate and his researched focused on using branched DNA nanostructures for the development of novel hydrogel materials and reporter molecules for diagnostics. He is currently doing his PhD in the biophysical sciences at the University of Chicago and plans to use semiconductor nanomaterials to study various cellular and developmental processes. On his free time, he enjoys live music and ethnic food. Hector is a class 2014 NSF graduate student fellow.

Kelliann Koehler:

Hector Ledesma

Kelliann Koehler

July 2014

Email: Kelliann Koehler

Kelliann Koehler began her undergraduate work at the University of Florida in 2009. She transferred to Northeastern University and graduated with a BS in chemistry in 2013. As an undergraduate, she worked at the Center for Drug Discovery with a focus on HPLC method development and small molecule drug synthesis. Before beginning her graduate program at the University of Chicago, Kelliann worked in the polymer research group at E-ink and with lateral flow antibiotic test kits at Charm Sciences. In 2014, Kelliann began her graduate work at the University of Chicago with a focus in inorganic chemistry. Kelliann was an NIH Chem-bio Interface fellow, and is currently the Helen Sellei-Beretvas Fellow.

Andrew Phillips:

Andrew Phillips

Andrew Phillips

Dec. 2015

Email: Andrew Phillips

Andrew Phillips grew up in Novi, Michigan. He received a BSChem degree in chemistry in 2013 from the University of Michigan, working in the Banaszak Holl lab on targeted drug delivery. In 2014, he received an MSE in Macromolecular Science and Engineering, also from the University of Michigan, working with Professor Jinsang Kim on biosensors. Before entering the University of Chicago in 2015 to pursue a PhD in chemistry, Andrew worked as a research associate in the Kim and Tewari labs at UM on developing low-cost diagnostic platforms for new biomarkers. Andrew is an NIH Chem-Bio fellow.

Youjin Lee:

Youjin Lee

Youjin Lee

Dec. 2015

Email: Youjin Lee

Youjin grew up in South Korea. She received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 2015. In her undergraduate research she studied the charge transfer rate and radiative recombination rate of core-shell quantum dots in Alivisatos group. Now in the Tian group she is studying the fluid dynamics of silicon nanomaterials.

Vishnu Nair:

Vishnu Nair

Vishnu Nair

Dec. 2016

Email: Vishnu Nair

Vishnu grew up in Cochin, Kerala, India. After clearing the IIT-JEE exam in 2011 he joined Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and graduated in 2016 with an Integrated BS/MS in Chemistry with minors in Electrical Engg. and Physics. Towards his Master's thesis he worked on synthesis and optoelectronic applications of two dimensional nanostructure based hybrids, under the guidance of Prof. Subramaniam. Prior to this he worked under Prof. Aslam where he used fundamental electrochemistry to study electron tunneling in colloidal quaternary semiconductor quantum dots and carbon nano-onions. Currently in Tian group he is working towards his PhD in Materials Chemistry. In his free time, he enjoys playing the bamboo flute and performs Carnatic Music and Bharatanatyam (a South Indian dance form).

Undergraduate Students:

John Hickernell:


John Hickernell

July 2014

Email: John Hickernell

John Hickernell is a UChicago undergraduate from Hong Kong and Hinsdale, IL. He got a B.S. degree in chemistry and biological chemistry. Currently he is studying silicon nanostructures and their use in biomaterials. In his free time, he likes to play guitar, volunteer at the hospital, and drink bubble tea.

Dara Weiss:


Dara Weiss

Jan 2016

Email: Dara Weiss

Dara Weiss is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Chicago majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Portuguese. She is originally from Miami, FL. Her research interests include silicon nanowire synthesis and biological application of other silicon materials. In her free time, she enjoys reading, makeup artistry, and playing piano. Dara received the 2017 Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry from American Chemical Society.

Michael Burke:


Michael Burke

Jan 2016

Email: Michael Burke

Michael Burke is a UChicago undergraduate from New Jersey and got a B.S. Degree in Chemistry with honors. He is studying the use of p-i-n silicon nanowires to affect cellular functions. His other passions include trying to make his summary not sound like a bad online dating profile, convincing people he has good music taste, and napping.

George Freyermuth:


George Freyermuth

July 2016

Email: George

George Freyermuth is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Chicago majoring in Economics and minoring in Korean. He is interested in biological applications of silicon nanowires and silicon nanowire devices for medical use. In his free time, he enjoys reading, fashion, cooking, and politics.

Former Members:

Graduate Students

John Zimmerman (Doctoral Student):

John Zimmerman

John Zimmerman

July 2012

Email: John

Post doctorate researcher at Harvard University in Kit Parker's lab; Organ Design and Engineering Training Program Fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Born and raised in Seattle, WA, John Zimmerman graduated from Whitman college in 2011, receiving his bachelor's in chemistry. During his undergraduate, he investigated purification platforms of the protein PcpA, for use in microbatch x-ray crystallography under Tim Machonkin. He entered the University of Chicago's Ph.D program in chemistry, during the fall of 2011, with a focus in inorganic chemistry. John is a class of 2013 CBC scholar.

Victoria Fisher (Master's Student):


Victoria Fisher

Jan. 2014

In 2014 Victoria Fischer completed a Master of Science in the Physical Sciences with a chemistry focus and is now attending George-Town medical school with an Army Health Professions Scholarship. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Professional studies. As an undergraduate, she conducted research in a physiology laboratory that primarily focused on the effect of oxytocin on human bodily responses and behavior.

Postdoctoral fellows and Visiting Scholars

Dr Zhiqiang Luo: (Post Doctoral Researcher)


Zhiqiang Luo

Professor, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China

luoerzq [at] Hotmail [dot] com

Dr. Luo obtained his B.S. and M.S. in materials science and engineering from Northeastern University and Zhejiang University, respectively, in China. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, studying the synthesis and spectroscopy characterization of low dimensional carbon materials, including graphene and single-walled carbon nanotubes. After one year's postdoctoral research on device physics of organic electronics in the James Franck Institute, the University of Chicago, he joined Tian's group working on the synthesis of novel semiconductor materials and nanoelectronic exploration of cellular systems. In 2016, Dr. Luo received the prestigious 1000 Young Talent award from P.R.China.

Raymond Wong (Post Doctoral Researcher):


Raymond Wong

Mar. 2014

Scientific officer, PolyU in Hong Kong.

Ray was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada. He received the B.Eng. degree in electrical engineering from McMaster University, Canada, and M.Sc.Eng. degree from the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, the University of New Brunswick, Canada. He obtained his Ph.D degree from the Australian National University, Australia, studied the retinal ganglion cell physiology and worked on the development of epirentinal prosthesis. He joined the Tian lab to explore the application of nanotechnology in neuroscience. He enjoys reading, martial arts and music.

Yucai Wang (Post Doctoral Researcher):


Yucai Wang

Oct. 2012

Professor, the University of Science and Technology of China, China

Dr. Wang was born in Fujian, China. He received the B.S. (2005) and Ph.D. (2010) degrees in chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China. His Ph.D. research in Prof. Jun Wang's group was focused on the controlled syntheses of polyphosphoesters and their bioapplications. He then worked with Professor Younan Xia as a postdoctoral scholar in the theranostic applications of gold nanocages. He joined the Tian group in January 2013, where he worked on calcite based nanoelectronic devices. In 2015, Yucai received the prestigious 1000 Young Talent award from P.R.China, and is now a full professor at the University of Science and Technology of China.

Dr Won Il Park (Visiting Professor):


Won Il Park:

July 2013

Won Il Park received his B.S. degree (2000) from Materials Science and Engineering at Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, and his Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from POSTECH in 2005. He then spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Charles M. Lieber's group at Harvard University. He started as an assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering in March 2007 at Hanyang University Seoul, Korea. Currently he is an associate professor at the same university and leading 'Nano Electronic and Photonic Laboratory'. As a visiting researcher in the Tian lab, he aims to explore the materials science interface between biological and physical systems, with a focus on the synthetic cellular interactions with nanoelectronics and the development of biomimetic nanoscale materials and devices.

Dr Michal Cifra (Visiting Professor):


Michal Cifra

August 2014

Dr. Cifra obtained his MSc. degree (2006) from Biomedical Engineering at the University of Zilina, Slovakia, and his Ph.D. degree (2009) from Radioelectronics, Czech Technical University in Prague. His postdoc project at the Institute of Photonics and Electronics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech republic, was focused on the research of cellular electrodynamics on the nanoscale. Currently he is a head of a newly established Bioelectrodynamics research team at the same institute. Michal is passionate about the research of biological endogenous electrodynamic and electronic phenomena and his current main interests are in microtubules, ultraweak photon emission and nanosensors. Dr. Cifra worked as a visiting researcher in Tian's lab from August 2014-2015, where he explored the interaction of tubulin and microtubules with functionalized synthetic silicon nanostructures as potential probes of subcellular electrodynamics.

Undergraduate Students

Luizetta Navrazhnykh:


Luizetta Navrazhnykh

July 2013

PhD student at Caltech

Luizetta Navrazhnykh was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago from Boca Raton, Florida and originally from St. Petersburg, Russia. She is majoring in chemistry with a minor in molecular engineering. In her spare time, she dances flamenco and enjoys biking along the lake.

Mohammed Munim :

Mohammed Munim

Mohammed Munim

July 2013

Mohammed Munim is a third year undergraduate student. While he was at the University of Chicago Laboratory High School, he competes as a member of the varsity math, science, and tennis teams. Under the guidance of his mentors at the Tian Lab, he studies the development of novel nanoscale materials and their bioelectronic applications. In his spare time, Mohammed enjoys reading, traveling, and following Chicago's sports teams.

Graeme Murray :

Graeme Murray

Graeme Murray

Sept. 2012

MD-PhD student at Virginia Commonwealth University

Murraygf [at] vcu [dot] edu

Born and raised in Seattle, WA, Graeme Murray obtained his bachelor's in Chemistry and Physics from the University of Chicago in 2014, completing his undergraduate research and thesis work in the Tian lab. After staying on as a research associate for another year, he is starting his M.D./Ph.D. training in the fall at Virginia Commonwealth University. In his spare time, Graeme enjoys racing bicycles and swimming.

Michael Paul :

Graeme Murray

Michael Paul

Oct. 2012

PhD student at Johns Hopkins University

Mpaul26 [at] jhu [dot] edu

Michael Paul completed his undergraduate education at the University of Chicago, double majoring in biochemistry and chemistry. He is now continuing his studies at Johns Hopkins University, working towards his doctorate in biophysics.