Research Group Members:
Bozhi TianEmail: 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 Inaugural ETH Materials Research Prize for Young Investigators (2017), C&EN's Talented 12 (2017), 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). He is the deputy editor for Physical Biology (Institute of Physics), and also serves in the editorial boards for Nanotechnology (Institute of Physics), Nano Futures (Institute of Physics), and Bioelectronics in Medicine (Future Medicine).
Post Doctoral Researchers:
Yin Fang, PhD:
July 2015Email: 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. His recent Nature Communications paper (Yin Fang et al., Nature Communications, 2017) reveals a dynamic droplet instability that has been ignored in VLS community for half a century. The same work also shows a fundamentally new approach for parallel atom manipulation, a method for studying complex semiconductor growth, and an atomic scale metal-assisted chemical etching (MACE) process.
Menahem (Hemi) Rotenberg, PhD:
September 2016Email: 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:
October 2016Email: 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:
Jan 2017Email: 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. Yin received a Kharasch Postdoctoral Travel Award from UChicago.
Yiliang Lin, PhD:
July 2018Email: Yiliang Lin
Yiliang Lin obtained his B.S. in Polymer Science and Engineering from Zhejiang University in 2013 and received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at NC State University in 2018, under the guidance of Professors Michael Dickey and Jan Genzer. During his Ph.D., Yiliang's research interests include synthesis, modification, and patterning of liquid metal nanoparticles for soft electronics and biomedical applications. He was selected as the Vivian T. Stannett Fellow at NC State in 2016 and he also received Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Ph.D. Students in 2017. In 2018, Yiliang joined Tian's group and started his postdoctoral research in the James Franck Institute, University of Chicago. His research focuses on using semiconductor materials to study the biointerface.
Hector Acaron Ledesma:
Mar. 2014Email: 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 was a class 2014 NSF graduate student fellow, and is a current F31 NIH fellow.
July 2014Email: 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.
Dec. 2015Email: 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.
Dec. 2015Email: 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. Youjin is a Martha and Joseph Chenicek Graduate fellow, and a Windt Travel Award recipient.
Dec. 2016Email: 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).
Dec. 2017Email: Lingyuan Meng
Lingyuan Meng is a graduate student at the Institute for Molecular Engineering (IME). She graduated from Jilin University in 2017 with a B.S. degree in Tang Aoqing Honors Program in Science (Chemistry). During her undergraduate research, she mainly focused on the fabrication of smart systems for controlled release with functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles and bioorthogonal chemistry approaches, respectively. Currently, Lingyuan is studying new forms of materials in Tian's Lab. She is excited to explore the remarkable possibilities of the utility of new devices at biointerfaces.
Jan. 2018Email: Zifan Ye
Zifan Ye did her B.Eng in Materials Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, UK. As an undergraduate research assistant, she worked in Prof. Natalie Stingelinís group to understand the effect of host polymer on energy transfer of organic semiconducting materials. As a visiting student, she worked in Prof. Xiaohui Wangís group at Tsinghua University on defect structures of lead-free KNN-based piezoelectric ceramics. She is currently a graduate student from the Institute for Molecular Engineering. Her research involves the electronic structure of Si-based materials for optically-controlled bio-interfaces (Co-advised by Prof Giulia Galli).
August. 2018Email: Jessica Morgan
Jessica Morgan received her BA in biochemistry at Smith College in 2017. While at Smith, Jessica used DNA origami to study motor protein ensembles and how teams of motor proteins work to carry cargo in a cell. At the University of Chicago, Jessica is part of the Biophysical Sciences graduate program and is co-advised by Dr. Bozhi Tian and Dr. Jean Greenberg. She seeks to use silicon and other materials to study peptide signaling systems in plants. In her free time, Jessica enjoys long distance running and traveling.
Dec 2016Email: Naomi Yamamoto
Naomi Yamamoto is a third year undergraduate majoring in Chemistry at The University of Chicago. She focuses on the biomedical applications of silicon nanostructures and is currently working with Dr. Rotenberg on in vivo cardiac simulation. She also is investigating other uses for silicon in medicine. When not studying or working, she enjoys cooking, reading, fencing, and hiking.
June 2017Email: Nivedina Sarma
Nivedina Sarma is a second-year majoring in Chemistry at The University of Chicago. She works with Kelliann Koehler to study silicon nanostructures and their impact on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Her favorite part of lab is working in the clean room and making materials. Outside the lab Nivedina enjoys dancing, writing, and exploring Chicago. She is a Beckman Scholar and an 2018 Astronaut Scholar.
Ramya Parameswaran (Doctoral Student):
Mar. 2014Email: Ramya
MD training at UChicago. 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.
Yuanwen Jiang (Doctoral Student):
Dec. 2012Email: Yuanwen Jiang
Post doctorate researcher at Stanford University in Zhenan Bao's lab. Yuanwen Jiang was 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. During his Ph.D., he has developed multiple nongenetic methods for optical modulation of biological systems across multiple length scales. 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. He recently received a prestigious Graduate Research Award from the American Vacuum Society and a prestigious Graduate Student Award from the Materials Research Society. He is also a 2018 ACS DIC Young Investigator Awardee.
John Zimmerman (Doctoral Student):
July 2012Email: 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):
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)
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):
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 epiretinal 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):
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.
Jaeseok Yi, (Post Doctoral Researcher):
Scientist, Samsung, South Korean 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. His recent Nature Communications paper (Jaeseok Yi et al., Nature Communications, 2017) represents a first demonstration of applying mineralization in flexible electronics and underwater adhesion.
Dr Won Il Park (Visiting Professor):
Won Il Park:
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):
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.
PhD student at Johns Hopkins University Dara Weiss was an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago majoring in Chemistry. She is originally from Miami, FL. Her research interests include biomimetic inorganic materials synthesis using polymer gels and silicon nanoparticles. In her free time, she enjoys reading, knitting, and playing piano. Dara received the 2017 Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry from American Chemical Society.
PhD student at Princeton University Grew up in Taos, NM. Helena graduated with honors from the University of Chicago in 2016 with a BA in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. Helena worked with Ken Nealson and Annie Rowe this past summer characterizing model electrode-oxidizing bacteria capable of carbon fixation and is now obsessed with electron transfer, biofilms, and self assembly. At the Tian Lab, Helena works with Xiang Gao on synthesizing inorganic-biological hybrid organisms for probing biofilm dynamics. In her free time Helena enjoys foraging, making plant medicines, and making clothes.
Michael Burke was 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.
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.
Jun 2017Email: Tom Hayes
Tom Hayes is a fourth year undergraduate majoring in Biology and Molecular Engineering. He is working with Kelliann Koehler to study the unique mechanical properties of 3D silicon structures as well as their application in cellular stimulation and treatment. In addition to his studies and work in the lab, Tom enjoys music production, rock climbing, and running.
July 2016Email: 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.
Mohammed Munim :
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 :
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.
July 2014Email: 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.
Michael Paul :
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.