Research Faculty

Sourabh Shukla, Ph.D.

Sourabh is a BME Research Assistant Professor and has been a member of the Steinmetz lab since 2010. His work has been focused on evaluation of structure-function relationships of viral nanoparticles (VNP) and developing VNP-based platform technology for drug delivery and imaging applications. His current research interest lies in development of viral nanoparticles based cancer vaccines and immunotherapies. Prior to his current work at Steinmetz lab he did post-doctoral research at the Bar-Ilan University, Israel (2008-2010) working on the development of nanoparticle-based anti-viral therapies.  Sourabh obtained his PhD from the National Chemical Lab in Pune, India (2007).

He (Andy) Hu, Ph.D.

Andy is a Research Scientist who joined the Steinmetz lab in April 2016. His research interest lies on the development of multifunctional nanomaterials for molecular imaging and nanomedicine application. His current research will focus on the virus nanoplatform for MRI and therapy of cancer. He obtained his PhD from Fudan University, China (2009), he then worked one year as postdoctoral research associate at University of SouthernCalifornia (2012). He then was awarded a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship, and moved to the University of Torino in Italy for 2 years (2013-2015). In his free time, he likes watching movies,traveling, and he is a half-Marathon runner.


Post-doctoral Fellows

Patricia Lam, Ph.D.

Patricia is a Postdoctoral Scholar and joined the Steinmetz lab in March 2015.  She received her Ph.D. in Botany in 2013 from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada where her thesis work uncovered a novel pathway for the regulation of cuticular wax biosynthesis in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.  As the lab molecular biologist, she has developed a diagnostic tool for detecting Ebola. Her ongoing work focuses on synthetic biology approaches to nanomanufacture plant viruses.  Outside the lab, Patricia enjoys traveling and doing nerdy things like reading comic books and playing Heroclix.

Duc Le, Ph.D.

Duc Le is a Postdoctoral Scholar and joined the Steinmetz Lab in February 2016. His research focuses on using viralnanoparticles for drug delivery and cancer immunotherapies. Duc obtained his Ph.D. in ChemicalEngineering from the University of Tokyo, Japan where he conducted his work on designing novel elastin-like polypeptides for tissue engineering applications. In his spare time, Duc likes to travel, go to concerts, or draw manga.  

Chao Wang, Ph.D.

Chao is a Postdoctoral Scholar and joined the Steinmetz lab in May 2017. She is interested in plant viral nanoparticle-based immunotherapeutic strategies for the treatment of cancer. She received her Ph.D. in Environmental Science in 2015 from Iowa State University. The focus of her thesis was on detection of extremely low concentration waterborne pathogen using a multiplexing self-referencing SERS microfluidic biosensor. She worked one year (2016) as a postdoctoral scholar at Georgia State University in investigating novel nanoparticle-based influenza vaccines. Outside research, she enjoys music and road trips.

Hui Cai, Ph.D.

Dr. Hui Cai joined the Steinmetz Lab in June 2017 as a postdoctoral research associate. His current research focuses on the plant viral nanoparticle-based vaccines for cancer immunotherapy. He obtained his PhD from Tsinghua University in 2011 with the focus of his thesis on MUC1 glycopeptide anti-tumor vaccines. He was awarded a Humboldt Postdoctoral fellowship and worked in Germany from 2012 to 2014. From 2015 to 2017, he worked as a postdoctoral scholar at University of Maryland on chemoenzymatic synthesis of N-linked glycopeptide with special focus on HIV-1 vaccine development. In his free time, he enjoys watching soccer and traveling.

Jooneon Park, Ph.D.

Jooneon Park joined Steinmetz lab as a postdoctoral scholar in Aug 2017. He earned his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Utah (2017). His research interest lie in nanoparticle-based diagnostics and disease therapy. His current research in our lab is designing TMV nanoparticles for risk stratification and intervention of deep vain thrombosis.

Veronique Beiss, Ph.D.

Vero is a Postdoctoral Scholar and joined theSteinmetz lab in November 2017. She did her PhD in molecular biology and plantbiotechnology on plant-derived sexual stage malaria vaccines at RWTH-Aachen in Germany. Hercurrent work will focus on the development of new nanoparticles for cancerimmunotherapy. Outside the lab she enjoys traveling, exploring, music andreading tons of books.


Lab Manager

Frank Veliz, M.Sc.

Frank Veliz joined the Steinmetz lab in Winter 2015. Frank is the Steinmetz Lab Manager. He collaborates with Dr. Pitek on the engineering of nanoparticle surfaces with biomolecules to create stealth particles capable of avoiding the mononuclear phagocyte system. In ongoing work he is developing virus-inspired photonic devices. Frank graduated with a master’s degree in Medical Physiology from Case Western Reserve University in 2015. He previously completed his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Irvine. In his spare time, Frank likes to watch LA Lakers games, play the guitar, go to concerts, and travel.


Graduate Students

Abner Murray

Abner is a M.D./Ph.D. Student in Molecular Virology. Abner was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and raised in Miami, Florida. He graduated from Florida International University (FIU) with a B.S. in Biology. As a MARC U-STAR and Ronald E. McNair Fellow at FIU, he conducted research on the translational initiation strategies of mammalian Orthoreoviruses. In 2011, he enrolled in the MSTP at CWRU, where he has been involved as a regional board member of the Student National Medical Association and a National board member with the Latino Medical Student Association. Abner joined the Steinmetz Lab in January 2015 and he is studying plant virus-based cancer immunotherapies. 

Mike Jandzinski

Mike graduated in 2015 from the University of Connecticut honors program majoring inPhysiology & Neurobiology and completed his honors thesis on the effects of the endogenous gut floraon ischemic stroke. After completing his undergraduate education, he moved to continue work on hisproject at the Texas Medical Center in Houston in Dr. Louise D. McCullough’s lab. He moved to Clevelandin the summer of 2016 after joining the Medical Scientist Training Program at Case Western ReserveUniversity School of Medicine. 

Paul Chariou

Paul is a Ph.D. Student in Biomedical Engineering. Paul joined the Steinmetz lab in September 2011 for his undergraduate research on targeted plant virus nanoparticles [Bioconjugate Chem 2015].  His current work in synthetic virology explores novel virus-templated designs for sensing applications.  When not in the lab (or studying for the next exam), Paul likes to listen to music, watch movies, spend time with his friends, play video games and badminton.

Richard Lin

Richard is a Ph.D. Student in Biomedical Engineering. Rich obtained his B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 2015. In the Steinmetz Lab Rich develops and studies virus-based theranostics for cancer imaging and treatment.

Bindi Patel

Bindi Patel is a MS Student in Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. She joined the Steinmetz Lab in Fall of 2016 and her research focuses on developing viral nanoparticles based cancer vaccines for triple negative breast cancer treatment.

Brendan Barton

Brendan is an M.D./Ph.D. student in Pathology/Immunology, originally from the Philadelphia suburbs. He graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in German Studies. Previous to joining the MSTP at Case Western Reserve University in 2014, he studied the role of T cell memory in allogeneic models of pregnancy with Dr. Paige Porrett and Dr. E. John Wherry. He is interested in the response of the immune system to viral nanoparticle-based cancer immunotherapy. In his free time, Brendan enjoys crossword puzzles, reading, and triathlons.


Undergraduate Students

Xingjian (Jack) Gong

Jack is a sophomore biomedical engineering student on the biomaterials track at Case Western Reserve University. He started working in the lab in the fall of 2015. His research focuses on engineering cowpea mosaic virus and potato virus X as a platform for HER2-positive cancer treatment. In spare time, Jack likes to write Chinese caligraphy, play badminton, play the flute, and travel.

Alan Dogan

Alan is a second year biomedical engineering student at Case Western Reserve University. He joined the Steinmetz Lab in the fall of 2016, and is currently working on using Tobacco Mild Green Mosaic Virus as a nanocarrier for pesticides. Alan is a member of Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity, and an officer for Case Western Club Tennis. Alan enjoys traveling and weightlifting.

Akshata Rudrapatna

Akshata is a first-year Systems Biology and Origins Sciences student at Case Western Reserve University. She joined the Steinmetz lab in the spring of 2017. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and playing the violin. 

Cian Desai

Cian is a second year biomedical engineering student at Case Western Reserve University who joined the Steinmetz Lab in the fall of 2017. On campus, Cian is a member of Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity and co-president of TEDxCWRU. In his spare time, he enjoys playing recreational sports and hiking.

Alex Welsh

Alex is a first-year biomedical engineering student at Case Western Reserve University. She joined the Steinmetz Lab in the fall of 2017. Alex is a member of Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable and Project Sunshine on campus. She enjoys traveling, doing jigsaw puzzles, and being around her friends and family.


Alumni

Post-docs

Ibrahim Yildiz, Ph.D.

Steinmetz Lab 2010-2012 |  Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi. 2012-present.

Jon Whitney, Ph.D.

Steinmetz Lab 2013-2014 | ResearchAssociate at Case Western Reserve University, 2014-present.

Mike Bruckman, Ph.D.

Steinmetz Lab 2012-2015 | ScientificDirector at NanoBioSystems, Ohio, 2015-2017. Head,Haima Therapeutics, Ohio, 2018-present.

Brylee Tiu, Ph.D.

Steinmetz Lab 2016 (1 year post-doc) | Research Associate at UC Berkeley, CA. 2017-present.

Andrzej Pitek, Ph.D.

Steinmetz Lab 2014-2017 | Scientist at GlaxoSmithKline - Drug Product R&D, Maryland, 2017-present.

Ph.D. students

Amy Wen, Ph.D. 

Steinmetz Lab 2011-2016 | Thesis: Engineering virus-based nanoparticles for applications in drug delivery, imaging, and biotechnology. | present: Post-doctoral Technology Development fellow at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University.

Karin Lee, Ph.D. 

Steinmetz Lab 2011-2016 | Thesis: High aspect ratio plant virus-based carriers for cancer therapy | present: post-doctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute at NIH.

Anna Czapar, Ph.D.

Steinmetz Lab 2014-2017 | Thesis: Virus-based nanomaterials for cancer drug delivery | present: Medical student (MSTP, M.D. phase) at Case Western Reserve University.

Neetu Gulati, Ph.D.

Ph.D. student in Pharmacology from 2012, Co-Mentored with Phoebe Stewart (Professor of Pharmacology),  Steinmetz Lab 2014-2017 | Thesis: Characterizing and manipulating biological interactions of viruses. | present: post-doctoral fellow at NIH (NIAID).


Residents

Ravi Patel, M.D. Ph.D., 

Residentin Radiation Oncology at University Hospitals Seidman CancerCenter | Steinmetz Lab 2016-2017. | Clinical Instructor at University of Wisconsin Madison, 2017-present.

Master Students

Daniel Kernan, M.S.

Steinmetz Lab 2013-2016 | Thesis: Delivery of Potent Anti-MitoticChemotherapeutic Using High AspectRatio, Soft Matter Nanoparticles | present: Engineer,Epic consulting, Madison, WI.

Christina Frank, M.S.

Steinmetz Lab 2014-2017 | Thesis: Tobacco mosaic virus nanocarrier restored cisplatin efficacy in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer | present: R&D engineer with the Coronary and Structural Heart group at Medtronic in Santa Rosa, CA.

Visiting Faculty

Peter Cigler, Ph.D.

Academy of Science of the Czech Republic | visited in 2011, 2012

Hema Masarapu, Ph.D.

Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, India | visited 2016-2017 | Fulbright Scholar

Beth Stadler, Ph.D.

University of Minnesota | visited in 2017, sabbatical.

Visiting students

Luan Africa, M.Sc. 

Ph.D. Student at Stellenbosch University, advisors: Professor Dr. Johan Burger and Dr. Hano Maree |  He visited the Steinmetz Lab in the Summer of 2015.

Herdis Bludau 

Ph.D. Student at TU Dresden in Germany, advisor: Professor Dr. Rainer Jordan | She visited the Steinmetz Lab in the Fall of 2015 under a DAAD student exchange grant.


Rebecca Hargreaves

Ph.D. Student at the University of Hull, advisor: Professor Dave Evans | She visited the Steinmetz Lab in the Fall of 2017. 

Laura Marin Caba

Laura is a PhD Student in Physical Chemistry at University of Vigo (Spain). She visited the  Steinmetz lab in the Summer of 2017.

Undergraduate students

Craig D’Cruz (BME, Fall 2011, Spring 2012), Brian So (BME, Fall 2011, Spring 2012), Christine DeBaez (BME, Summer 2012), Josh Mealy (REU student from University of Pittsburgh, Summer 2011), Mary Ryan (Honors Student, University of Dayton,Summer 2011), Siji Oluwadara (REU student from Vanderbilt University, Summer2012), Sid (Sourav) Dey (BME, Spring 2011-Fall 2012), Samuel Alexander (BME,Spring 2011-Fall 2012), Nadia Ayat (BME, Fall 2010-Spring 2013), Kevin Chen (BME, Fall 2010-Spring 2013), Alice Yang (BME, Summer 2011-Spring 2013), Pooja Rambhia (Biochemistry, Summer 2012-Spring 2013, Co-mentor, Neil Greenspan, CWRU Pathology), Matt Plecha (BME, Summer 2012-Spring 2013), 

Steven Hern (BME, Fall2011-Fall 2013), Mengzhi Wu (BME, Spring 2013-Spring 2014), John Kim (Biology,Summer 2014-Spring 2015),  Nick DiFranco (BME, Spring 2014-Spring 2015), Lauren Randolph (BME, Fall 2011-Spirng 2015), Paul Chariou (BME, Fall 2011-Spring 2015), Allen VanMeter (BME, Summer 2012-Spring 2015), Greg Hsu (Chemistry, Spring 2013-Spring 2015), Michael McBurney (BME, Spring 2013-Spring 2015), Diana Acosta (BME, Summer 2013-Spring2015), Adithy Nagarajan (BME, Fall 2013-Spring 2016), Katherine Krawiec (BME, Summer 2014-Spring 2016), Slater Jameson (BME, Fall 2014-Spring 2016), Sarah Woods (BME, Summer 2014-Spring 2016), 

Jacob Schimelman (Macro, Summer 2012-Spring 2016), Bryce Stamp (BME, Fall 2014-Fall 2016), Jeffrey Shen (BME, Summer 2016-Fall 2016), Stephen Wang, (BME, Summer 2016-Fall 2016), Paul Lin (CSU, Fall 2016-Spring 2017), Ishan Singhal (Fall 2016-Spring 2017), Jing Pu (Fall 2016-Spring 2017).


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