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Current Members


Jonathan Brassard

PhD candidate, co-supervised by Prof. Steven Paraskevas

Jonathan completed his undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering at Laval University, Quebec City. He worked as a summer student on various projects including blood vessel fabrication (Prof. Diego Mantovani), induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) differentiation (Prof. Alain Garnier) and vascular aging (Prof. Corinne Hoesli). He then completed a Master in Bioengineering under the supervision of Prof. Matthias Lütolf at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

​​Project description

Jonathan is working on the conception of a bioartificial pancreas for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. 


Marc-Antoine Campeau

Postdoctoral fellow

Marc-Antoine completed his undergraduate studies in Biotechnological Engineering at Université de Sherbrooke. In 2015, he joined the Leask lab as a Master’s student before fast-tracking to the PhD degree in 2016. His PhD work focused on the effect of Empagliflozin, a type 2 diabetes drug, on endothelial dysfunction. In 2022, he transitioned to the Hoesli lab to pursue different projects involving endothelial cell functions.

​​Project description

Marc-Antoine’s project focuses on the functionalization of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) surfaces to enhance the capture of endothelial colony forming cells and to improve the endothelization of medical devices.


Arianna Castro Rojas

M. Eng. (thesis) candidate

I completed my bachelor's in Bioprocess Engineering at National University, Costa Rica, in 2021. My interest in pursuing stem cell research for regenerative medicine applications led me to return to school and move to Canada. In my free time, I enjoy reading, hiking, and swimming.


​​Project description

My research project focuses on studying the impact of the alginate encapsulation microenvironment on the differentiation of stem-cell-derived pancreatic β-cells for type 1 diabetes cellular therapy.


Kurtis Champion

M. Eng. (thesis) candidate, co-supervised by Prof. Richard Leask

Kurtis completed a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering in 2020 at McGill University. During the years of 2017 to 2020 he worked at Caprion Biosciences where he helped in performing clinical research. In the summer of 2019, he worked in the Hoesli lab on a project focused on regenerative biomaterials for vascular implants under the supervision of Mohamed Elkhodiry and Prof. Corinne Hoesli. Discovering his passion for biomaterials and stem cell therapies, Kurtis decided to pursue graduate studies in the Hoesli Lab.

​​Project description

Kurtis’s project involves studying and modelling the oxygen consumption of the insulin-secreting beta cells of the pancreas found in cell clusters called islets. The main goal of his project is to improve oxygen delivery to these beta cells in the hopes of improving islet transplantation therapies for type 1 diabetes.


Robert Chen

M. Eng. (thesis) candidate

Robert completed his Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering here at McGill University and is continuing his studies through a Masters in the same department. His previous experiences involve evaluating the expression of extracellular fusion proteins. In free his time, he enjoys eating at restaurants and taking long walks.

​​Project description

Robert’s project will focus on optimizing our microchannel emulsification device for alginate capsules to scale up a robust method of production of homogenous alginate beads.


Lisa Danielczak

Laboratory technician

Lisa Danielczak completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of Waterloo.  She has worked as a technician in labs in Ontario, England and Quebec City before coming to McGill, where she has worked since 2008.

​​Project description

Lisa works on a variety of projects, including the engineering of a vascularized bioartificial pancreas.

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Laurier Gauvin

Undergraduate intern

Laurier is a Bioengineering student and is expected to graduate in May 2025. His research interests focus on metabolic diseases, particularly type 1 diabetes. During his free time, he enjoys all outdoor activities, such as running or hiking.

​​Project description

Laurier’s project focuses on studying the use of ruthenium-based dyes as a technique in the study of cell oxygenation profiles.


Tuna Gedik

Undergraduate intern - mentored by Hugo Level

Tuna is a fourth-year Bioengineering student at McGill. Previously, he worked as an undergraduate intern in the Hendricks Neurobiology Lab on optical engineering and at RBC Capital Markets as a Financial Analyst. He is interested in developing engineering solutions to medical problems. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing tennis and soccer, reading about finance, history and politics, and volunteering.

​​Project description

Tuna's project focuses on developing beads with functionalized surfaces that can directionally immobilize antibodies to capture endothelial stem cells.


Christelle Gomes De Faria

Graduate summer intern

Christelle is a Graduate Research Trainee at McGill University for the summer of 2023. In 2020, she acquired the equivalent of a Diploma of Vocational Studies in Bioanalysis and Controls in France. After which she obtained a Bachelor Diploma in Bioengineering at Polytech Nice Sophia in France, where she is now a Graduate Engineering student in the same field with a minor in Pharmacology and Biotechnology. In her free time, she enjoys reading, philosophy and Arts and crafts.


​​Project description

Her project focuses on the culture of human peripheral blood T cells with the use of a biomodified surface, enabling both selection and culture at the same time. This project is inscribed in the conjoined projects of both Hugo Level and Marc-Antoine Campeau.

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Florent Lemaire

Postdoctoral fellow

Florent completed his undergraduate studies in molecular and cellular biology in France. He obtained his PhD at the Centre Européen d’Etude du Diabète in Strasbourg in 2019. During his PhD, he worked on the improvement of pancreas and islet oxygenation during cold ischemia. Indeed, this period without oxygen and nutrients supply, observed between pancreas removal from a donor and transplantation in patient, is critical for cell function.

​​Project description

In our lab, Florent is working on the functional aspect of a 3D bio-printed pancreas that will host insulin-secreting cells for type 1 diabetes patient. The main purpose of this project is to define optimal properties of the device in order to guarantee functionality and viability of pancreatic islets in a long-term goal.


Hugo Level

PhD candidate, co-supervised by Prof. Diego Mantovani, Université Laval

After completing an Engineering degree focused on biotechnologies in France (ESPCI Paris), Hugo joined the lab as a Master's student before fast-tracking to the PhD in 2021. His Master's thesis was about modelling cell-surface interactions in the context of vascular healing after percutaneous coronary interventions

​​Project description

His PhD project, co-supervised by Prof. Diego Mantovani (Laval University, Québec City), aims at developping the next generation of vascular implants by applying a bi-functionnal, pro-healing surface modification strategy on biodegradable metals substrates.

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Ahmed Elaraby Mahmoud

M. Sc. (thesis) candidate, co-supervised by Prof. Pierre-Luc Girard-Lauriault

Ahmed completed a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering in 2022 at McGill University. During his undergrad, he researched and published a paper on nanomaterial surface modification of wastewater treatment membranes. Before joining the lab, he worked at Nanoxplore Inc., in Montreal, where he researched the effects of nano-graphene surface modification on the properties of industrially-used concrete. Outside of the lab, he can be found rock-climbing, reading, or playing volleyball.

​​Project description

His research takes part in a corporate project, which is the micropattern clustering and differentiation of stem cells for upscale production of pancreatic islets.


Julia Manalil

PhD candidate, co-supervised by Prof. Bruno Gaillet, Université Laval

Julia completed a Bachelor of Science, Honours Biochemistry degree in 2014 at the University of Waterloo. During her undergraduate degree, she held co-op positions at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and was involved in the Waterloo iGEM team. In 2018, she completed a Master of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Her thesis was titled Investigation of excipients for the stabilization of HSV-2 vaccine candidate ACAM529.

​​Project description

Julia's research focuses on studying endothelial progenitor cell differentiation, through the development of novel genetic tools, for applications in vascular disease treatments.


Brenden Moeun

PhD candidate

Brenden completed his undergraduate degree in Winter 2017, majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in Biotechnology.  In Summer 2015, he worked as an undergraduate researcher under the supervision of Prof. Milan Maric, synthesizing and developing a reactively-blended polymer to be used as a barrier material for an industrial oil storage application.  In 2016, Brenden worked in the Stem Cell Bioprocessing Lab under the supervision of Prof. C. Hoesli and Stephanie Fernandez.  His project involved the characterization and optimization of a carbohydrate glass ink used in 3D printing dissolvable structures as a means of achieving artificial vascularization in cellular transplants.

​​Project description

Brenden's project involves developing methods for bioprinting cell-laden hydrogels, such as alginate, for applications in diabetes cell therapy.


Susie O'Brien

M. Eng. (thesis) candidate, co-supervised by Prof. Christopher Moraes

After completing a B.A.Sc in Chemical Engineering at uOttawa, Susie is thrilled to be pursuing a Masters under the co-supervision of Dr. Moraes and Dr.Hoesli. Outside the lab, she can be found hiking, knitting, baking, reading, or consuming excessive amounts of espresso!

​​Project description

Her research will investigate the effect of mechanical cues on stem cell differentiation into pancreatic lineages.


Hamid Ebrahimi Orimi

Postdoctoral fellow

Hamid obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad and completed his Master’s degree at K. N. Toosi University of Technology. He pursued his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Concordia University and Maisonneuve Rosemont hospital research center. During his PhD, Hamid focused on the development of a novel laser-based bioprinting approach, which could be used to print viscous biomaterials. Hamid has years of teaching and R&D experience in dynamic system modeling, optics, computational fluid dynamics, bioinformatics, and tissue engineering.

​​Project description

Currently, Hamid is part of an academic/industrial project which establishes a supply chain for organoids from stem cells.


Praveen Pedabaliyarasimhuni

Research Associate

Praveen comes from a small town in coastal Andhra Pradesh, close to the Eastern Ghats of India. He obtained his Bachelors degree in Biochemistry from Andhra University and Masters degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from Pondicherry University, India. Later, he completed his PhD in Human Molecular Genetics during 2015 at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), a premiere research institute in Bangalore, India. His PhD work there mainly focused on studying the genetic and molecular mechanisms of common epilepsies in human patients. Soon after, he joined at CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center, Université de Montréal for his postdoctoral research career where he carried out extensive research in the fields of Neuroscience & Human Genetics involving characterization of novel genes for early onset neurodevelopmental disorders such as epileptic encephalopathies (EEs), autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Over the past 10+ years of academic experience, Praveen’s work has been quite diverse, encompassing molecular biology, in vitro cell/neuron cultures, advanced microscopy, and in vivo transgenic mouse models. He has great passion towards making a career in academic research in biomedical sciences. Apart from research, his interests draw in knowing about world history, bowling, movies, and long-distance travelling.

​​Project description

Currently, Praveen works on distinct projects in the lab that are mainly part of an academic/industrial partnership to establish a supply chain of pancreatic organoids from stem cells for the treatment of type-1 diabetes.


Balaji Ramachandran

Postdoctoral fellow

Balaji is from Madurai City in Tamil Nadu, India. In 2009, he completed his B.Tech in Biotechnology at Mepco Schlenk Engineering College, affiliated with Anna University. In 2011, he completed his M.Tech in Biotechnology at West Bengal University of Technology. He completed his Ph.D. at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 2019. During his Ph.D., he worked on the project entitled “Surface modification of poly (ethylene terephthalate) to enhance haemocompatibility and endothelialization” under the guidance of Dr. Vignesh Muthuvijayan.

​​Project description

Currently, Balaji is part of an industrial project which explores the surface modification of polymers for promoting the biological response in cell-based cancer immunotherapy.


Saleth Sidharthan

M. Eng. (thesis) candidate

Saleth completed his bachelors degree in Biotechnology at SRM University, India. During his undergrad, Saleth worked on developing an Alginate based biocomposite for bone tissue engineering. In his free time, Saleth enjoys watching movies, hitting the gym or to ponder about astronomy.

​​Project description

Saleth’s project focuses on developing a perfusable implantation device to treat type-1 diabetes.

Will Yoon.jfif

Will (Se Won) Yoon

M. Eng. (non-thesis) candidate

Will completed a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering in 2022 at McGill University. During the years of 2020 to 2021 he worked at GlaxoSmithKline's clincal operations. Before joining the lab, he worked at  Soft Matter Engineering Laboratory in Sogang University, where he investigated temperature effect of peroxy radical formation in NIPAM-PEGDA copolymer nanoparticles.

​​Project description

His research takes part in a corporate project, which is fabrication of closed 3D system for upscaling production of pancreatic islets.

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