Current Members


Olivia Bowden

M. Eng. (thesis) candidate, co-supervised by Prof. Girard-Lauriault

Olivia was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. During her undergraduate studies, Olivia worked under the supervision of Prof. Corinne Hoesli and Ph.D. candidate Mohamed Elkhodiry.  Her project involved evaluating the adhesion capabilities of various extracellular matrix-derived peptides to endothelial colony-forming cells.

​​Project description

Olivia studies cell-surface interactions in the context of dendritic cell production for cancer immunotherapy.


Jonathan Brassard

PhD candidate

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. 


Erdem Cakmak

Undergraduate intern - mentored by Hugo Level

Erdem is a U3 student in Chemical Engineering at McGill University currently working as an undergraduate intern. He’s interested in nanotech application in tissue engineering. On his free time, he enjoys biking, cooking, and reading.

​​Project description

Erdem works on cell-surface interactions modelling for EPC capture under dynamic conditions.


Kurtis Champion

PhD candidate

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.


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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Stephanie Fernandez

PhD candidate - co-supervised by Prof. Richard Leask

Stephanie Fernandez completed a Bachelor of Science with a major in Biochemistry in 2010 at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.  They completed a second Bachelor degree at McGill University in Chemical Engineering, graduating in 2014.  Their undergraduate research, performed in the laboratory of Prof. R. Leask, involved the use of atomic force microscopy to measure endothelial cell stiffness as a potential marker for disease.

​​Project description

Stephanie entered the Master’s program in 2014 and transferred to the Doctoral program in September 2015.  Their current research project involves the development of a perfusable macroencapsulation device to improve the oxygenation of pancreatic islets for transplantation.  This work incorporates experimental and computational techniques to propose a more robust platform for diabetes cell therapy.

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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

M. Eng. (thesis) candidate

Hugo is a French student in his last year at École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris (ESPCI Paris) where he specialized in biotechnology. This fall he will come to Montréal to begin a Master’s program in bioengineering under the supervision of Prof. Corinne Hoesli. Apart from biology, he is very interested in astronomy and astrophysics.

​​Project description

Hugo will spend the summer internship working from France to model cell-surface interactions in the context of EPC capture under blood flow.


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.


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.


Dongjin Shin

M. Eng. (thesis) candidate

Dongjin completed his Bachelor of Chemical & Biological Engineering at Korea University, in Seoul, South Korea, where he worked as an undergraduate intern under the supervision of faculty members. His project involved synthesis of Gold nanoparticles for biosensor applications and hydrogel synthesis using microchannel cross-linking process.

​​Project description

Dongjin’s project focuses on enhancing cell encapsulation efficiency using microchannel emulsification.


Jessica (Jiyu) Tian

M. Eng. (thesis) candidate, co-supervised by Prof. Girard-Lauriault

Jessica is from Kunming, China. She completed her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at McGill University in WINTER 2020. At her leisure, she enjoys playing musical instruments and cooking.

​​Project description

Jessica’s project focuses on studying the cell-surface interactions during cultivation of monocytes for production of cell-based cancer immunotherapies.


Raymond Tran

PhD candidate - co-supervised by Prof. Christopher Moraes

Ray is originally from Toronto, Ontario and he obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Outside of the lab, Ray enjoys cooking, watching movies, and exercising.

​​Project description

Ray's research involves understanding and optimizing the differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into functional insulin-secreting beta cells with regards to different substrate properties, soluble signals and culture dimensionality.


Hanwen Wang

Undergraduate intern - mentored by Jonathan Brassard

Hanwen Wang is a U2 student in Honors Physiology at McGill. He has great interest in Gastroenterology. In his free time, he likes cooking, watching movies, and going to the gym.

​​Project description

Hanwen is currently working on characterization and optimization of tissue engineered vascular prosthesis.