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.
Olivia studies cell-surface interactions in the context of dendritic cell production for cancer immunotherapy.
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).
Jonathan is working on the conception of a bioartificial pancreas for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.
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.
Lisa works on a variety of projects, including the engineering of a vascularized bioartificial pancreas.
Mohamed Elkhodiry completed a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 2015 at the American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE. During his undergraduate degree, Mohamed worked in Prof. Alhusseini’s Lab where his research focused on creating surface modified nano-carriers for chemotherapeutic drug delivery.
Mohamed studies the utilisation of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in promoting endothelialisation of vascular stents via surface modification. The aim of the project is to create a new generation of vascular stents that not only prevent stenosis, but also promote vascular healing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hugo will spend the summer internship working from France to model cell-surface interactions in the context of EPC capture under blood flow.
Undergraduate intern - mentored by Nabil Zeidan
Tinetendo Makata is a third-year Chemical Engineering student with a minor in Software Engineering at McGill University. Her interests are in large scale bioprocessing. In her free time, she enjoys sewing dresses, baking cakes, and disassembling and reassembling random household objects.
Tinetendo is currently working on RNA sequencing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) cultured on treated grow bags in an effort to optimize the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
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.
Julia's research focuses on studying endothelial progenitor cell differentiation, through the development of novel genetic tools, for applications in vascular disease treatments.
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.
Brenden's project involves developing methods for bioprinting cell-laden hydrogels, such as alginate, for applications in diabetes cell therapy.
Will is a bioengineering student (first cohort) at McGill University. He was previously supervised by Gad Sabbatier and worked on understanding the mesenchymal stem cell-surface interaction in the context of stem cell therapy. In his free time, he likes to write articles for newspapers, and is an avid dumpling connoisseur.
Currently, he is working on two projects: (1) using antibody-modified microcarriers to perform the selective capture of cells (supervised by Omar Bashth) and (2) developing an image analysis toolbox for pictures acquired with phase-contrast microscopy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jessica’s project focuses on studying the cell-surface interactions during cultivation of monocytes for production of cell-based cancer immunotherapies.
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.
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.
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.
Hanwen is currently working on characterization and optimization of tissue engineered vascular prosthesis.
Nabil Zeidan completed his Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2009 at Concordia University. In 2012, he completed his Master of Science in Immunology under the supervision of Dr. Alexander Abdelnoor, at the American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon. His thesis was entitled The effect of atorvastatin on skin allograft survival and tumor growth cells in mice. In 2019, he completed his Ph.D. at the Université de Montréal under the joint supervision of Dr. Denis Claude Roy and Vibhuti Dave. His thesis was entitled The role of ThPOK and T cell receptor signaling in CD4 versus CD8 T cell lineage fate.
Nabil works on a multidisciplinary industrial project that is focused on better elucidating the effects of surface properties on dendritic cell-based cancer immunotherapies under GMP protocols.