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Current Members

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Faranak Baniahmad

PhD candidate, co-supervised by Prof. Gregory De Crescenzo, Polytechnique Montréal

Faranak obtained her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Azad University, Science and Research Branch, and her master’s degree from Amir Kabir University, Iran. After completing her master’s degree, in 2017, she joined a startup with a few experts as a member of an interdisciplinary team mainly working on biosensing technologies. Despite making good progress, the startup failed in 2020 due to a lack of investors, and she decided to follow her dreams. In 2023, Faranak started her PhD in the Stem Cell Bioprocessing Lab under the supervision of Prof. Corinne Hoesli and Prof. Gregory De Crescenzo. Outside the lab, she loves hiking, reading, and watching movies.

 

​​Project description

Her project involves developing peptide-presenting surfaces to upscale the differentiation of stem cells into pancreatic islets.

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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. 

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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.

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Arianna Castro Rojas

M. Eng. (thesis) candidate

Arianna completed her bachelor's degree in Bioprocess Engineering at the National University of Costa Rica in 2021. Her interest in pursuing stem cell research for regenerative medicine applications led her to return to school and move to Canada. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and swimming.

 

​​Project description

Arianna's 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.

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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.

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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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Ederna Ferron

Undergraduate intern - mentored by Hamid Ebrahimi Orimi

Ederna completed her preparation classes for engineering school at Lycée Pierre de Fermat in Toulouse from 2019 to 2021 and joined the engineering school ESPCI Paris in 2021. She is in her last year of engineering school. Outside of her education, she enjoys dancing, which she practiced for 15 years before university, and was part of the cheerleading team at school. She also loves photography, as the president of the photography club, and also likes sailing, running and reading.

​​Project description

Ederna’s project involves biofabrication of 3D vascularized living pancreatic tissue for treating diabetes using an embedded writing approach. Using 3D bio printing, we print channels into a hydrogel containing differentiated stem cells and endothelial cells using a sacrificial ink. After cross-linking of the hydrogel and removal of the sacrificial ink, it forms vascular vessels inside the construct, which would promote uniform oxygen and nutrient distribution, consequently enhancing mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. Her project will focus on promoting endothelial cell vascularization within this construct.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Will (Se Won) Yoon

M. Sc. (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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