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Student Leadership Council Chairs

Madeline Smerchansky

University of Wisconsin – Madison

I’m a third year PhD student in Biomedical Engineering, coadvised by Dr. Melissa Kinney and Dr. Kris Saha. I work on using systems and synthetic biology approaches for CAR T cell therapy and am focused on deriving therapeutic T cells from iPSCs.

Margot Amitrano

University of Wisconsin – Madison

I am a 3rd year PhD student in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. I am in Dr. William Murphy's lab developing optimized PEG-based hydrogels to improve the maturation of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes.

Student Leadership Team

Luis Arrieta-Viana

Student Representative

University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez

I am 4th year PhD student in Chemical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. My advisor is Dr. Madeline Torres-Lugo. I work on synthetic materials to culture iPSCs and improve the maturation of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes.

Said Cifuentes

Outreach Chair

University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez

I'm a 5th year Bioengineering PhD student at the Maribella Domenech's Lab in UPRM. I'm currently working in the development of culture substrates for MSCs manufacturing.

Gaby Lizana Vasquez

Industry Chair

University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez

I am a 4th year Ph.D. student in the Chemical Engineering program at the UPRM. I work under the mentorship of Dr. Torres-Lugo. My project focuses on the design, synthesis/characterization of biomaterials for cell culture applications.

Dan Pham

Industry Chair

University of Wisconsin – Madison

I'm a 4th year PhD student in the Skala lab. My research focuses on using imaging technology to support development of CAR T cells for neuroblastoma.

Coral A. Torres Sanchez

Undergraduate Representative

University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez

I am a Chemical Engineering student from UPRM working on biomaterial scaffolds for cardiac cells studies.

Lauren Sarko

Outreach Chair

University of Wisconsin – Madison

I am a 2nd year PhD student in the Cellular and Molecular Pathology at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. I am in Dr. Kris Saha’s lab where I am working to develop virus-free CAR T therapies to target neurodegeneration and brain tissue dysfunction.

Nahian Siddique

Industry Chair

University of Georgia

I am a 4th year Electrical & Computer Engineering PhD student in Dr. Peter Kner’s lab. My research focuses on developing label free optical imaging systems for predicting immune potency of MSCs.

Will Skinner

Distal Site Representative

University of Oregon

I am a 2nd year Bioengineering PhD student in Dr. Keat Ghee Ong's lab. My project is focused on developing a remote and non-invasive monitoring system for tracking the growth of MSCs.

Howard Tseng

Student Representative

Georgia Institute of Technology

I’m a 5th year PhD student in Industrial Engineering, advised by Dr. Ben Wang. My research dynamic optimal control theories and applications in production systems and supply chain integration.

Christian Valdez

Student Representative

University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez

I am a 2nd year undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico who study industrial biotechnology and industrial microbiology. My research is focused on detecting biomarkers by measuring it with Raman Spectroscopy.

Bryan Wang

Industry Chair

Georgia Institute of Technology

I am a 3rd year PhD student in Dr. Krish Roy’s lab at Georgia Institute of Technology. My research is focused on designing responsive bioreactor systems for immunosuppressive MSC manufacturing.

Britney Washington

Student Representative

University of Wisconsin – Madison

Tong Yu

Student Representative

Georgia Institute of Technology

I am a 4th year PhD student in Dr. Todd Sulchek’s lab. I work on developing microfluidic devices for cell transfection, gene transfer, and gene editing. My research focuses on improve the gene editing workflow for primary T cells to preserve cell potency.

Xiangyu Zhang

Student Representative

University of Georgia

I am a 3rd year PhD student in Dr. De La Fuente's lab at UGA. My research focuses on bioinformatics analysis of sequencing data, and genome integrity prediction using AI approaches.