Former Members

of the Sailor Research Group at UC San Diego


Alessandro Ajo

Alessandro Ajo
Visiting Graduate student: 2022
ORCID: 0000-0003-4049-3818
Current Position: PhD Student, University of Milan
email

Alessandro Ajo is a PhD student in Pharmaceutical Science at the laboratory of Professor Luisa De Cola at the University of Milan, who visited the lab Feb-Aug, 2022. Alessandro received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology at the University of Milano-Bicocca and a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology and Nanomedicine at Northeastern University in Boston. His work focused on encapsulation of biomolecules and peptides inot porous silicon nanoparticles for drug delivery and cancer treatment. He emphasized nanoparticle-hydrogel hybrids.

Last updated: September, 2022


Gabrielle

Gabrielle Balistreri
Undergraduate Student: 2020-2021
ORCID: 0000-0002-6861-8654
Current position: Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
email

Gabrielle Balistreri was an undergraduate Chemistry & Biochemistry student at UC San Diego (class of 2021). She previously worked on a research project investigating fluorescent probes to detect early stages of Alzheimer’s disease in the lab of Emmanuel Theodorakis, and participated in the 2020 and 2021 Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology.

Last updated: September 2021


Reagan Beers

Reagan Beers
Undergraduate Student: 2020-2022
ORCID: 0000-0002-6377-2775
Current Position: Graduate Student, the University of Washington
email

Reagan was a UCSD undergraduate Chemistry major (class of 2022) who was a transfer student from West Valley College. Her project focused on photocatalysts that utilize porous silicon nanostructures as stabilizing matrices. She was a participant in the 2020 and 2021, and a Senior Mentor in the 2022 Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology.

Last updated: September 2022


Alessandro Bertucci photo

Alessandro Bertucci
Post-doc: 2017-2018
ORCID: 0000-0003-4842-9909
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Italy
email

Alessandro was sponsored by the Marie Curie Fellowship for the project "Multifunctional miRNA-targeting nanodevices for pluripotent cancer theranostics — MIRNANO" in collaboration with Prof. Erkki Ruoslahti at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Prof. Francesco Ricci in the Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Chimiche Università di Roma Tor Vergata. Alessandro visited the lab as a visiting student from September 2015 through January 2016, and he began his Curie Fellowship in our lab in January, 2017. Alessandro completed his PhD in Chemical Sciences in March 2015 in the framework of a joint Italian-French program, under the supervision of Prof. Roberto Corradini at University of Parma, Italy, and Prof. L. De Cola at University of Strasbourg, France. His PhD work focused on artificial nucleic acid (PNA, peptide nucleic acids) and silica-based nanomaterials for biomedical applications. His research interests lie in advanced hybrid materials for applications in nanomedicine.

Last updated: November 2020


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Arnaud Chaix
Post-doc: 2018-2019
ORCID:
Current position: Research Assistant at Institut National des Sciences Appliquées Centre Val de Loire
email

Arnaud received his PhD under the direction of Dr. Frédérique Cunin at the CNRS Institut Charles Gerhardt, Montpellier France. He visited the group for 3 months in 2013 as part of the exchange activities of the NSF and ANR-sponsored Materials World Network project titled "Chemistry of Porous Silicon Nanoparticles for Photodynamic Therapy." He began his post-doctoral appointment in the lab in July 2018, working on adsorption and sensing applications of porous silicon-based photonic nanostructures.

Last updated: December, 2020


Claire Chen

Claire Chen
High School Student 2020-2021
ORCID: 0000-0003-2999-4291
Current position: Undergraduate, Carnegie-Mellon University

Claire was a high school student at Pacific Ridge School (class of 2021). Educated in Shanghai and Singapore, she participated in the 2020 Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology (SSSiN) via the UCSD MRSEC RIMSE program and then served as a Mentor in the 2021 SSSiN. She investigated a number of aspects of porous silicon-based systems, with a focus on development of hands-on instructional kits for k-12 schools.

Last updated: January, 2022


Hannah Chen

Hannah Chen
High School Student: 2021-2022
ORCID: 0000-0002-0133-2192
Current Position: Undergraduate, UC Berkeley
email

Hannah Chen was a junior at Del Norte High School (class of 2022) who participated in the Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology (SSSiN) via the UCSD MRSEC RIMSE program in 2021, and then became a Senior Mentor in the 2022 SSSiN. She investigated chemical modifications to porous silicon-based films to improve their chemical stability.


Michelle Chen

Michelle Chen
Graduate Student: 2006-2011
PhD 2011, Bioengineering
Thesis: "Separation and Detection of Biomolecules Using Silicon-Based Optical Nanostructures"
ORCID:
Current position: Head of translational medicine/clinical development, Perfuse Therapeutics.
email

Michelle joined the Sailor group as a rotation student from Bioengineering in June, 2006, and received her PhD in June, 2011. Her project involved the design, construction, and use of spatially resolved porous Si nanostructures for the separation, detection, and identification of biomolecules. Michelle worked for Spinnaker Biosciences as a Senior Process Development Engineer before moving to Allergan's clinical team. In 2021 she accepted a position as Head of translational medicine/clinical development at Perfuse Therapeutics.

Last updated: March, 2021


Joel Grondek

Joel Grondek
Graduate Student: 2006-2011, 2019-2021
PhD 2021, Chemistry and Biochemistry Thesis: "Intravitreal Therapeutic Nanoparticles for the Treatment of Posterior Segment Ocular Diseases" ORCID: 0000-0002-6386-3423
Current position: Post-doctoral, UC San Diego Jacobs Retina Center.
email

Joel joined the Sailor Group in the Summer 2008, as a PhD student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, took a childcare leave of absence, then returned to complete his graduate studies in 2020. He received his PhD from the lab in 2020, and his thesis project involved synthesizing targeted nanoparticles to diagnose and treat myocardial infarction (in collaboration with co-advisor Karen Christman in the Department of Bioengineering) and diseases of the retina (in collaboration with Dr. William R. Freeman in the Jacobs Retina Center). Joel was supported by the UCSD Interfaces graduate training program through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Bioengineering Research Partnership grant through the National Institutes of Health.

Last updated: January, 2022


James Ha

James Ha
Visiting Scientist: 2015-2021
ORCID:
Current position: Principal Scientist, Battelle.
email

James was a Senior Staff Scientist at Leidos who collaborated with our group in translating basic scientific discoveries into the military and commercial sectors. James acted as a Senior Mentor in the Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology for several classes.

Last updated: September, 2021


Mei-Lin Ho

Mei-Lin Ho
Visiting Professor: 2021-2022
email

Current Position: Soochow University

Dr. Mei-Lin Ho is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Soochow University in Taipei, Taiwan. Her research is based on the study of luminescent or colorimetric probes, e.g. transition metal complexes and nanoparticles, focusesd on sensing applications for healthcare. Her studies in our lab focused on titania-coated porous silicon. She visited the lab from November, 2021 to August, 2022.

Last updated: September, 2022


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Geoffrey Hollett
Graduate Student: 2013-2019
Ph.D. 2019, Materials Science and Engineering
Thesis: "Selective Sensing and Sustained Release: Biomedical Applications of Porous Silicon"
ORCID: 0000-0002-2927-0771
Current position: Fellow, California Council on Science and Technology (CCST)
email

Geoff joined the Sailor Group in the summer of 2013 as a Ph.D. student in the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) program. He participated in the 2013 Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology and in subsequent years he served as a Senior Mentor. He received the BASc degree from the University of Waterloo in Canada in 2013. For his thesis he led the project "Development of a Longer-Acting Injectable Contraceptive" funded by FHI-360.

Last updated: December, 2020


Jiayu Huang

Jiayu Huang
Undergraduate Student: 2020-2021
ORCID: 0000-0001-6421-7282
email

Jiayu Huang was an undergraduate Chemistry major at UC San Diego (class of 2021) who participated in the 2020 Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology.

Last updated: March, 2021


Yubin Huang

Yubin Huang
Masters Student: 2020-2022
MS 2022, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Thesis: "Zirconium Oxocluster-Functionalized Silica Nanoparticles for Removal of Toxic Chemicals"
ORCID: 0000-0001-7049-8877
Current Position:
email

Yubin was an MS student in the Chemistry & Biochemistry program at UC San Diego. He completed his undergraduate studies at UC Santa Barbara, where he studied porous silicon carbide materials for catalyst immobilization with Prof. Galen Stucky. Before joining the Sailor Group in 2020, Yubin worked for a local biosensor company to develop minimally invasive enzymatic continuous glucose monitoring sensors (CGMs) for diabetic patients. Yubin participated in the 2020 Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology (SSSiN).


Sachel Jetly

Sachel Jetly
High School Student: 2021-2022
ORCID: 0000-0001-9766-824X
Current Position: Undergraduate at Virginia Tech
email

Sachel began as a junior at Canyon Crest Academy High School (class of 2022) and participated in the Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology (SSSiN) via the UCSD MRSEC RIMSE program in 2021. In 2022, she acted as a Senior Mentor to the SSSiN. She investigated chemical modifications to porous silicon-based films to improve their chemical stability.


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Jinyoung Kang
Graduate Student: 2013-2018
Ph.D. 2018, NanoEngineering
Thesis: "Porous Silicon Nanomaterials for Bioimaging and Nanomedicine"
ORCID: 0000-0001-6116-3477
Current position: Post-doc, Ed Boyden and Guoping Feng, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
email

Jinyoung was a Nanoengineering PhD student in the UCSD Department of Nanoengineering who joined the group in November, 2013. She received her BS and MS degrees from the Department of Chemical Engineering, Yonsei Univ., Seoul, Korea in 2007 and 2009, respectively. She then worked at the GS Caltex Refinery Complex in Seoul, Korea as a Plant Engineer until 2012. She participated in the 2014 Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology and she served as a Senior Mentor in the program in the summers of 2015-2018. She worked on the delivery of oligonucleotide therapeutics with porous Si nanoparticles, on the project "Porous Si-Based Therapeutic Nanoplatforms" funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and on the project "Infection-homing nanosystems as antibacterial therapeutics-delivery platforms" funded by the NIH.

Last updated: December, 2020


Neusha Kharrati

Neusha Kharrati
High School/Undergraduate Student: 2020-2021
ORCID: 0000-0002-5441-2559

Current position: Undergraduate, Columbia/Trinity College Dublin Dual BA

Neusha was a senior at Francis Parker High School (Class of 2020) who got her start in the research Hayton Lab at UC Santa Barbara in 2019, as part of the Research Mentorship Program. She then joined our lab to participate in the 2020 Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology (SSSiN), then took a "Covid-19 gap year" to learn more about nanotechnology in our lab, participating as a Mentor in the 2021 SSSiN. She then joined the Columbia/Trinity College Dublin Dual BA program, with an emphasis on Neuroscience.

Last updated: September, 2022


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Byungji Kim
Graduate Student: 2014-2019
Ph.D. 2019, Materials Science and Engineering
Thesis: "Fusogenic Porous Silicon Nanoparticles as a Platform Technology for Gene Therapy"
ORCID: 0000-0001-8131-5255
Current position: Post-doc, Darrell Irvine group, MIT
email

B.J. was a Ph.D. student in the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) program, who joined the group in Fall 2014. She received her B.S.E in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, and her M.S. in Bio and Brain Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) with Professor Ji-Ho Park. Her work at KAIST focused on fluorescence detection and photothermal therapy of sentinel lymph node metastases using liposomal Indocyanine green. She led the project "Infection-homing nanosystems as antibacterial therapeutics-delivery platforms", a joint (NIH BRG) grant in collaboration with the research groups of Erkki Ruoslahti (Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Discovery Institute) and Sangeeta Bhatia (MIT), funded by the NIH.

Last updated: November, 2020


Dowon Kim

Dowon Kim
Visiting Graduate Student: 2021-2022
ORCID: 0000-0003-1948-2161
Current Position: UNIST-Chemical Engineering
email

Dowon Kim is a combined MS/PhD graduate student at the UNIST School of Energy and Chemical Engineering in the Republic of Korea, under the direction of Prof. Jiseok Lee. He completed undergraduate studies in the same department. His MS/PhD project involves diacetylene-based colorimetric chemosensors and structurally colored organogels formed by dithering mask lithograpy. He visited our labs from July 2021 until July 2022.

Last updated: September, 2022


Yejin Kim

Yejin Kim
Visiting Professor: 2022
ORCID: 0000-0003-2138-0498
Current Position: Seoul National University
email

Yejin Kim is a research professor in professor Jae Seung Kang’s lab at Seoul National University, College of Medicine, S. Korea. She received her Ph.D. from Seoul National University, S. Korea, then did post-doctoral studies at Seoul National University and the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University at Atlanta. At Emory she was supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea in the field of Young Scientists. She is interested in the application of nano-technology and hydrogel technology to control of skin and women's diseases.

Last updated: September, 2022


Jiseok Lee

Jiseok Lee
Visiting Professor: 2021-2022
Current Position: UNIST-Chemical Engineering
email

Prof. Lee is an Associate Professor at the UNIST School of Energy and Chemical Engineering with research interests in polymers and optical nanomaterials, who visited our labs from July 2021 until July 2022.

Last updated: September, 2022


Mehdi Nasr

Seyedmehdi Hossaini Nasr
Post-doctoral scholar: 2020-2022
ORCID: 0000-0002-9535-4711
Current Position: Research Scientist, Bristol Myers Squibb
email

Mehdi Nasr received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Michigan State University in 2018, and began working as a post-doc in the laboratory of our collaborator, Erkki Ruoslahti in 2019. He received his Pharm.D. degree from Tehran University of Medical Science in 2007. He participated in the 2019 Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology and joined the lab in July 2020.

Last updated: September, 2022


Sanahan

Sanahan Vijayakumar
Graduate Student: 2018-2022
PhD 2022, Materials Science and Engineering
Thesis: "Functionalized Porous Silicon for Sensing, Imaging and Drug Delivery"
ORCID: 0000-0003-2493-1902
Current Position: Research Scientist, Dupont email

While an undergraduate student at McGill University, Sanahan Vijayakumar participated in the 2012 Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology (SSSiN). He returned the following summer to serve as a Senior Mentor in the 2013 SSSiN. He completed his B.Eng. in 2017 in Materials Engineering at McGill University in Montreal, Canada where his research focused on preparation of porous silicon nanowires using Metal Assisted Chemical Etch (MACE). During his studies at McGill, Sanahan also interned with Prof. Gaël Gautier at the University of Tours, France and then with Prof. Nicolas Vöelcker at the University of South Australia. He then joined our lab as a PhD student in the UCSD Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) program in Fall 2018. He served as a Senior Mentor in the 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 installments of the Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology.


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Joanna Wang
Graduate Student: 2013-2019
PhD 2019, Materials Science and Engineering
Thesis: "Drug Delivery, Imaging and Sensing using Porous Silicon Materials"
ORCID: 0000-0002-3069-124X
Current position: Research Sceintist, Plexxikon 
email

Joanna Wang was a Ph.D. student in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) who joined the group in the summer of 2013. She participated in the 2013 Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology and in subsequent years she served as a Senior Mentor. Her undergraduate research at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign with Professor Paul Braun focused on polymers and polymer brushes. Her current research interests lie in the area of biomedical applications of polymeric nanocomposites. She led the project "Modeling of the vitreous for in vitro prediction of drug delivery of porous silicon particles and episcleral plaques" funded by the FDA. In 2019, she took a position as a post-doc in the Jianghong Rao research group in the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford. In September 2021, she took a permanent position at Plexxikon.

Last updated: September, 2022


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Jon Zuidema
Post-doctoral scholar: 2014-2021
ORCID: 0000-0003-2258-0045
Current Position: Research Fellow A, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Milano
email

Jon completed his PhD in 2014 in Biomedical Engineering with Prof. Ryan Gilbert at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. His PhD work focused on the development of nanoparticles and microfibers for central nervous system repair. He joined the lab in July 2014, and in 2018 transitioned to be a joint post-doc with Dr. Mark Tuszynski in the Center for Neural Repair. He has participated as a Senior Mentor in several versions of the Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology. He is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Milan, Italy

Last updated: January, 2022