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Technology Development Fellows

The Institute’s Technology Development Fellows are passionate about technology translation and have outstanding research achievements and technical skills that help advance the Enabling Technology Platforms. Interested applicants can learn more about this Fellowship here.

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Kambez Benam

Kambez H. Benam received his B.Sc. with First-Class Honors in Pharmacology from Newcastle University in 2007, and his D.Phil. in Clinical Medicine (Immunology) from the University of Oxford in 2011. His doctoral work focused on host-pathogen interactions, pulmonary mucosal immunity, and development of mild and highly pathogenic viral infection models. His thesis revealed a novel antigen-presenting capacity in airway epithelium to directly interact with circulating blood lymphocytes. As a Senior Research Fellow in Don Ingber’s lab at Harvard, Kambez designed and developed a lung 'small airway-on-a-chip' to model debilitating human lung disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and respiratory viral infections in order to advance drug development strategies. He also engineered a microfluidically coupled multi-compartment system to 'breathe' whole smoke from tobacco-related products, electronic cigarettes or any other aerosolized compound/drug in and out of small airway chip microchannels as occurs in vivo ('smoking-breathing airway-on-a-chip'). As a Wyss Institute Technology Development Fellow, Kambez is applying organ-on-chip technology to discover and validate novel therapeutic targets for lung diseases. Contact: kambez.benam@wyss.harvard.edu.

 

Sam Felton

Sam Felton received his B.S in mechanical engineering and M.E. in biomedical engineering from MIT in 2007, where he developed new techniques for measuring the form and function of muscles using magnetic resonance imaging. From 2007 to 2011 he served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a tank officer. He received his Ph.D. in engineering sciences from Harvard University in 2015, where he invented methods for building self-folding machines. As a Wyss Institute Technology Development Fellow, he is developing soft and origami-inspired machines for industrial and personal use. Contact: sam@seas.harvard.edu.

 

 

 

Marc Guell

Marc Güell received Bachelor's degrees in Chemistry from Ramon Llull University and in Telecommunications Engineering from the Open University of Catalonia, and a Ph.D. in Biomedicine from Pompeu Fabra University, studying one of the simplest microorganisms, Mycoplasma pnemoniae, with unprecedented detail. He developed the first method for strand specific transcriptome genome-wide profiling, and generated the most comprehensive integrated quantitative dataset for a bacterium including proteomics and metabolomics. As EMBO and HFSP fellow in the laboratory of George Church, he focused on genome recoding, and in CRISPR based genome engineering. As Wyss Institute Technology Development Fellow, he focuses on synthetic systems to generate human compatible tissues, and to translate DNA diversity to small molecule diversity. Contact: mguell@genetics.med.harvard.edu. Website: http://marcguell.net.

  

Jianyu Li

Jianyu Li received his B.S. in Polymer Science and Engineering from Zhejiang University, China in 2010, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University in 2015. His thesis work involved developing novel biomaterials with unprecedented mechanical properties, in particular, stiff and tough hydrogels for cartilage replacement. He joined the Programmable Nanomaterials Platform as a post-doctoral fellow in 2015, where he worked on developing hydrogel drug delivery systems for tissue regeneration. As a Wyss Technology Development Fellow, he will continue to work on controlled drug delivery using hydrogels, and develop novel tissue-adhesive tough hydrogels for broad biomedical applications such as wound dressings, tissue adhesives and myocardial patches. Contact: li20@fas.harvard.edu.

 

 

Dan Mandell

Dan Mandell received his Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 2002 and a Master's degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh in 2003. His Ph.D. work at UCSF coupled inverse kinematics techniques from robotics with protein modeling and design to allow prediction of flexible protein structures to atomic accuracy, earning him the Julius R. Krevans Award for Most Outstanding Dissertation in 2010. As a HHMI Postdoctoral Fellow of the LSRF in George Church’s lab at Harvard, Dan combined computational protein design with genome-wide codon reassignment to engineer essential enzymes that require synthetic amino acids to function, producing the first organisms that require a synthetic amino acid for survival. As a Technology Development Fellow at the Wyss Institute, Dan is developing methods to design proteins bearing synthetic amino acids that offer new functions and properties. He has also developed a generalized platform to produce biosensors for optimized bioproduction and environmental detection of small molecules. Contact: daniel_mandell@hms.harvard.edu.

 

Daniel Miranda

Daniel Miranda received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University in 2007 and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University in 2012. His thesis work involved developing and implementing novel techniques for non-invasively studying dynamic skeletal bone motion in vivo. He joined the Anticipatory Medical and Cellular Devices platform as a post-doctoral fellow in 2012, where he worked on biomechanical problems associated with delayed development and immobility in infants and children. As a Wyss Technology Development Fellow, he will be working on a variety of projects related to developing and applying novel technologies for improving biomechanical deficiencies resulting from various injuries or medical pathologies. Contact: Daniel.Miranda@wyss.harvard.edu.

 

Janna Nawroth

Janna Nawroth received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Molecular Biotechnology from Heidelberg University, Germany, in 2004 and 2007, respectively, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology in 2012. For her graduate research on biological fluid transport she collaborated with SEAS Prof. Kit Parker to engineer a microscale pump and jellyfish powered by cardiac muscle, which earned her Caltech’s Best Nanotechnology Dissertation Award. Janna's current research at the Wyss focuses on studying and implementing the design principles of tissues interacting with flow and flow-borne substances, particularly within microfluidic technology. Currently, she is working on fluidically coupling multiple organ tissues within the Biomimetic Microssystems platform (organs-on-chips) to study systemic distribution and effects of circulating drugs. She is also interested in developing functional metrics of transport, forces and mixing associated with flow in engineered tissue conduits, valves, and ciliated surfaces. Contact: jnawroth@seas.harvard.edu.

 

Tanya Shirman

Tanya Shirman received her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, in 2005 and 2010, respectively. As a graduate student, Tanya developed new strategies utilizing supramolecular interactions for assembling novel organic and hybrid metal-organic materials. Tanya was awarded the Israel National Postdoctoral Award for Advancing Women in Science in 2012. She joined the Aizenberg lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2012, working on the design and synthesis of stimuli-responsive, adaptive, and tunable materials utilizing nanoscale functional components. As a Wyss Technology Development Fellow, she is working on a variety of projects focusing on the development of dynamic optical and functional materials based on structural color and inorganic nanoparticles for production of industrially valuable pigments and catalysts. Contact: tshirman@seas.harvard.edu.

 

Ariel Weinberger

Ariel Weinberger received his Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Maryland in 2004. After a postgraduate research fellowship at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2005-2006, Ariel received his Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011. As a Department of Defense NDSEG Fellow with Harold Lecar, Ariel developed population-scale mathematical models to predict the co-evolution of pathogens and adaptive immune systems from HIV to bacteria. For his graduate work, Ariel received the California HIV/AIDS Dissertation Award.  Subsequently, Ariel was awarded an NIH F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship to study the evolution of antibiotic resistance with Michael Gilmore and Eugene Shakhnovich at Harvard University.  Now, as a Wyss Technology Development Fellow, Ariel is developing the theoretical basis for mutating therapies that aim to control evolving bacteria, viruses and cancers across individuals and populations. Contact: ariel.weinberger@wyss.harvard.edu.

 

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