Research Scientists & Engineers
Research Scientists & Engineers apply their expertise and knowledge across all Institute Platforms and projects. They work closely with faculty and the Advanced Technology Team staff towards finding, developing and evaluating innovative and new approaches in device and material development.
Bok Yeop Ahn, Ph.D., is a Materials Science and Chemical Engineer at the Wyss Institute. Ahn’s research interests include developing functional inks and direct-write assembly of 3D printed electronics. Currently he is focusing on a project through Lewis Research Group and the Wyss Institute's Bioinspired Robotics platform to develop 3D microbatteries using ink filament-based 3D printing and laser micromachining techniques. Ahn received his Bachelor's degree in Kwandong University in 1997, Master’s degree in Kangwon National University in 1999, and Ph.D. degree in Korea University in 2006. During his Ph.D., he worked for the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT) in the Advanced Materials Division and focused his researches on the synthesis of metal oxide nanoparticles and alkyl-modified silica core/shell microcapsules. He joined the Wyss Institute in 2013. Prior to becoming a staff engineer, Ahn was a Visiting Assistant Research Professor in the department of Materials Science and Engineering in the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Noah Davidsohn, Ph.D., is a Biological Engineer at the Wyss Institute. Davidsohn's research interests include increasing longevity through age reversal and synthetic control of epigenetic modifications. Currently he is focusing on a project through George Church Research Group and the Wyss Institute's Synthetic Biology platform to develop an age reversal therapeutic using CRSPR technology. Noah received his Bachelor's degree at California Institute of Technology in 2006, Master’s degree from Princeton University in 2008, and Ph.D. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013. During his Ph.D., he worked in Ron Weiss’s Lab creating modular genetic circuits that could be predictably assembled from individual part characterization. Prior to joining the Wyss Institute in 2015, Noah was a postdoctoral fellow in the department of genetics at Harvard Medical School. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikolaos Dimitrakakis is an Associate in Biomedical Informatics and Pre-Clinical Data Analyst at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. He is member of the Sepsis group and he is working at the interface between analysis of pre-clinical data and computational mathematical modeling of sepsis. He holds a Diploma in Chemical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and MSc in Biomedical Engineering from Tufts University (recipient of the Gerondelis Foundation Award, Lynn, MA). Nikolaos has a versatile and diverse background; his previous industrial and research activities cover a wide range of skills which include but are not limited to organs-on-chips cell cultures, drug screening, in vitro metabolic and toxicity studies, fabrication and modification of natural biomaterials. His current research interests are focused on big data analysis, biomedical informatics, disease modeling and pharmacometrics. Nikolaos has been elected as Appointed Secretary in the Hellenic Bio-Scientific Association in the USA (Nov 2014). Contact: Nikolaos.Dimitrakakis@wyss.harvard.edu
Alan Dunne is a Staff Research Engineer on the Anticipatory Medical and Cellular Devices Platform at the Wyss Institute. He holds a B.E. in Computer Engineering from the University of Limerick and an M.Eng.Sc. Electrical and Electronic Engineering from NUI Galway, specializing in Biomedical Engineering. He worked previously in the telecommunications industry as a Network Integration Engineer for L. M. Ericsson, helping to develop and deploy IP-based networks for major communication service providers in Europe. Since joining the Wyss Institute in August 2011, he has created software systems for a variety of medical and biologically inspired devices including mobile and touch screen interfaces, wireless communication, motor control, sensor characterization, and human subject data collection. These systems are currently being applied in the development of wearable sensors and mobile therapeutic devices, as well as durable medical equipment and rehabilitation technologies. Contact: Alan.Dunne@wyss.harvard.edu
Stacey Fitzgibbons is a Staff Mechanical Engineer at the Wyss Institute where she has worked on the Anticipatory Medical and Cellular Device Platform since 2012. Her mechanical engineering experience covers a wide range of research, design, prototyping, and testing. Prior to coming to the Wyss, Fitzgibbons worked in the fields of military defense and biomedical devices. She is also a commissioned Engineer Officer currently serving in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. Fitzgibbons received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Northeastern University.
Ignacio Galiana, Ph.D., is a Staff Robotics Engineer at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Galiana’s research and development goal is to develop soft wearable devices that can assist human walking. Currently he is the technical lead for a project to develop the next generation of soft wearable exosuits to augment human walking performance. The research in soft exosuits is funded by the DARPA Warrior Web Program. Galiana received his B.S. in Industrial Engineering with a major in Automation and Electronics and a MSc in Automation and Robotics from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. He received his Ph.D. in Automation and Control from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in 2013. His Ph.D. research focused on the development of human-machine interaction methods and on the design and control of haptic devices. Prior to becoming a staff engineer, Galiana was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Biodesign lab to create new control methods for soft exosuits to enhance human performance during overground walking.
David Kalish, M.Eng., is a Staff Mechanical Engineer at the Wyss Institute. Kalish’s research interests include designing and fabricating devices and parts, and developing motion control software. He is currently focusing on the automation of Fluorescent In Situ Sequencing (FISSEQ) using various open-flowcell sequencing chemistries on the Synthetic Biology platform. Kalish received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University in 2011 and Duke University in 2013, respectively. Before becoming a staff engineer, Kalish was an intern with the Synthetic Biology platform for three summers, helping to design and fabricate parts for a blood cleaning device, and developing software for DNA sequencers.
Steven Perrault received a Bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, in 2002, and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Toronto in 2010. As a graduate student with Warren Chan, and with funding from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, he focused on nanomedicine and nanomaterial synthesis. As a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellow, and then a Wyss Technology Development Fellow, Steven developed new DNA nano-devices and advanced our ability to use such materials in medical diagnostics and therapeutics. Steven is currently a Senior Research Scientist in Synthetic Biology, and is focused on developing in situ sequencing technologies towards personalized cancer diagnosis, and for mapping neural connectivity within the brain.
Ben Pruitt is a Staff Research Scientist at the Wyss Institute, where he works with ATT staff to develop enabling technologies at the intersection of synthetic biology and DNA nanotechnology. His current projects include the development of scalable software platforms for FISSEQ automation and DNA chip synthesis, a design-to-production pipeline for targeted in situ sequencing, a CRISPR/Cas9 genome surveillance system, and an open source DNA nanotechnology design tool chain. Prior to joining the Wyss, he received his Bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry at Middlebury College, where he worked on small RNA-driven regulatory circuits and NGS-based approaches to protein regulome characterization. His work at the Wyss also draws from his experience designing microfluidic systems for BL4 environments at Sandia National Labs and in control systems engineering as a consultant in the aftermarket automotive space.
Charles Reilly, Ph.D., is a Staff Scientist who develops biologically inspired animations depicting cellular and molecular phenomena for communication and entertainment. He works closely with Faculty and the Advanced Technology Team to include and develop mathematical and physical models in his animations. Charles has a strong interest in the use of animation for hypothesis generation and is particularly interested in how procedural VFX tools can be used in describing and understanding modular and hierarchical systems biology (procedural biology). Charles completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Melbourne in 2012 where he also studied at the Melbourne Business School. Prior to this, Charles worked in film post production at Park Road Post, a boutique post production facility owned by Peter Jackson. More recently, Charles spent time at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.
Danielle (Dani) Ryan, is a Functional Apparel Designer at the Wyss Institute, where she will focus on bioinspired wearable robotics. She has always been fascinated by the intersection of apparel and science, particularly with pieces like spacesuits that are used by humans in extreme environments. Dani received her B.F.A. in fashion design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She launched her career through design positions with Reebok and New Balance where she created everything from bras to outerwear to pieces for Heidi Klum's New Balance collection. Dani will be focusing on a DARPA-funded project developing a soft exosuit to augment human walking.
Alexander Valentine is a Staff Materials Engineer at the Wyss Institute. Valentine’s research interests include stretchable and flexible electronics, hybrid biological screening platforms, and 3D bioprinting. Valentine received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University in 2014, where he conducted research on vascular tissue engineering and drug delivery techniques. He currently works in the Lewis Research Group, where he is leading research efforts in 3D printing of stretchable and flexible electronics.
Daniel M. Vogt, M.S., is a part of the Bioinspired Robotics team at the Wyss Institute. His research interests include flying robotics, soft sensors, and technology transfer. Vogt received a B.S. in Computer Science from the Engineering School of Geneva, in 2005, and M.S. in Microengineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 2011 with a minor in Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship. He achieved his M.S. thesis at Harvard’s Microrobotics Laboratory, where he is currently pursing research.
Diana Wagner is a Senior Functional Apparel Designer at the Wyss Institute where she works in Bioinspired Robotics. Wagner leads a team of designers in the development of soft wearable devices and textile-based exosuits that serve as the interface between a human and a machine to assist and restore performance. She began at the Wyss as a visiting graduate student in 2013. During this time, her work focused on integrating human factors and apparel design in order to translate soft wearable exosuit concepts into textile based designs. Wagner is interested in soft goods, textiles, and materials development for wearable assistive devices. She received a BFA in Sculpture and Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University and her Masters of Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. Contact: email@example.com
Anna Waterhouse is a Research Scientist at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Her research interests are to develop biocompatible and non-thrombogenic materials for medical devices and tissue engineered therapies. Working as part of the DARPA Sepsis project, Anna leads the translational hemocompatibility and biocompatibility testing for the dialysis-like sepsis therapeutic device. Anna received her Bachelors and Honors degree in Cell Biology from the University of Manchester, UK in 2005, and her PhD in 2011 from the University of Sydney, Australia, in the group of Prof. Anthony Weiss, where she worked on biomimetic coronary stent coatings to treat heart disease, by covalently immobilizing tropoelastin, (a protein found in arterial walls), on the surfaces of stents by plasma deposition techniques.
James Weaver Ph.D., is a Senior Research Scientist at the Wyss Institute where he runs the Wide Field Electron Optics Laboratory. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Aquatic Biology and Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and went on to pursue postdoctoral studies in Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering, Physics, and Earth Sciences. Working at the interface between zoology, materials science, and multi-material additive manufacturing, his main research interests focus on investigating structure function relationships in hierarchically ordered biological composites and the fabrication of their synthetic analogs. He has played critical roles in the development of various model systems for the study of a wide range of biomineralization processes and is an internationally recognized and award winning scanning electron microscopist. With a strong history of national and international academic and industrial collaborations, he has coauthored more than 50 journal articles in the biological, physical, and geological sciences.
Justin Werfel, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Scientist at the Wyss Institute. His research interests are in the understanding and design of complex and emergent systems. His research includes work on swarm robotics, engineered molecular nanosystems, social insect behavior, evolutionary theory, and educational robotics. He completed his Ph.D. at MIT in 2006, developing algorithms to allow swarms of simple robots to autonomously build user-specified structures. His postdoctoral work included further exploration of collective construction at Harvard SEAS, work on the evolution of cooperative and altruistic behaviors at the New England Complex Systems Institute, and cancer modeling at Harvard Medical School/Children's Hospital Boston.