Principle Investigator

Prof. Minglin Ma received his B.S. degree from Tsinghua University in 2003 and PhD from Prof. Gregory Rutledge lab at MIT in 2008, both in Chemical Engieering. After graduation, he worked at General Electric Global Research Center before returning in 2009 to MIT where he received his postdoctoral training in Prof. Robert Langer and Prof. Daniel Anderson Laboratories. He joined Cornell Biological and Environmental Engineering in 2013.

Contact: mm826 at

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Wei Song received his Ph. D in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Tsukuba and National Institute for Materials Science in Japan in 2012. He did one year postdoc in University of Minnesota. He has been working on stem cells, micropatterning, microfluidics, biomaterials and tissue engineering. His current research focuses on developing stem cells and packaging biomaterials for type 1 diabetes treatment. Besides his work, Wei enjoys movies, reading, soccer, tennis, swimming and outdoor recreation.

Contact: ws336 at

Dr. Yu Zhang received his B.S. from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 2009 and Ph.D. from Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (CIAC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2014. He has been working on developing well-defined and stimuli-responsive polymers for biomedical applications. His current research interests focus on designing smart hydrogel systems to induce immune tolerance for cell therapy and developing corn-based bioadhesives.

Contact:yz298 at

Dr. Qingsheng Liu received his B.S. from Beijing Huagong University and Ph.D. from Akron University in 2015. He has been working on developing non-fouling polymers for biomedical applications. His current research interests focus on developing vascularizing biomaterials for cell therapy and non-fouling surfaces for food packaging.

Contact:ql77 at

Dr. Longhai Wang received his B.S. in Polymer Materials and Engineering from Hefei University of Technology in 2011 and Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry and Physics from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 2016. He has been working on self-assembly of responsive polymers and their biomedical applications in drug delivery and gene delivery. His current research interests focus on developing functional biomaterials for therapeutic applications, especially in diabetes treatment.

Contact:lw537 at

Dr. Wanjun Liu received his B.E. in Textile Materials and Engineering in 2012 and Ph.D. in Nonwoven Materials and Engineering in 2017, both from Donghua University. During his Ph.D. study, he worked as a visiting student in Harvard Medical School for 2 years. He has been working on electrospinning and bioprinting technologies to solve the problems existing in the area. His current interests lie in the development of cell-laden constructs and functional devices for cell therapy.

Contact:wl625 at

Dr. Dong Wang received his Ph. D. in inorganic chemistry from Jilin University in 2009 and worked as a postdoc in the Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences before joining our group. Dong’s current research interests are in the development of novel biomaterials for cell delivery and applications of DNA-based functional materials under the co-supervision of Prof. Dan Luo. He enjoys walking and hiking during his spare time.

Contact:dw449 at

Graduate Students


Duo An received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). He is co-advised by Prof. Dan Luo in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering. His previous research works involved novel inorganic bionanomaterials with applications including drug delivery and fluorescent imaging. Duo's current research interests concentrate on the interaction of 3-D printing technique with DNA-based biomaterials, as well as their potential biomedical applications.

Contact: da366 at

Alan Chiu received his A.B. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University. After graduation, Alan worked as a technician in the labs of Robert Langer and Dan Anderson at MIT and Seung Schik Yoo at Harvard Medical School. His research involved the development of biomaterials for immuno- isolation and focused ultrasound techniques for non-invasive neurosurgery. He hopes to continue exploring transplant and cancer technologies as a graduate student. Besides his research, Alan enjoys tennis and distance running and hopes to take full advantage of the Ithaca outdoors

Contact: acc335 at

Yudi Pardo is a Ph.D. student in the Biomedical Engineering field at Cornell. He is co-advised by Dr. Dan Luo in the department of Biological and Environmental Engineering. Yudi received his B.S. degree in Bioengineering at Binghamton University. His research interests include combining cell-free protein production and biomaterials for biomedical applications. In his spare time Yudi enjoys juggling.

Contact: yap6 at

Yen-Chun (Jason) Lu received his B.S in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan University and Master of Engineering degree in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University. His previous research focused on the Body-On-the-Chip that he tried to established the blood-brain barrier in-vitro model in a pumpless microfluidic device. In addition, he is focusing on the compartmentalized microtissue in this lab.

Contact:yl2347 at

Undergraduate Researchers


Anastasia (Anya) Varanko is a senior studying Biological Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering. She is interested in studying biomaterials for cell therapy and drug delivery. After graduation, she plans to pursue her PhD and hopes to research biomaterials for cancer therapy. Outside of lab, Anya is an active member of Theta Tau and the president of Cornell's chapter of Alpha Epsilon.

Contact:akv33 at

Rakeeb Kureshi is a senior at Cornell studying biological engineering. His main interest involves working with biomaterials and their integration in biomedical devices and its application to drug delivery. Furthermore, he is interested in studying biomaterials that are durable and integrate in the human body without an immune response. Outside of lab, Rakeeb enjoys helping students as a teaching assistant for various courses.

Contact:rgk48 at

Rowan Callahan is a sophomore at Cornell University studying Bioengineering, with an eventual focus in biomedical engineering. He is very interested in Biological systems and is currently working under Dr. Minglin Ma and Alan Chiu on research that concerns the growth of microvasculature fragments to provide vascularization to bio-devices. Rowan is also a member of the lightweight crew team and in his free time enjoys reading and working out. Some of his most recent favorite books include Chaos by James Gleick and Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan.

Contact:rlc343 at

Wan Qing Melissa Tan is a sophomore studying Biological Engineering, with a minor in Business. She is passionate about synthetic biology and biomaterials, and is interested in the development of innovative techniques to solve problems in living systems. Melissa is also an ambassador for the College of Engineering, and an active member of an engineering student project team, Engineers Without Borders–Cornell.

Contact:wt249 at

Ismael Oumzil is a senior studying Biological Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering. He is interested in the fields of tissue engineering, stem cell, and genetics research. After graduation he plans to continue his education to earn a PhD and become a researcher in academia or industry.

Contact:io43 at

Alexander (Alec) Ernst is a senior in Biological Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering. He is interested in drug delivery and pharmaceutical development, and plans to pursue a PhD in biomaterials for drug delivery applications after he completes his undergraduate studies. In addition to research, he plays on the Cornell Club Basketball team, and produces music recreationally.

Contact:aue2 at

Cynthia Fung is a junior studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She is interested in the pharmacology and pathobiology fields, and wants to investigate methods to combat real-world biological issues. Cynthia is also a member of the Cornell ChemE Car Project Team and Cornell Association of Medicine and Philanthropy.

Contact:cf349 at

Master and Visiting Students


You Yong is a one-year visiting student from the Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University. Back in Tsinghua he's a third-year Ph.D. student. He's interested in the in-vitro and in-vivo use of nanostructured enzyme either as catalyst or therapeutic treatment. During the visiting program, he hopes to research biomaterials for cell encapsulation and therapeutic treatment. You Yong is also interested in playing badminton and jogging, and takes part in volunteer works in rural areas.




Mark Colasurdo Jr (undergraduate researcher; 2013-2015; now PhD student in the BioEngineering Program of Georgia Tech)


Ying Li (MEng student; 2014-2015; now PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering Department of University of Florida)


Denzel Faulner (undergraduate researcher; 2014-2016; now PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering of RPI)


Fangyu Zhang (MS student; 2014-2016; now PhD student in NanoEngineering of UCSD)


Justin Mathew (MEng student; 2014-2015; current position unknown)


Leanne Lannucci (undergraduate researcher; 2014-2015; now MEng student at Cornell)


Lu Han (undergraduate researcher; 2015-2016; now MS student at UBC)