Members

Laboratory Manager

Ronak Afshari

Dr. Ronak Afshari joined Dr. Annabi’s group as a postdoctoral researcher in 2022. She received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from Tehran University (2010); M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry from Amirkabir University of Technology (2013) and Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from Shahid Beheshti University (2019), Tehran-Iran, for studies concerning functionalization of carbonaceous nanomaterials as well as metal/polymeric nanoparticles for drug delivery and catalysis. Meanwhile, she has been awarded the best researcher of 2019 among Ph.D. students at Shahid Beheshti University. She also pursued a postdoctoral course in the Department of Physics at the Sharif University of Technology with a focus on the synthesis and functionalization of nanobubbles as neoteric medicinal platforms. She has over 25 papers, reviews and science books and made over 5 announcements at international scientific conferences. Her current research interests lie in designing novel organic synthetic routes for the functionalization of nanomaterials including carbon nanostructures and biopolymers, in developing multifaceted and stimuli-responsive biomaterials. Her hobbies include reading, traveling and spending time with her friends/family.

rafshari@g.ucla.edu

Research Scientists

Rizwan Subhani

Dr. Rizwan did B.S. (Hons) in Bioinformatics from the Government College University, Faisalabad in 2012; M.Phil in Biotechnology from the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences Islamabad, Pakistan, in 2014; and Ph.D. degree in Chemistry in 2019 from the Nanjing University, China, under the supervision of Prof. Xinghua Xia. He also pursued a postdoctoral course in the School of Medicine, Shenzhen University. Dr. Rizwan has published over 50 papers (h-index = 18, i-10 index = 33) in prestigious journals (ACS Nano, Advanced Science, Theranostics, Advanced Functional Materials, Biomaterials, Nano Today, Applied Material Today, Journal of Nanobiotechnology, etc.) with a cumulative impact factor of greater than 500. Recently, he joined Annabi’s research group as a research scientst, where he will focus on bridging and interfacing chemistry, materials science, and biomedical science to develop advanced functional biomaterials with properties useful in nanomedicine, controlled delivery of biotherapeutics, immunomodulation, and tissues engineering to address the unmet health challenges.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Avijit Baidya

Dr. Avijit Baidya pursued his double degree doctoral studies from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) and Aalto University, Finland. He awarded with Ph.D. and D.Sc. (Tech) from respective schools in July 2018. During his doctoral studies, he was associated with Dept. of Chemistry (IIT M), Mechanical Engineering (IIT M) and Applied Physics (Aalto University) for his interdisciplinary research. He holds expertise on molecular functionalization, surface engineering, interfaces, fabrication of nano-biomaterials, wettability, magnetic nano-materials, etc. He earned M.Sc. in Chemistry (gold medalist) from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT Madras). Before that, he has finished B.Sc. in Chemistry from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Currently, he is working with Prof. Nasim Annabi as a postdoctoral researcher and focused to design multifunctional tissue adhesives for different biomedical applications. He is also keen to understand the molecular aspect of these bio-adhesives, in general. Before Joining Annabi’s lab, he was working with Prof. Ali Khademhosseini at CNSI, UCLA. He was leading the bio-materials sub-group having a focused research interest on the fabrication of functional biomaterial for drug delivery and capture, disease models, regenerative bio-adhesives and others. Avijit loves to work in a team and moves forward with a passion to achieve success through “the hard work” and “the power of imagination”. Apart from research, he is passionate about football, photography, cooking and music.

A.baidyaju@gmail.com

Yavuz Oz

Dr. Yavuz Oz received his B.Sc. in Chemistry in 2010 from Gazi University. Then, he completed his M.Sc. in 2014 and Ph.D. in 2020 in Chemistry at Bogazici University under supervision of Prof. Amitav Sanyal. During his Ph.D., he focused on smart polymer nanocomposites and graphene based materials tailored for targeted delivery and imaging. After gaining 2 years of experience in industry, Dr. Yavuz Oz started his post-doctoral studies in Prof Nasim Annabi`s research group in Spring of 2022. Currently, he is working on functional polymeric nano-platforms utilized for targeted delivery and controlled release. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling, spending time with his family, and watching Premier League.

yavuzozz@yahoo.com

Visiting Scholars

Jose Chevalier

Jose is a visiting scholar after graduating from UCLA with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. After serving 6 years as a Hospital Corpsman with Marine Regiment for the United States Marine Corps and becoming proficient on current Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), he realized that battlefield-induced hemorrhages needed an innovative approach to prevent infections and induce proper coagulation while increasing survivability and quality of life for patients. Dr. Annabi’s lab provided an exciting opportunity for Jose to become involved in biomaterials aimed at wound-healing and targeted drug delivery systems via nanoparticles. His post-graduation plans consist of attending medical school and becoming a plastic surgeon to service the combat veteran and breast cancer survivor communities. He enjoys jogging, thrilling-amusement parks, and exploring new experiences and restaurants during his free time.

chevyjm96@g.ucla.edu

Graduate Students

Hossein Montazerian

Hossein received his BSc in Mechanical Engineering at Shahid Rajaee University, Tehran, Iran (2015) and continued his MASc studies at The School of Engineering, University of British Columbia, Canada in 2018. Hossein’s undergraduate research was focused on the design and mechanical characterization of the 3D-printed porous bone scaffolds. As a part of his MASc studies, Hossein’s research was further extended to the area of stretchable and wearable sensors. At UBC, he worked in Composites Research Network and Advanced ThermoFluidic Laboraties. Hossein is currently co-supervised by Prof. Paul Weiss and Prof. Nasim Annabi since Spring 2020. Prior to joining Annabi Lab, he worked in Khademhosseini Laboratory at UCLA. He is so excited to pursue his research on the next-generation hydrogel biomaterials for the development of bioadhesives and medical sealants. 

Hmontazerian@g.ucla.edu

Yuting Zheng

Yuting began her research in Professor Annabi’s lab as a PhD student at UCLA in the Fall of 2020. She received her bachelor’s degree with a major of Chemistry from University of Shanghai for Science and Technology and received her master’s degree from University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Chemical Engineering. During her master’s degree, she worked in Prof. Phillip Messersmith’s lab as a student researcher. Her research fields mainly focus on developing functional biomaterials with tunable mechanics, self-healing properties and stimuli-responsive behaviors for a wide range of biomedical applications such as tissue regeneration, tumor therapy, wound healing, immunomodulation, etc. She aspires to develop these therapies to improve the quality of healthcare around the world by engineering smart hydrogels and nanocomposites for drug/cell delivery and dynamically crosslinked materials that suit their drug cargo and delivery needs on a molecular level. Yuting also worked as a full-time analytical assistant in Estee Lauder R&D center for half a year. In her free time, Yuting likes to travel, planting and enjoy her time with the family!

Zyt0825@g.ucla.edu

Saumya Jain

Saumya received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Seattle University in the spring of 2020. Three years of her undergraduate studies were dedicated to carbohydrate chemistry research in the lab of Dr. Joseph Langenhan. She worked on developing a novel synthetic route to produce a glycosylated asparagine residue that is vital in post-translational cellular modifications and, therefore, in many areas of drug development. Among various technical skills she has learned during undergraduate research, Saumaya most enjoys synthesis, analysis by NMR, and recombinant gene expression using PCR. Saumya joined Dr. Nasim Annabi’s lab in the fall of 2020  as she pursues her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at UCLA. Outside of the sciences, Saumaya loves listening to music, learning new songs on the guitar, hiking, teaching new crafts to her younger sister, and spending time with friends.

Saumyaaditi@gmail.com

Joyce Huang

Joyce is a PhD student in Bioengineering at UCLA. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Bioengineering from University of Washington Seattle (2020). She previously worked with Dr. Rajiv Saigal at UW in developing electronic drug delivery microneedles for treatment of spinal cord injuries. Her current research interests lie in developing functional and stimuli responsive biomaterials.

joycehuang616@gmail.com

Yadi Huo

Yadi received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Columbia University in the City of New York in the Spring of 2021. She joined Dr. Annabi’s group as a master student at UCLA in the Fall of 2021. She worked in a biomedical institution in Kunming, China, focusing on mRNA modifications. She is currently working under Mahsa. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring vintage stores, trying new food recipes and hanging out with friends.

yadihuo47@g.ucla.edu

Albert Lee

Albert received their B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Philosophy from UCLA in 2021. During his studies, he had experience working in two different laboratories, the first of which was focused on developing nanopatterned bactericidal polyurethane for medical devices in Dr. Albert Yee’s lab at UC Irvine in 2016. The second focused on working with nanoencapsulation of proteins for drug delivery in Dr. Yunfeng Lu’s lab at UCLA during his undergraduate studies. His interests are currently focused on the applications of nanotechnology and nanostructures in biological devices. Albert joined the Annabi Lab in the fall of 2021 and hopes to focus on research involving nanostructured scaffolding and tissue repair devices. Outside of the lab, he dedicates his time to esports, visiting national parks, traveling, teaching, and spending time with their friends and family,

leealbert999@g.ucla.edu

Annabella Budiman

Annabella received her BS in Chemical Engineering at UC San Diego in Spring of 2021. During her undergraduate, she worked as a Chemistry R&D Intern in Molecular Assemblies where she purified synthetic products and analyzed data utilizing HPLC and LCMS used in enzymatic DNA synthesis. Annabella joined the Annabi lab as a master’s student in Fall 2021. She is eager to pursue research in drug delivery and development while exploring different experimental techniques for gene therapy. In her free time, she likes to travel, explore new restaurants and drink copious amounts of boba. 

abudiman99@ucla.edu

Yimin Gu

Yimin Gu is a Master’s student in Annabi lab, focusing on synthesizing hydrogel for surgical sealant, testing its drug releasing and anti-infectious properties. Worked in a Chinatown clinic and lived among underrepresented communities in Oakland, she witnessed unexpected suffering due to improper wound care. She aspired to develop biomaterials that minimize scar formation and simplify recovery regimens. In her free time, she enjoys camping, gardening, and exploring historical landmarks/restaurants with friends.

yimingu@g.ucla.edu                                               

Undergraduate Students

Cathy Lu

Cathy is a third year Biochemistry student at UCLA. She is currently working under Avijit and is excited to learn more about bioadhesives and related subjects. In her free time, Cathy enjoys jogging, singing, and hanging out with her friends

cathylu18@gmail.com

Diya Kapur

I am a second year undergraduate student studying chemical engineering. I am currently working under Yuting and Yimin, exploring different methods of drug delivery. I look forward to learning more about this field and its applications in modern medicine. In my free time I enjoy dancing, baking, crocheting, reading, and spending time with friends/family.

dkapur02@g.ucla.edu

Heather Griffiths

Heather is a first year Materials Engineering student. She is currently working under Yuting. In her free time she loves cooking, watching tv, and spending time with her family.

heather.faith55@gmail.com

Steven Vo

Steven is a 4th-year chemical engineering student interested in injectable hydrogel applications for ophthalmic drug delivery. He is currently working on optimizing hydrogel properties for subcutaneous minimally invasive post-treatment antibacterial wound healing. His interests in his free time are modern dancing, playing video games, and spending time with his family.

stevenvo46@gmail.com

Esha Sharma

Esha is a second-year Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics student at UCLA. She is currently working under Yuting with an interest in drug-eluting adhesive hydrogels for ocular applications. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, singing, watching movies, crocheting, painting, and spending time with friends and family!

Jacob Pearl

Jacob is a second-year Bioengineering student. He is working under Avijit with biomaterials and is creating a hemostatic patch. He is interested in learning more about biomaterials and other chemistry-based biomedical applications. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, photography, video games, sports, and hanging out with friends.

Alumni

Hamed Nilchi, M.S Student, UCLA 22′

Emily Dunn, Undergraduate Student, UCLA 22′

Daniel Booth, M.S Student, UCLA 22′

Shameek Mitra, Undergraduate Student, UCLA 21′

Mahsa Ghovvati, Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA

Reza Moonesirad, Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA

Jharana Dhal, Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA

Yangcheng Liu, M.S. Student, UCLA

Chen Xi, M.S Student, UCLA

Mahtab Bayani, Visiting scholar, Iran

Mitchell Nguyen, Undergraduate, UCLA

Azadeh Mostafavi, Visiting Ph.D. Student, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Shima Gholizadeh, Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA

Sevana Baghdasarian, M.S. Student, UCLA

Pradeep Sharma, Visiting Scholar, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, India

Hojin Choi, Undergraduate Student, UCLA

Jonathan Soucy, PhD Student, Northeastern University

Jessii Chun, Undergraduate, UCLA

Nicole Prusty, Undergraduate, UCLA

Yizhen Guan (Yvonne), Undergraduate, UCLA

Gokberk Unal, Master’s Student, UCLA

Mustafa Nakipoglu, Visiting Scholar, Middle East Technical University (Turkey)

Gabriela Djuhadi, Undergraduate, UCLA

Ehsan Shirzaei Sani, PhD Student, UCLA

Brian Walker, PhD Student, UCLA

Sohyung Lee, PhD Student, UCLA

Senne Seneca, Visiting Scholar, University of Hasselt (Belgium)

Marianna Cosentino, Visiting Scholar, University of Rome (Italy)

Ashley Dickman, Undergraduate, UCLA

Ziqing Wang, Undergraduate, Central South University China  (China)

Sinziana Popescu, Visiting Scholar, Romanian Academy (Romania)

Andrew Spencer, PhD Student, Northeastern University

Brenden Lee, Undergraduate, UCLA

Andrea Winslow, Undergraduate, UCLA

Brijesh Hirani, Master Student, Northeastern University

Zheng Cao, Master Student, Northeastern University

Abolfazl Akbarzadeh, Visiting Professor, Tabriz University (Iran)

Devyesh Rana, Master Student, Northeastern University

Jinzhao Fu, Master Student, Northeastern University

Islam Khalil, Visiting Scholar, University for Science and Technology (Egypt)

Ebrahim Mostafavi, PhD Student, Northeastern University

Bahram Saleh, PhD Student, Northeastern University

Jakub Erben, Visiting PhD Student, Technical University of Liberec (Czech Republic)

Hailey Konisky, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Shannon Joyce, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Jaiden Cruger, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Spencer Lake Jacobs-Skolik, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Dina Mohsen, Visiting Master Student, The American University of Cairo (Egypt)

Chu-Hsiang Yu, Research Assistant, Brandeis University

Shashank Madhu, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Bradley Priem, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Divya Vijayakumar, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Amy Sevigny, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

William Kimball, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Nooshin Zandi, Visiting PhD Student, Sharif University (Iran)

Gustavo Hernánde, Visiting PhD student, Monterey Tech University (Mexico)

Paula Rodrigues Fontes Sousa Moraes, Visiting PhD Student, Sao Paulo University (Brazil)

Roberto Portillo Lara, Postdoctoral Fellow, Monterey Tech University (Mexico)

Eulalie Leroux, Visiting Undergraduate Student, University Paris Descartes, (France)

Navin Jayaswal, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Asel Primbetova, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Benjamin Houang, Visiting Master Student, Grenoble (France)

Soundarapandian Kannan, Visiting Professor, Periyar University (India)

Jessie Gifford, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Amanda Bretti, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Fayez Ghazi, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Sophia Maciel, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Andi Shehu, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Jennifer Silva, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Mingzhi Dai, Visiting Professor, Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering (China)

Mohammad Fares, Visiting Professor, Jordan University of Science and Technology (Jordan)

David Villiard, Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

Bastien Delaly, Visiting Master Student, Northeastern University

Nicholas Duva, Visiting Undergraduate Research Assistant, Northeastern University

Rhayza Oliveira, Visiting Undergraduate Research Assistant, Federal University of Sao Carlos (Brazil)

Mohammad Reza Aziziyan, Visiting PhD student, University of Sherbrooke (Canada)

Iman Noshadi, Postdoctoral Scholar, Northeastern University

Lauren Tips, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Northeastern University

Jamal Ashrafi, Visiting PhD Student, Tehran University (Iran)

Wendy Yu, Undergraduate, Vanderbilt University

Hannah McFetridge, Undergraduate, Cornell University

Nayara Gomes, Undergraduate, New Mexico State University (Brazil)

Felipe Dias, Undergraduate, New Mexico State University (Brazil)