Student Leadership Council President
Nandita Chaturvedi, TAMU
Nandita Chaturvedi received her B.S. in Computer Engineering from NYU Abu Dhabi. She then worked as a researcher at a microfluidics lab for the development of a silicon-membrane based biosensor for the electrokinetic amplification and detection of DNA and mRNA, and on the design and development of a fully-automated system for high-throughput dispensing of C. elegans worms for drug screening applications. She has also worked as a researcher in a wearable medical device lab, where she developed embedded systems and applied signal processing and machine learning algorithms on sensors such as PPG, dry-contact electrodes, and electronic tattoos for blood pressure estimation. She now is a Biomedical Engineering PhD student and PATHS-UP fellow in Dr. Gerard Cote’s Optical Bio-Sensing Lab at Texas A&M, where she is developing low-cost, point-of-care diagnostic solutions of cardiovascular biomarkers for the underserved population, by translating nanoparticle-based assays onto paperfluidic platforms.
Student Leadership Council Past President
Jesse Fine, TAMU
Jesse is a second year PhD student at Texas A&M working under Drs. Cote and McShane. With a background in microfluidics and microfabrication, he aims to switch gears and develop a dissertation surrounding optics and wearable devices. Jesse completed his undergraduate work at Ohio State, working on his thesis under Dr. Daniel Gallego-Perez and brings to the SLC a history of leadership and ambition to promote the mission of PATHS-UP and the success of its fellows/scholars.
Angela San Juan, TAMU
Angela San Juan is a first year PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Texas A&M University. She works in the Nanotheranostics Lab with Dr. Samuel Mabbot in which she aims to develop an easy to use biomarker-based test for monitoring women with gestational diabetes at the point of care setting. In our lab, we also hope to understand how nanoparticles can have positive impact on global issues especially in remote and under-resourced settings. Being an international student from the Philippines, she is passionate about improving access to quality healthcare by providing affordable technological solutions.
Vice President of Workforce Development
Mel Boonya-ananta, FIU
Tananant (Mel) Boonya-ananta received his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California in 2017. His Master’s work involved wind turbine gear box analysis with modeling and simulation using Finite Element Analysis and Multi-Body Dynamics. He is currently a NSF PATHS-UP Fellow and a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering working with Dr. Jessica Ramella-Roman. Mel is currently involved in the development of wearable technologies and devices using optical technology for the obese to aid in monitoring and care of chronic diseases.
Vice President of Culture of Inclusion
Jacob Hambalek, UCLA
Jacob Hambalek received his B.S. degree in Bioengineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. He began undergraduate research as a member of the Di Carlo Laboratory at UCLA in 2016, working on sensitive detection methods for isothermal nucleic acid amplification. Jacob was a PATHS-UP scholar as an undergraduate, researching emerging nucleic acid based biomarkers for Cardiovascular Disease. He is currently pursuing a M.S. degree in Bioengineering at UCLA. His work as a PATHS-UP Fellow focuses on the development of a sensitive point-of-care assay for epigenetic biomarkers of Cardiovascular Disease. Hailing from California’s predominantly agricultural Central Valley, Jacob aims to leverage his education to improve the current state of healthcare in rural communities.
Vice President of Innovation Ecosystem
Andres Rodriguez, FIU
Andres Rodriguez, was born in Colombia and grew up in Miami, FL, where he earned a Degree as a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering at Florida International University. During his time as an undergraduate, he joined a research lab to study the mechanical properties of tissue scaffolds; He helped organize professional events and workshops as an E-board member of an engineering honor society (AEMB); and he team-worked on the “C-Scope: a portable, polarized, cost-effective colposcope” as a placing senior design project. This project introduced Andres into the world of optics, which has led him to join MPL full-time. Recently accepted to FIU’s graduate school as a PATHS-UP fellow, Andres aims to combat the clinical needs of under-served patients by researching and creating novel wearable imaging and spectroscopic technologies.
Coordinator of Workforce Development and Undergrad Rep for FIU
Pablo Rodriguez, FIU
I am currently a senior majoring in Biomedical Engineering at Florida International University I am on a premed track. However, I am also open to the option of pursuing a Ph.D. program. I was born and raised in Colombia and moved to Miami to complete high school and now my bachelor’s degree. I am interested in tissue engineering and affordable biomedical diagnostic devices that can bring many benefits to the underserved populations.
Graduate Representative for Rice
Mahsan Abbasi, Rice
Undergraduate Representative for Rice
Mantej Singh, Rice
Mantej is Computer Science Major at Rice University (Class of 2022). He loves tinkering with electronics and frequently breaks things apart without knowing how to put them back together. Mantej is immensely passionate about fusing medicine and technology to empower human health. His research interests are in building low cost and accessible medical technologies for low-resource settings. At Rice, he is currently developing a wearable glove that converts Sign language into spoken English so that Deaf/Mute people can communicate with anyone in society thus empowering them. While Mantej isn’t working, he loves to goof off, tell his friends lame jokes and drink unhealthy amounts of coffee!
Undergraduate Representative for UCLA
Varshni Nandakumar, UCLA
Varshni Nandakumar is a third year undergraduate student studying Bioengineering at UCLA. As a PATHS-UP scholar, she is working at the Ozcan Research Group to develop an imaging-based blood pressure monitoring system that would allow for easier detection and measurement of blood pressure in a clinical setting. Her interests include wearable biomedical sensors and their applications and impact in the healthcare industry. Varshni currently serves as an undergraduate representative from UCLA.
Undergraduate Representative for UCLA
Chew Aung, UCLA
Chew is a Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics undergraduate international student at UCLA from Yangon, Burma. She previously worked a research fellowship at the Keck School of Medicine on Steatohepatitis and is an award recipient of the Lee Summer Fellowship program. She is currently an undergraduate researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute working on a point of care vertical flow immunoassay under the supervision of Dr. Aydogan Ozcan at University of California, Los Angeles. Chew has also started a Micro Loans program in Yangon, Burma to help underserved families and internally displaced populations start a business with an interest free loan. She plans to pursue a career in healthcare as a physician and will to continue to study and research on the development of point of care medical diagnostics for underserved populations.