Nov 2018 w_ Kelsey

Principal Investigator

003-tight-cropPhillip B. Messersmith, Ph.D.
Class of 1941 Professor, University of California Berkeley
Departments of Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering
Ph.D. Materials Science & Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana
M.S. Bioengineering, Clemson University
B.S. Life Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbanaphilm(at)berkeley(dot)eduBiosketch

Postdoctoral Researchers

Kyueui Lee, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Ph.D., Chemistry, KAIST, South Korea, 2017
B.S., Chemistry, KAIST, South Korea, 2012

jisooJisoo Shin, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Ph.D., Biotechnology, Yonsei University, South Korea, 2018
BS, Biotechnology, Yonsei University, South Korea, 2012



Joakim Engstrom, Ph.D.

Born in Sweden and did both my Bach. and M.Sc. degree, to become a Chemical Engineer, at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Then continued with doing a PhD at KTH and defended my Doctoral Thesis on tailored latexes made by polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) in February 2019. Working with projects relating to bio-inspired polymeric materials targeting for example drug-delivery in biomedical applications. Trying to make synthetic protocols greener and implementing renewable resources where it is possible.
Personal webpage:

Graduate Students

IMG_2175A. Peyman Delparastan

PhD Candidate, Materials Science and Engineering

MS, Materials Science and Engineering, UC Berkeley 2017
BS, Materials Science and Engineering, Sharif University of Technology 2015

Peyman’s current research is focused on bioinspired design, synthesis, and characterization of multifunctional nano-thin coatings and adhesive films.

katerinaKaterina Malollari

PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering

The Graduate Division Block Grant Awardee, Spring 2018
MS, Mechanical Engineering, UC Berkeley, 2019
MS, Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece 2015
BS, Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece 2015

Katerina’s research is focused on understanding the relationship between biochemical structure and mechanical behavior of biological and bioinspired composite materials and thin films.

DeFratesHeadShotKelsey DeFrates 
PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley-UCSF Bioengineering Program
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 2018
BS, Biomedical Engineering, Rowan University, 2018
ariannaArianna M. Avellan

PhD Student, UC Berkeley Materials Science and Engineering
GEM Fellow
BS, Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland- College Park, 2018
Cynthia Perez
PhD Student, UC Berkeley-UCSF Bioengineering Program
GEM Fellow, 2019
BS, Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at San Antonio, 2019
Co-Advised by Dr. Tejal Desai at UCSF
 Erika Salzman
PhD Student, UC Berkeley Materials Science and Engineering
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 2020
BS, Materials Science, California Institute of Technology, 2020
Nivedina Sarma
PhD Student, UC Berkeley Materials Science and Engineering
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 2020
BS Chemistry, The University of Chicago, 2020

Undergraduate Students

Kristene Mai

Undergraduate Researcher
Chemical Biology (major) and Bioengineering (minor)
Mentor: Kyueui Lee

BrittanyBrittany Zhang

Undergraduate Researcher
Molecular and Cell Biology (B.A.) and Bioengineering (Minor), Expected 2021
Mentor: Katerina Malollari, Joakim Engstrom

9D2699D6-5FC3-4D9E-B49C-E65046FDAFDFAthiyya Umar
3rd year Bioengineering and Materials Science Engineering Joint Major (B.S)
Mentors: Joakim Engstrom, Kelsey DeFrates




sally headshot small squareSally M. Winkler, Ph.D.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 2014

Ph.D., Bioengineering, UC Berkeley, 2020
UC Berkeley Brodie Fellow, 2016
BS, Bioengineering, Stanford University, 2014


Project: Adhesive Polymers for Fetal Membrane Sealing

Sasha DSasha Demeulenaere

3rd year Bioengineering Mentor: Sally Winkler

Valentin Martchenko

Undergraduate Researcher
Chemical Biology (B.S.) and Bioengineering (minor)

Mentor: Kyueui Lee

Goun Lee (Amy)

Visiting Undergraduate Researcher
B.S., Life Sciences, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Expected 2020

Mentor: Kyueui Lee

PictureCaroline Sobek
Undergraduate Researcher
Chemical Biology (B.S.) and Statistics (B.A.), Expected 2020

Mentor: Katerina Malollari


Yiran Li, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher
Ph.D., Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 2017
B. Sc., Condensed Matter Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 2012

Cody PictureCody Higginson, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher

Cody grew up in California and completed his undergraduate education at UC San Diego where he synthesized aminoglycoside-inspired compounds as RNA ligands in the laboratory of Prof. Thomas Hermann. He then continued his graduate education under the mentorship of Prof. M.G. Finn at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA) and Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA) where he explored oxanorbornadiene derivatives as thiol-reactive cleavable linkers for bioconjugation and biomaterials synthesis. Currently he is investigating the site-specific conjugation of proteins to surfaces for various analytical and biomaterials applications, and the preparation of novel polymers as bioinspired adhesives and coatings.Ph.D., Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute, 2015
B.S., Pharmacological Chemistry, UC San Diego, 2010

Muir woods_129

Miriam Zintl 

Visiting Student Researcher

Marshall plan Scholarship Recipient, 2019
MSc. Chemistry and Technology of Materials, TU Vienna, Austria, expected 2019
BSc. Technical Chemistry, TU Vienna, Austria 2016

Sunny Xu

Sunny Xu
Undergraduate Researcher
B.S. Chemical Biology, 2019
Mentor: Cody Higginson
sarah sSarah Spivack
Undergraduate Researcher
B.S. Bioengineering, 2019
Mentor: Sally Winkler

maxn_headshotMax Ney

Undergraduate Researcher

BS, Bioengineering, Expected 2019

Mentor: Brylee Tiu

Alyse PictureAlyse Gonthier

Undergraduate Researcher

B.S. Bioengineering/Materials Science & Engineering Joint, Expected 2019

Mentor: Devang Amin


Jing ChengJing Cheng, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Researcher
Ph.D., Polymer Chemistry, Peking University, Beijing, 2013
B.S., Chemistry, Peking University, Beijing, 2008
dirkDiederik W. R. Balkenende, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher
Swiss National Science Foundation Fellow, 2016
PhD, Polymer Chemistry and Material Science, AMI (Fribourg, Switzerland), 2016
B. Sc., M.Sc, Chemical Engineering & Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), 2012
B TiuBrylee Tiu

Postdoctoral Scholar
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, 2016
B.S., University of the Philippines – Diliman, 2010
Project: Developing mussel-inspired polymeric adhesives and characterizing their adhesion on surfaces via single molecule force spectroscopy

ruehspatrick-CampusInterview2014-003Patrick Rühs, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Fellow

Google Scholar Link

Patrick obtained his master’s degree in food science with a major in food process engineering at ETH Zürich, studying the supramolecular disassembly of amyloid fibrils. During his PhD in the Food Process Engineering group, he studied the interfacial rheology of complex biological interfaces such as bacterial biofilms, amyloid fibrils, and the colloidal interactions of biopolymers whilst also lecturing the “Physics of Food Colloids” course. During his postdoctoral fellowship in the Complex Materials Group at ETH Zürich from 2016 to 2018 he worked on the rheology of soft materials for 3D printing applications. He also studied stabilization mechanisms in microfluidics, with particular attention to food grade, biodegradable, and biological materials. In particular, Patrick is passionate about making smart bacterial structures with advanced material properties by 3D printing. Patrick is now working on the next generation of biologically-made surfaces as a SNSF Fellow at UC Berkeley.

photo_Zhaojie ZhangZhaojie Zhang

Visiting Undergraduate Researcher

B.S. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Expected 2019

Mentor: Kyueui Lee

Aimee NAimee Nguyen
Undergraduate Researcher
BA, Integrative Biology, Expected 2020
Mentor:  Amir Peyman Delparastan
luiscalderaLuis F Caldera Guzman
Undergraduate Researcher

B.S. Bioengineering, Materials Science & Engineering, 2018
Mentors: Devang Amin, Livius Muff, Peyman Delparastan, Katerina Malollari
captureStephanie Liu

Undergraduate Researcher
BS, Materials Science & Engineering, 2018
Multifunctional Catechol Coatings
Mentor: Angie Korpusik
 andrew kAndrew KelleghanUndergraduate Researcher

UC Berkeley SURF Rose Hills Fellow, Summer 2016

BS, UC Berkeley, Expected 2018

Mentor: Cody Higginson, Caroline Sungaux

Currently: PhD Student at UCLA

HaoqiHaoqi Wang

Haoqi Wang

Visiting Undergraduate Researcher

B.S. Physics, Nanjing University, Expected 2019

Mentor: Peyman Delparastan

pictureAngie Korpusik

Masters Student, UC Berkeley Materials Science

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 2015

BS, Case Western Reserve University, 2015


severinSeverin J. Sigg, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher
Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Basel (Switzerland), 2016
M.Sc., Chemistry, University of Basel (Switzerland), 2011


JaimeJaime Augusto Santillan Mercado
Visiting student researcher

Ph.D. Candidate, Chemical-Physics Program

Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program – NIH, 2018

Bridge to the Doctorate Program – NSF, 2013

BS, Physics, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus 2013

Project: Biomimetic 3D Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration

Farid SFarid Behboodi Sadabad
Visiting Ph.D. Student/Researcher
Ph.D. candidate, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany, 2018.
M.Sc., Polymer Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, 2011.
B.Sc., Polymer Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, 2008.

livius mLivius F. Muff

Visiting student researcher

Masters in Material Science, ETH Zürich, Switzerland 2017
Bachelor in Material Science, ETH Zürich, Switzerland 2015

helenR. Helen Zha, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher
Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2013
B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007
Research Interests: Self-assembly, biomimetic materials, antimicrobial materials
helen dot zha at berkeley dot edu
Currently: Assistant Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY
Devang AminDevang Amin

PhD, 2017

Medical Scientist Training Program student, Northwestern University
Biotechnology Training Program trainee

BSE, Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering (certificate), Materials Science and Engineering (certificate), Princeton University, 2008


Project: Catechol and polyphenol-containing nanoparticles for medical applications

Currently: Medical student at Northwestern University

SarahBhattacharjeeSarah Bhattacharjee
Undergraduate ResearcherUC Berkeley SURF Rose Hills Fellow, Summer 2016BS, UC Berkeley, 2018Mentor: Sally WinklerCurrently: MD Student at University of Chicago
IMG_1423Zhuojun (Rachel) Huang
Undergraduate ResearcherBS, UC Berkeley, 2018Mentor: Patrick Burch, Devang AminCurrently: PhD Student, Stanford Materials Science and Engineering
CS_pictureCaroline Sugnaux, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral Researcher

Ph.D., Polymer Chemistry, EPFL (Switzerland), 2014
Master in Molecular and Biological Chemistry, EPFL (Switzerland), 2008

Research interest: Synthesis and characterization of surfaces modified with polymer brushes, peptoids.
Grafting of interphases with biomimetic and nonbiofouling coatings for applications in biomaterials and drug delivery.



SuhairSuhair Sunoqrot, PhD

Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutics

Faculty of Pharmacy, Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

PhD, Biopharmaceutical Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL, 2013

BS, Pharmacy, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan, 2007

Research Interests: Biologically-inspired nanomaterials for targeted co-delivery of anti-cancer drugs, and nanotechnology-based approaches for the delivery of natural and synthetic drug candidates.

Current: Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutics at  Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan

suhair.sunoqrot at zuj dot edu dot jo

Web, LinkedIn, Google Scholar

9818968Patrick Burch, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral ResearcherCurrently: Researcher at EPFL, Switzerland
Daria Zelasko-LeonDaria Zelasko-Leon
PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2016
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
Malkin Scholar Program, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer CenterMS, Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2012
BS, Bioengineering, Chemistry (minor), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009dariazelasko(at)u(dot)northwestern(dot)eduCurrently: Employed at Pfizer, Inc.
Chelsea FriesChelsea Fries
Undergraduate ResearcherBS, Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University,  June 2016chelseafries2016(at)u(dot)northwestern(dot)eduProject: Varied cross-linking mechanisms in PEG-Alginate double network hydrogelsCurrently: PhD Student, Duke University
LIbanoriRafael Libanori, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

PhD in Materials Science, ETH Zurich (Switzerland), 2013.

Research Gate:

Currently: Postdoctoral Fellow at ETH-Zurich, Switzerland

iho kamimuraIho Kamimura

Visiting Scholar, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Japan

MS, Chemistry

Jiafu ShiJiafu Shi, Ph.D.

Visiting Researcher/Scholar

Lecturer (Teaching and research), School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, China

PhD in Chemical Technology, Tianjin University, China, 2013

MS in Chemical Technology, Tianjin University, China, 2010

BS in Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, China, 2008

Research interests: Biomimetic/bioinspired hybrid materials (particularly capsules) and enzyme catalysis related to environment and energy

Email: shijiafu at; shijiafu at

Research Gate: