August was a busy month for the MBM Program! As we ease into the fall, please join us in welcoming six new members of our team, beginning with two new trainees:
Samuel Okyem is a second-year chemistry student who completed his undergraduate degree in chemistry at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana. He also earned a master’s degree in chemistry at Illinois State University. His current research studies the unusual neurochemicals signaling systems related to D-amino acids in the brain. He is completing lab rotations under the advisement of Jonathan Sweedler and Martha Gillette.
Olawale Salaudeen is a third-year computer science student who completed his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University. His current research studies deep learning, transfer learning (domain generalization), causal inference/discovery, probabilistic graphical models. He is completing lab rotations under the advisement of Brad Sutton and Sanmi Koyejo.
In addition, we have three new members of our External Advisory Board:
Lili Deligianni is adjunct faculty of biomedical engineering at Columbia University and the founder of sense4me Inc., a start-up in digital health with the vision to empower users with addiction disorders to manage their condition successfully. She received her PhD degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Deligianni has worked on a wide range of research including a DNA sequencing electrochemical device and recently, developed a toolbox of nanomaterials and nanodevices for brain and peripheral neural stimulation, recordings, and neurochemistry measurements. Her current research interests include wearables, biosensors, bioelectronics, neural interfaces, and artificial intelligence with applications in neural and mental health.
Inhyun Park is an Associate Professor of Genetics at the Yale Stem Cell Center and the Child Study Center. He received his BS and MS from Seoul National University at Korea, and his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the field of cell and structural biology. During his PhD training with Dr. Jie Chen, he studied mTOR pathways regulating cell growth, and myogenic differentiation.
Park continued his research as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. George Daley’s lab in Children’s Hospital Boston, where he isolated one of the first human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and investigated the epigenetic change during reprogramming process. As an independent investigator, he investigates human neurodevelopment and related disorders using human iPSCs, and the basic molecular mechanism of reprogramming and pluripotency.
Peter So is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biological Engineering at MIT. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from Harvey Mudd College and completed his PhD in physics at Princeton University. He continued his postdoctoral research at the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
So joined MIT as Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1996. Since 2000, he has also served as Associate Director of the Whitehead-MIT Bioimaging center. His research at MIT focuses on the engineering of novel microscopy instrumentation and the application of these new tools to study biomedical problems.
Finally, we have a new member of our Internal Advisory Board:
Venetria Patton is the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She joined the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in August 2021 after serving as head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Purdue University. She has kindly agreed to join our Internal Advisory Board as of August 2021. Patton earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of La Verne and her master’s and PhD in English from the University of California-Riverside. Her teaching and research focus on African American and diasporic women’s literature.
In 1996, Patton joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a professor of English and African American studies. In 1998, she was named coordinator of the African American & African Studies Program. In 2003, she joined Purdue University as director of the African American Studies & Research Center. In 2015, she was named Provost Fellow on Diversity & Inclusion, and in 2016 she was named head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies.
We are very excited to welcome all of these individuals to our program, and look forward to their contributions in the future.