Dr. Yamuna Phal

Yamuna received ahis Ph.D. in Department of Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 2022. Yamuna received her BS degree in Electrical engineering from IIT Roorkee and MS degree in Electrical engineering from Caltech. She was a Graduate Research Associate from 2015 to 2023 in the CISL group and worked on developing FTIR and QCL instrumentation for infrared spectroscopic imaging. She is currently an assistant professor in Colorado School of Mines.

Manu Mehta

Manu received his B.S. in Department of Bioengineering from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 2023. He was a Undergraduate Research Assistant from 2020 to 2023 and worked on designing the user-friendly graphics user interface (GUI) for QCL instrumentation and improving control over the Fourier Transform Infrared Microscope.

Dr. Anirudh Mittal

Anirudh received his Ph.D. degree in Department of Bioengineering from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 2022. He earned his B.S. and M.S degrees in biochemical engineering and biotechnology from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2016. He was a Graduate Research Associate from 2016 to 2022 and worked on characterizing materials by IR using novel measurements and instrumentation with machine learning and AI algorithms. He is currently a Module & Yield Integration Engineer at Intel Corp.

Akash Mukherjee

Akash received his B.S. and M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 2022. He was a Graduate Research Associate from 2020 to 2022 and worked on deep learning-based image processing in application to infrared spectral imaging. He is currently a data engineer at Jump Trading LLC.

Laurin Lux

Laurin Lux was a visiting research scholar during the summer of 2021 from Technische Universitat Wien in Vienna, Austria. He is a student of data science and physical & analytical chemistry with special interest in IR spectroscopy, microspectroscopy, and chemical data processing. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Technical Chemistry and currently obtaining his Master’s Degrees in Data Science and Technical Chemistry – Analytical and Physical Chemistry from Technische Universitat Wien, Vienna, Austria.

Dr. Ghazal Azarfar

Ghazal received her doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2019. The focus of her PhD was infrared hyperspectral imaging and chemometrics. During her PhD, she developed an algorithm for fringe correction of hyperspectral infrared images under the guidance of Professor Carol Hirschmugl. She joined the CISL group to participate in a collaborative research with Carle Foundation Hospital as a Clinical Postdoctoral Fellow working jointly with Prof. Bhargava from Cancer Center at Illinois and Dr. Georgina Cheng from Carle Foundation Hospital. Her research aim was exploring new application of infrared imaging in clinics. The team is developing new technologies for improving clinical decision making by intraoperative histopathology.

Dr. Shachi Mittal

Shachi earned her B.S. and M.S degrees in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology from the Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2014. Her research interests include developing diagnostic and therapeutic platforms for cancer using imaging and computational tools. She worked on building a classification system for fast and stain-free breast cancer detection using a random forest algorithm for high-definition FTIR images. Shachi is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.

Mark Gryka

Mark earned his B.S. degree in Bioengineering with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013. He was a Graduate Research Associate and worked on using additive manufacturing techniques to create rapidly prototyped, structurally relevant breast cancer models in vitro. He also worked on defining the difference between different cancer related cell types using spectroscopic techniques. Mark is currently a Failure Analysis Engineer at Apple Inc.

Luke Pfister

Luke earned his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Bradley University and his M.S. degree and Phd in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a Graduate Research Associate where he developed compressive mid-infrared spectroscopic tomography and deep learning for spectroscopic tomography.

Paulina Koziol

Paulina was a PhD student at the Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences and a visiting scholar in the Bhargava group in 2019. She was involved in research of developing widefield quantum cascade lase (QCL) microscopy for digital pathology in the context of linear polarization control of the incident radiation, taking part in the Iwanowska programme funded by Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange – NAWA.

Michael Asensio

Michael was part of the Bhargava group during his undergrad. He received his Master’s Degree from UC Berkeley and currently works for GigaGen.

Dr. Hossain Azam

Azam was a part of the Bhargava group from the Fall 2011 to December 2012. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2012. He received his M.S. degree (environmental engineering) from North Carolina State University (NCSU) and his B.S. degree (civil engineering) from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). During his Ph.D. work, Dr. Azam investigated phosphorus removal from wastewater systems. Deeply motivated by the immense applications of chemistry and biology in real-life problems, Dr. Azam wants to integrate chemical-imaging techniques, such as Raman and IR spectroscopy, for agricultural and environmental engineering applications. Some of the recent projects he worked on are “compositional analysis of whole soybean grain by transmission Raman spectroscopy,” and “IR imaging of soybean SDS toxin.” His research interests include chemical analysis and imaging of seeds/grains and toxin/contaminants, membrane processes for water and wastewater treatment, phosphorus removal/recovery from wastewater, algae for wastewater treatment, photocatalysis, and solar energy utilization together with the use of IR and Raman spectroscopy as advanced investigative/analytical tools. He went on to be a research assistant professor at George Washington University.

Sreeradha Biswas

Sree joined the Bhargava group as a third-year graduate student in late January 2012. She worked on three projects: Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) imaging and histopathologic analysis of breast cancer tissues, Fourier transform infrared imaging and its use in histopathology and medicine, and collaborated with the Kenis group on time-resolved Fourier transform spectroscopic studies on protein folding.

Nicholas Boltuc

Nicholas was in the Bhargava group as a senior in Bioengineering.

Spencer Brady

Spencer obtained his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with distinction from Purdue in 2007. Spencer received a master’s degree in electrical engineering working with Prof. Minh Do from ECE and Prof. Bhargava. His general research interests include multidimensional signal processing, wavelets, compressed sensing, and chemical imaging. His M.S. thesis work focused on sparse reconstruction, unmixing, and superresolution of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic data. Spencer joined Cisco upon graduation.

Xiong Kai (Ben) Chng

Ben earned his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013. His research interests include computed imaging and nonlinear inverse problems in the context of optics. He worked with Prof. Scott Carney and Prof. Rohit Bhargava on deriving the forward and inverse problems of four-wave mixing processes (e.g., stimulated Raman scattering) in inhomogeneous media and the associated applications from solving such problems. He was in the ECE Department.

Dr. Troy Comi

Troy received his B.S. from the University of Arizona in chemistry, computer science, mathematics, biochemistry and cellular biology while researching enzyme encapsulation strategies within porous phospholipid nanoshells with Prof. Craig Aspinwall. Troy worked as a postdoctoral associate in Prof. Bhargava’s group from 2017 to 2018 where he worked to transition 3D printing with carbohydrate glass into development of artificial tumors and organs. He is currently a Research Software Engineer at Princeton.

Olivia Cornell

Department of Bioengineering

Caroline Cvetkovic

Caroline joined graduate school at the University of Illinois on an IGERT Fellowship in the Department of Bioengineering.

Dr. Brynmor Davis

Brynmor Davis received a B.E. degree (Hons. 1) in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, in 1999; an M.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Arizona, Tucson, in 2001; and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Boston University, Boston, in 2006. His research interests include inverse problems, statistical signal processing, electromagnetics and applications in optics (particularly microscopy), and acoustics. Bryn joined Creare, Inc. upon leaving the group.

Miranda Dawson

Miranda Dawson worked in the CISL group as an undergraduate researcher to develop methods of classifying FT-IR data to understand the role of differential bile acid production in liver tissue. Miranda went to pursue her PhD at MIT in the Fall of 2018.

Dr. Bradley Deutsch

Bradley earned a Ph.D. in Optics in 2011 at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics. His research involved nanoscale optics, with a Ph.D. emphasis on phase-shifting interferometry for near-field optical microscopy and nanoparticle detection. At Beckman he worked with Scott Carney and Rohit Bhargava of the Bioimaging Science and Technology group. Brad’s research interests include chemical imaging and probability, and his projects included a 3D mid-IR spectroscopic imaging technique, as well as methods for nanoscale holography. He was a Beckman Institute Fellow.

Dr. Sanghamitra Deb

Sanghamitra received her master’s degree in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. She then moved on to Brown University for her PhD in experimental physical chemistry with Prof. Peter Weber where she worked on ultrafast molecular dynamics. Sanghamitra joined the Bhargava group in 2016 and worked on developing stainless staining of tissue and biopsy sections based on non-linear imaging techniques, specially stimulated Raman scattering. She is currently a Staff Scientist at the University of Alabama.

Dr. Brent DeVetter

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Brent went to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2016.

Laura Jane Elgass

Laura was in the Bhargava group as a senior in engineering physics.

Charles Feng

Charles attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in bioengineering in 2008. Having been part of the Bhargava group since his freshman year in college, he is now a master’s student working towards a thesis, after which he will pursue graduate or medical school. His work involves the automated diagnosis of skin cancer using FTIR spectroscopy in addition to computational modeling of drug diffusion and its effects on cell activation and proliferation.

Dr. Matthew Gelber

Matt received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focused on the application of additive manufacturing methods to tissue engineering, with the goal of developing better in vitro models of human disease processes.

Dr. Ayanjeet Ghosh

Ayan received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, served as a Post Doc at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014, and joined the Bhargava lab in 2016. His work focused onn applying vibrational imaging toward cancer diagnosis and polymer characterization. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama in the department of Chemistry.

Pierce Hadley

Pierce worked as an undergraduate researcher in the Bhargava Lab developing microfluidic models for tumor self-seeding. He went to University of California San-Francisco to pursue an MD/PhD program in Fall 2018.

Melissa Hentges

Melissa worked with the cell and tissue culture group members and helped administer the laboratory.

Dr. Sarah Holton

Sarah earned her B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of South Carolina in 2008 and was awarded her M.S. degree in bioengineering from the University of Illinois in 2010 and her PhD in bioengineering from UIUC in 2013. She used three-dimensional cell culture models and FTIR spectroscopic imaging to understand epithelial-fibroblast interactions during breast cancer progression. Sarah completed her MD in 2016 and will now join the University of Washington as an internal medicine resident physician.

Jason Ip

Jason attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in bioengineering in 2007. His research focused on the automated histopathology of colon tissue images obtained using Fourier transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and imaging, the detection of specific biomolecules in surgically resected intestinal tissue, and the development of filtering components applicable in FTIR imaging instrumentation. He is at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Grace Kim

Grace received her B.S. in brain and cognitive sciences, minoring in biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009. Her research interest involves using imaging to study the mechanism of brain tumor development progression. She worked on developing a 3D cell coculture model of the brain as a biomimetic platform for her study of the molecular crosstalk between glioma cells and their microenvironment. She is a graduate student at the University of Illinois.

Lindsey King

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Anil Kodali

Anil attended Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Hyderabad for his bachelor of technology (BTech) degree in mechanical engineering and obtained a master of science (M.S.) degree in mechanical engineering prior to obtaining a Ph.D. degree with Prof. Bhargava. His research specifically focused in the development of optical contrast agents based on nanoparticles to be used in novel imaging modalities developed by the Bhargava group. Anil joined Intel upon graduation.

Dr. Matthew Kole

Matthew earned his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan in 2010 and his M.S. degree in bioengineering in 2012. His research focuses on developing spontaneous and stimulated Raman instrumentation for cell and tissue imaging. He was in the Bhargava Lab from 2010 until 2016 and now works for Agilent Technologies in California.

Dr. Rong Kong

Rong earned his B.S. degree in biology from the University of Science and Technology of China, M.S. degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. in bioengineering at the University of Illinois. His research interests include cellular and tissue engineering as models for disease progression, drug diffusion, and FTIR spectroscopic imaging of static and dynamic biological processes. He is a business group clinical research scientist at Access Business Group in Michigan.

Megan Koop

Megan was in the Bhargava group as a senior in engineering physics.

Dr. Jin Tae Kwak

Jin Tae received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Korea University, his M.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. His research focuses on developing computational tools for cancer diagnosis and prognosis from FTIR imaging. He is interested in discovering structural and spectral imaging markers for cancer. He was coadvised by Prof. Saurabh Sinha in computer science. He is a Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Beomjin Kwon

Beomjin was in mechanical science and engineering and was cosupervised by Prof. Bhargava and Prof. King from 2008 to 2013 for his Ph.D. degree. He is a scientist at KIST.

Dongkwan Lee

Kwan worked as an undergraduate researcher in the CISL lab on developing micro-ATR imaging using quantum cascade laser. He graduated in May 2018 and went to pursue his PhD.

Dr. L. Suzanne Leslie

Suzanne joined the University of Illinois from the University of Rochester where she received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Optics. Suzanne used high-resolution Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic imaging of prostate and breast tissue to advance noninvasive cancer detection methods and investigate correlations between changes in tissue morphology and prognosis. She also investigated the application of FTIR imaging to lymphatic tissue to aid in the detection and diagnosis of lymphomas.

Jui-Nung Liu

Jui-Nung earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. His research focused on development of a novel infrared spectroscopy based on guided resonances in photonic crystal slabs (design/fabrication/characterizations) and its applications in biomedical optical imaging. He was in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering.

Margie Mathewson

Margie was in the Bhargava group as a senior in bioengineering, and worked to determine the optimal polymeric backbone material for 3D tissue scaffolds. By finding degradation profiles, she could choose a material with characteristics compatible with the growth of multiple cell types. Her results was combined with those of several graduate students in the lab to make the final constructs.

Dr. David Mayerich

David was part of the Bhargava group as a Beckman Institute Fellow from 2009 to 2012. He is an assistant professor at the University of Houston.

Dr. Prabuddha Mukherjee

Prabuddha was interested in developing novel Raman and Infrared techniques that can be implemented for characterizing various materials and biological applications. He received his master’s degree in physical chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. His Ph.D. research with Prof. Martin Zanni at the University of Wisconsin-Madison included application of balanced heterodyned 2DIR spectroscopy for membrane protein characterization. He worked for the Bhargava Lab from 2016-2018 and is currently a Research Scientist with Dr. Stephen Boppart at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Rachel Norman

Rachel achieved her Ph.D. research on the simultaneous detection of multiple explosives using surface enhanced Raman scattering with Prof. Karen Faulds at the University of Strathclyde, UK in 2016. She worked in Dr. Bhargava’s lab from April 2016 to April 2018 developing novel microfluidic devices for on demand manufacturing of nanostructured imaging probes, such as quantum dots and nanorods, for biological applications.

Tan H. Nguyen

Tan was in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and was in the Bhargava group in 2011–2012, being cosupervised with Prof. Do. He is a graduate student at the University of Illinois.

Rohun Palekar

Rohun focused on engineering multilayered nanoparticle structures for use in novel cancer diagnostic methods being developed by the Bhargava laboratory. He joined the graduate school of Washington University, St. Louis.

Prof. Keunhan Park

Keunhan worked on nanoscale imaging and thermal response of microcantilevers in the group. He left to become assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Rhode Island. He is presently at the University of Utah.

Dwani Patel

Dwani was in the Bhargava group as a senior in the Department of Bioengineering. He worked with Brent DeVetter on gold nanoparticle synthesis, surface chemistry, and particle characterization. Dwani is also interested in developing novel targeted imaging strategies to assess complex diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Nell Pounder

Nell earned her B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 2005. Her research focused on developing methods to use Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for breast cancer histopathology analysis. She is interested in designing an automated method of assigning breast tumor grades and predicting patient prognosis.

Anusha Priya

Anusha worked on computer models and algorithms for histologic segmentation. She joined the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Wisconsin upon graduation.

Pratik Randeria

Pratik worked on nanoLAMP synthesis as an undergraduate Bioengineering student and joined Prof. Mirkin’s group at Northwestern after graduation.

Dr. Rohith Reddy

Rohith received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in signal processing from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai, India. His research focused on creating and enhancing mid-infrared spectroscopic imaging techniques for biomedical applications. He developed methods for prostate and breast cancer detection using FTIR spectroscopic imaging. His work involved the conception and design of infrared tomography instrumentation and entailed a deep integration of theoretical, computational, and experimental aspects of optics. In recognition of his research in infrared imaging and spectroscopy, he received several national and international awards, including the Tomas Hirschfeld Award (2012), William G. Fateley Student Award (2011), Society of Applied Spectroscopy Student Award (2011), and Coblentz Student Award (2011) among others. He received his Ph.D. in May 2013. He is currently a Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School/Wellman Center for Photomedicine.

John Saunders

John was in the Bhargava group as a senior in bioengineering pursuing an electrical systems concentration. His postgraduate plans included obtaining a Ph.D. in bioengineering, with a focus on imaging. His research work included the development of a handheld infrared optical probe in order to perform real-time experiments on dynamic cell cultures.

Dr. Martin Schnell

Martin was a Marie Curie postdoctoral researcher working jointly in the CISL group (Prof. Rohit Bhargava) and the Optical Science Group (Prof. Scott Carney) from 2015-2017. Martin was interested in developing new phase imaging modalities in confocal, Raman and infrared microscopy based on synthetic optical holography. His research aimed at exploring new applications in biological and industrial imaging, including the static and dynamic imaging of surfaces as well as multicolor quantitative phase imaging.

Dr. Matthew Schulmerich

Matt joined the laboratories in 2009 after a working at SABIC Innovative Plastics (Formerly General Electric). Matthew received a B.S. degree in chemistry (2004) and a B.A. degree in biology (2004) from St. John Fisher College (Rochester, NY) and earned his Ph.D. in chemistry (2008) from the University of Michigan, where he used Raman spectroscopy, novel optical probe configurations, and multivariate signal processing to noninvasively recover spectra of targets below several millimeters of light scattering material, including plastics and tissue. His research included building instrumentation for spectroscopic mapping, imaging, and tomography. Matthew’s interests involved integrating IR and Raman methods in a multi-model approach to obtain accurate disease diagnosis of excised tissue. Towards this effort he developed dark-field Raman microscopy as a method for rejecting signal from substrate fluorescence. He also applied his expertise in transmission Raman spectroscopy to analysis of soybeans in a pilot study to assess the feasibility of using Raman measurements to quantify the concentrations of protein, oils, and amino acids in whole soybeans. Other research interests involved working with spectral basis sets to quantify tissue components by using multivariate signal processing.

Lauren Sheehy

Lauren was in the Bhargava group as a junior in bioengineering. Her project involved designing three-dimensional cell culture models of breast tumors and analyzing stromal-epithelial interactions and their effects on cancer initiation and progression.

Dr. Rajveer Singh

Rajveer received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA in 2011 after which he joined as a postdoctoral research associate in Civil and Environmental Engineering/Institute for Genomic Biology at UIUC. He joined Bhargava lab at Beckman Institute in 2016. Rajveer is interested in developing advanced Raman instrumentation applicable to non-invasive chemical imaging of agriculture and food industry (particularly Soybean), medical diagnosis, and environmental monitoring. He is currently a research scientist at Drexel University.

Dr. Nicolas Spegazzini

Nicolas was a postdoctoral fellow in the Bhargava group from January 2016 through January 2018. His work focused on developing integrative photonics solutions to complex problems in biological research and medical diagnosis.

Dr. Gokulakrishnan Srinivasan

Gokul worked on spectrosocpic imaging development for histologic applications and joined Bruker Optics in Germany upon leaving the group. He is presently at PerkinElmer.

Dr. Saumya Tiwari

Saumya worked in the Bhargava group from 2014 to 2018. Her work focued on the use of three-dimensional cell culture models for studying major cellular biochemical changes occurring in cancer cells. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Thomas Van Dijk

Thomas was part of the Bhargava group as a postdoc. He currently holds the position of Klinisch Fysicus i.o. (medical physicist in residence), Zorg & Informatie Technologie, Klinische Fysica & Klinische Informatica, Maxima Medish Centrum, Veldhoven, The Netherlands.

Dr. Michael Walsh

Michael was part of the group from 2008–2013 as a visiting Assistant Professor and joined the University of Illinois from Lancaster University (United Kingdom) where he received his B.S. degree in biomedical sciences (Hons. 1) and a Ph.D. in infrared spectroscopy for cancer and stem cell identification. Michael was the first-ever Carle Foundation Hospital-Beckman Institute Fellow from 2008 to 2011 and continued as a postdoctoral researcher in the Beckman Institute, Michael’s research plan focused on advancing noninvasive cancer-detection methods. His goals include finding ways to use imaging to automate the examination and classification of tissue in order to overcome many of the limitations that exist in current pathology methodologies. This could eventually reduce the time-consuming nature of diagnosis and it could also eliminate the operator bias that can lead to misdiagnosis. His research focuses on the automated classification of breast and prostate tissue microarrays for cancer diagnosis and toward developing infrared spectroscopy as a novel prognostic tool. Other research interests involve developing infrared spectroscopy for monitoring model cell systems.

Dr. Tomasz P. Wrobel

Tomek was part of the Bhargava group as a Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow from 2014 to 2017. He has now joined the Institute of Nuclear Physics of Polish Academy of Sciences on a tenure-track position in Krakow, Poland.

Jing Xu

Jing was in the Bhargava group from 2008 to 2010 and was cosupervised with Prof. Insana. She is at Aerotech, Inc.