Taby Ahsan, PhD.   Principal Investigator
Taby Ahsan is an Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Tulane University. She got her BSE at University of Pennsylvania, PhD with Dr. Robert Sah at UCSD, and postdoctoral training with Dr. Robert Nerem at GA Tech. Taby worked at Advanced Tissue Sciences for several years as a Senior Research Scientist and is currently on the Cell, Tissues, and Gene Therapies Advisory Council for the FDA.

Graduate Students

Liana Boraas, PhD Candidate
Liana is from Denver, Colorado and received a BS in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College in 2013. She began her research career in the early Spring of 2010 at Harvey Mudd working as an Engman Fellow on corneal tissue engineering. Her work focused on mechanical and extracellular matrix properties associated with corneal cell differentiation. Liana is currently working as a laboratory technician in the Ahsan Lab. Also, she is a member of the California Omega chapter of Tau Beta Pi (TBP) engineering honor society.    

Erika Broadnax, PhD Candidate
Erika Broadnax is a Board of Regents Fellow in her first year of the BME PhD program. She is originally from Indianapolis, IN, and graduated with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology before pursuing a graduate degree from Tulane. In the Ahsan lab, Erika's research is focused on how donor age of mesenchymal stem cells affects angiogenesis.    

Michelle Janaszak, PhD Candidate
Michelle is from Babylon, New York and graduated from Boston University in 2013 with a BS in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Marine Science. At BU, she became a member of the engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi, and the biomedical engineering honor society, Alpha Eta Mu Beta. She began pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Tulane University in January of 2014. Her research in the Ahsan lab focuses on the effects of shear stress on embryonic stem cell differentiation. She hopes to better understand how mechanical cues, such as fluid flow, affect the signaling pathways involved in differentiation within the cell.    

Lina Quijano, PhD Candidate
Lina is from Bogotá, Colombia. She has a B.S in Biology (2008) and a MS in Biomedical Sciences (2010) from Universidad de los Andes (Colombia). Lina’s graduate research topics included genetic expression of myocardial genes in mesenchymal stem cells and vascular tissue engineering. She joined the Ahsan lab in the summer of 2013. Her research goal is to better understand the process of tissue regeneration and how tissues interact with each other to re-create a complete and functional structure (e.g. digit or limb) after amputation. Understanding key elements and processes that promote regeneration instead of scar formation, could eventually lead to therapies that enhance the regenerative potential in humans.   

Julia Guidry, Masters Candidate
Julia was born in Metairie, LA and decided to stay close to home to attend Tulane University in August 2010. She is in the process of completing a joint master's and bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering with the intent to graduate in May 2015. She is currently researching the effects of fluid shear stress on mouse induced pluripotent stem cell differentiation.    

Stephanie Messina, Masters Candidate
Stephanie Messina is from New Orleans, Louisiana and started her undergraduate degree at Tulane University in 2010. She is currently part of the 4+1 program, where she is pursuing a joint master's and bachelor's in Biomedical Engineering. She is currently studying the effects of different flow profiles on embryonic stem cell differentiation. She hopes to understand how mechanical cues such as oscillatory or pulsatile flow affect germ lineage specification.    

Doug James, Medical Student, DeBakey Scholar
Douglas is from Queens, NY and graduated from SUNY Binghamton University in 2007 with a BA in Biology/English. My research is on scalable methods of purifying differentiated cells derived from embryonic stem cells, focusing on methods that leverage the inherent physical properties of cells.    

Undergraduate Students

Natalia Sarmiento

Richmond Van Winter