Degrees Completed and New Students in January 2023

January 26, 2023
Celinda Kofron et al
Thesis Defenses

Warmest welcome to our newest BME master’s students!

Achilles Gatsonis, BS (Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
Sam Zalk, BS (MechE, UMass Amherst)
Sanjana Murali Krishna, BE (BME, Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology


One PhD student, 6 master's students, and one undergraduate recently completed their degrees!

Alicia Minor, PhD
Coulombe Lab

Engineering a Cell-Targeted Therapy for Neovascularization in Ischemic Cardiac Tissue

  • Minor, A. J., & Coulombe, K. L. K. (2022). Stimulating Calcium Handling in hiPSC-Derived Engineered Cardiac Tissues Enhances Force Production. Stem cells translational medicine11(1), 97–106.
  • Schmitt, P. R., Dwyer, K. D., Minor, A. J., & Coulombe, K. L. K. (2022). Wet-Spun Polycaprolactone Scaffolds Provide Customizable Anisotropic Viscoelastic Mechanics for Engineered Cardiac Tissues. Polymers14(21), 4571.
  • Minor, A. J., & Coulombe, K. L. K. (2020). Engineering a collagen matrix for cell-instructive regenerative angiogenesis. Journal of biomedical materials research. Part B, Applied biomaterials108(6), 2407–2416.
  • Kaiser, N. J., Kant, R. J., Minor, A. J., & Coulombe, K. L. K. (2019). Optimizing Blended Collagen-Fibrin Hydrogels for Cardiac Tissue Engineering with Human iPSC-derived Cardiomyocytes. ACS biomaterials science & engineering5(2), 887–899.

Alicia’s dissertation research revealed how maturation of calcium handling in human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes promote contractility and how novel growth factor cocktails promote revascularization in vivo for advancing the field of cardiac regeneration. In addition to her pioneering research, it’s not hard to heart-iculate all of the amazing and immense impact that Alicia has made on the community here at Brown. As an active member of student groups such as BMEB and StemJazz and co-president/co-founder of GSOCnSTEM, Alicia fostered an inclusive culture across Brown. In her own style and peaceful rhythm, she persistently and gracefully influenced the culture of our lab, the Center for BME, and graduate study across campus, stepping into huge leadership roles and moving mountains. Her humility and thoughtfulness is inspiring, and we are so proud of her accomplishments, including being the first Black woman to earn a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Brown! Congratulations! She joins a short list of distinguished PhD alumni of color from the Division of Engineering and makes us all very proud; most of all her beloved family in Virginia! Alicia has been a fantastic and lovable labmate, mindful mentor, and most importantly kind and generous friend. Like the coronary vasculature she extensively studied, Alicia will be wrapped around our hearts forever. We can heart-ly wait to see all the amazing things you do! We are so proud of your accomplishments, inspired by your integrity and motivated by your work ethic. We wish you the best of luck apartment hunting for your new job in Boston, you will always have a home in the Coulombe Lab. Congratulations Dr. Minor- you will be so missed!  -The Coulombe Lab


Cassi LaRose, ScM
Shukla Lab

Beta-Lactamase-Degradeable Biomaterials for the Controlled Release of Therapeutics

  • Alkekhia, D., LaRose, C., & Shukla, A. (2022). β-Lactamase-Responsive Hydrogel Drug Delivery Platform for Bacteria-Triggered Cargo Release. ACS applied materials & interfaces14(24), 27538–27550.

Priyanka Miranda, ScM
Borton Lab

Quantification and Parameterization of the Dynamic Spinal Invoked Action Potential: Towards Advanced Neuromonitoring and Neurotechnologies

  • Govindarajan, L. N., Calvert, J. S., Parker, S. R., Jung, M., Darie, R., Miranda, P., Shaaya, E., Borton, D. A., & Serre, T. (2022). Fast inference of spinal neuromodulation for motor control using amortized neural networks. Journal of neural engineering19(5), 10.1088/1741-2552/ac9646.

Braxton Morrison, ScM
Dawson Lab

Exploratory Studies and Algorithm Development to Investigate Giant Cancer Cells' Contribution to the Tumor Microenvironment


Shawn Emelian, ScM (non-thesis)

Prateek Rajpara, ScM (non-thesis)

Brandon Vorrius, ScM (non-thesis) 

Riley Flores, ScB