Lab Members

Principal Investigator

 

Benjamin D. Cosgrove, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering
Office: 159 Weill Hall
Phone: 607-255-7271
Email: bdc68@cornell.edu
Curriculum vitae: PDF

Member of the Graduate Fields of Biomedical Engineering (BME) & Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology (BMCB)

Benjamin D. Cosgrove, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Cosgrove earned a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, a Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the supervision of Dr. Douglas Lauffenburger and Dr. Linda Griffith, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Stanford University School of Medicine with Dr. Helen Blau. His research has been supported by a Whitaker Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a Stanford Molecular Imaging Scholars Fellowship, multiple NIH Awards, and a Glenn Medical Research Foundation/American Federation for Aging Research Grant for Junior Faculty. Ben has been recognized by a Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Graduate Research Award (2008), a Rising Star Award from the Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Special Interest Group of BMES (2015), and a Young Innovator of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Award (2017). His research group develops and implements systems biology and biomaterials engineering approaches to study how cell-cell communication and signal transduction networks regulate stem and progenitor cell function in skeletal muscle regeneration, and how these processes become dysfunctional in aging and muscular dystrophies.

 

Ph.D. Students

 

Charles Heinke
Office: 163 Weill Hall
Phone: 607-255-4480
Email: clh275@cornell.edu

Charles Heinke
Ph.D. Student

Charles earned his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering in 2016 at the University of Florida. As an undergraduate, he worked in Weihong Tan’s lab using DNA displacement cascades to mimic biological immune adaptation. Charles joined Cornell’s BME PhD program in 2017. Fascinated by the complex inner workings of cells and the molecular machines that allow them to function, Charles gravitated towards the Cosgrove lab. As a BME PhD student, Charles engineers culture environments designed to control the cell fate and proliferation of muscle stem cells. If successful, these systems could be used to generate autologous stem cells for next-generation regenerative medicine strategies

 

 

Emily Laurilliard
Office: 163 Weill Hall
Phone: 607-255-4480
Email: ejl254@cornell.edu

Emily Laurilliard
Ph.D. Student

Emily earned her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering in 2016 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. During that time, she did research in Dr. James A. Cooper’s Lab developing a tissue-engineered ligament fascicle substitute. After graduating, Emily accepted a research position at Athghin Biotechnology. Here, she worked with Dr. Nathan Boles, utilizing human pluripotent stem cells to develop a high throughput screening platform to test chemical exposure effects on human brain development. During this time, Emily also worked with Dr. Sally Temple and Dr. Jeffrey Stern at the Retinal Stem Cell Consortium on preclinical studies to develop a retinal pigment epithelium stem cell therapy for Age-related Macular Degeneration. Excited to continue working with stem cells for tissue regeneration, Emily began her Ph.D. at Cornell in 2018 and joined the Cosgrove Lab. Her research is focused on further understanding the muscle stem cell microenvironment through in vitro co-culture models and in vivo imaging methods.

 

Umji Lee
Ph.D. Student

Umji Lee
Office: 163 Weill Hall
Phone: 607-255-4480
Email: ul35@cornell.edu

Umji Lee earned her B.Eng from Seoul National University of Science and Technology and obtained her M.S in life sciences at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. During her master, she worked on several research programs at EPFL, Nestle Institute of Health Sciences, and Harvard Stem Cell Institute. After graduating in 2016, she continued PhD at EPFL under the supervision of Dr. Jerome Feige (NIHS). Her research focused on understanding transcriptional and physiological regulation of apelin on muscle health.  She joined the Cosgrove lab in 2019 as a visiting student funded by the SNSF mobility program. Her current research focuses on developing non-invasive imaging of muscle stem cells and vasculature to understand the spatiotemporal interactions between the stem cell and niche subpopulations in muscle regeneration.

Alexander M. Loiben, M.S.
Office: 161 Weill Hall
Phone: 607-255-4480
Email: aml372@cornell.edu

Alex Loiben

Ph.D. Student

Alex Loiben grew up in Milwaukee and completed his B.S. in Bioengineering in 2014 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a concentration in Cellular and Tissue Engineering. While there, he worked with Dr. Greg Underhill, engineering combinatorial microenvironments for the study of signaling networks in a hepatoblastoma model. Alex started in Cornell’s Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. program in 2014. His graduate research project focuses on dissecting and leveraging the intracellular signaling networks that govern the skeletal muscle stem cell niche. His current work utilizes an engineered platform to drive ex vivo muscle stem cell expansion for use in transplantation therapy.

 

 

David McKellar
Office: 161 Weill Hall
Phone: 607-255-4480
Email: dwm269@cornell.edu

David McKellar
Ph.D. Student

David McKellar grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and earned his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Tech. While there, he spent time in Manu Platt’s lab working on dysregulation in proteolytic networks that arise in breast cancer. After graduating in 2016, He continued on to the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health where he spent two years as a postbaccalaureate fellow in Paul Liu’s lab. While in Bethesda, he worked on the genetics of familial leukemia, preleukemic disease modeling with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and improving methods for the hematopoietic directed differentiation of iPSCs. David began his PhD at Cornell University in the fall of 2018. He is a joint member of both the Cosgrove Lab and the De Vlaminck Lab (http://devlaminck.bme.cornell.edu/). David’s research aims are focused on developing new single-cell sequencing technologies for deconvoluting the gene regulatory networks that govern muscle regeneration. Elucidating these regulatory mechanisms has implications in identifying therapeutic targets for aging and injury.

 

Paula Petrella
Office: 161 Weill Hall
Phone: 607-255-4480
Email: pep66@cornell.edu

Paula Petrella

Ph.D. Student

Paula Petrella grew up in New York and earned her BFA from New York University. After volunteering on three research expeditions in Africa in which she worked on cheetah conservation, invasive agricultural species, and the treatment of intestinal parasites, she obtained her Pre-Medical and Science Certificate from UCLA. Under the supervision of Dr. Vincent Pasque in Kathrin Plath’s lab at UCLA, Paula’s work focused on determining whether the histone chaperone HIRA and the TET family of proteins, which convert 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, are required for cellular reprogramming and the reactivation of the inactive X-chromosome. She is currently focused on deep profiling of triple-negative breast cancer cell lines as they evolve in response to chemotherapy, with the aim of understanding the underlying mechanisms of chemo-resistance in stem-like cancer cell subpopulations.

Lauren Walter
Office: 161 Weill Hall
Phone: 607-255-4480
Email: ldw64@cornell.edu

Lauren Walter
Ph.D. Student

Lauren earned her B.S. in Biology in 2016 from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. As an undergraduate she worked in Dr. Shannon Straub’s lab on the Milkweed Genome Project to study the phylogenetics of flowering plants. After graduating, Lauren worked for Dr. Bradley Bernstein and Dr. Charles Epstein at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in the Epigenomics Program. At the Broad she helped to develop a low cell input chromatin immunoprecipitation method called Multiplexing Indexing T7 Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (Mint-ChIP). She used this method to study the epigenetic differences between the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the brain using cerebral organoids. Lauren began her PhD in Genetics, Genomics, and Development at Cornell University in the fall of 2018. In the Cosgrove lab she is studying how aging affects muscle repair.

Laboratory Staff

 

Hannah Fong
Office: 161 Weill Hall
Phone: 607-255-4480
Email: ef264@cornell.edu

Hannah Fong
Lab Technician

Hannah Fong completed her Hon.B.Sc. in immunology at the University of Toronto. She also holds an M.Phil. in immunology from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and an M.S. in immunology from Cornell University. She currently works with the laboratories of Dr. Ben Cosgrove and Dr. Jan Lammerding to manage their rodent colonies, and provide support for the various research projects in the labs.

 

 

Master’s Students

 

Chris Twombly
Office: 163 Weill Hall
Phone: 607-255-4480
Email: ct593@cornell.edu

Chris earned his BS in Engineering Physics in 2012 from the University of Colorado. During that time he performed research with Dr. Ivan Smalyukh focusing on studying physics of liquid crystalline systems. Chris then obtained a MS in Applied Physics from Colorado School of Mines focusing on computationally studying the charge transport properties of graphene nanomesh and silicon nanowires using Density Functional Theory and Boltzmann Transport Theory. After graduation he worked for Northrop Grumman. He was an analyst supporting the development of the US missile defense system (C2BMC) in Colorado Springs. Chris joined the lab in 2019, and his research focuses on hydrogel microparticle optimization and delivery for cell encapsulation therapies.

Fan Wei
Office: 163 Weill Hall
Phone: 607-255-4480
Email: fw267@cornell.edu

Fan earned his B.S. in Bioengineering in 2019 from the University of California San Diego. As an undergraduate, he worked in Dr. Gedeon Deák’s lab using EEG signals to decode cognitive process during cooperative games. He also worked with Dr. Christian Metallo, developing a miniaturized perfusion bioreactor with 3D printed syringe pumps to study cancer cell metabolism. After graduation, Fan joined Cornell’s BME M.Eng program and the Cosgrove Lab in 2019, and his research focuses on imaging, delivery and electrophysiological evaluation platforms for stem cell encapsulation therapies.

Undergraduates

 

Nicholas Chan

Nicholas Chan

Nicholas Chan is a freshman majoring in Biological Engineering and minoring in Business. He is a Hunter Rawlings IIICornell Presidential Research Scholar, beginning his research with performing cryo-sectioning of mouse muscles to analyze their cellular composition. On campus, he is also the Director of Finance for the Residential Student Congress and a member of the Phi Chi Theta business fraternity.

 

 

 

 

Jason Chen

j

Jason Chen

Jason grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, and is majoring in Biological Sciences at Cornell University. He is interested in the intersection of traditional engineering and biomedical applications. On-campus, he works with the Product Development subteam of Biomedical Device and on machine learning research with the Kuceyeski lab through Cornell Biomedical Informatics Club. Off-campus, he works with Vita Innovations, a startup focusing on affordable diagnostic solutions in the med-tech field. In the lab, Jason works on research to understand the mechanisms of chemo-resistance in stem cell-like triple-negative breast cancer. 

 

 

Jonathan Chin Cheong

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Jonathan Chin Cheong

Jonathan Chin Cheong is a junior majoring in Biological Sciences at Cornell University. He is a Hunter Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholar. On-campus, Jonathan is a member of the Biology Scholars Program, hosts a Cornell Radio podcast, and serves as a student advisor for freshman Biology students. In the lab, Jonathan is working on engineering microenvironments for muscle stem cell expansion and optimizing batch image analysis methods.

Ally Dalaya

 

 

 

Lab Alumni

Postdoctoral Fellows

 

Sharon Soueid-Baumgarten, Ph.D. (2014 – 18) | Research Scientist, Department of Biochemistry, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

Ph.D. Students

 

Andrea De Micheli, BME Ph.D. (2015 – 20) | Postdoctoral Fellow in Christopher Mendias’ Lab at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), New York City, NY

Master’s Students

 

Victor Aguilar M.S (2014 – 17) | University of Illinois at Chicago, Bioengineering Ph.D. program, Laboratories of Dr. Irena Levitan and Dr. Yun Fan

Francis Chen, BME M.Eng. (2014 – 16) | Chinese University Hong Kong, Life Sciences Ph.D. program, Laboratory of Wing Tak (Jack) Wong

Prashant Hariharan, BME M.Eng. (2015 – 16) |Wayne St University, Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. program, Laboratory of Carolyn Harris

Kun Ho Kim, BME M.Eng. (2017 – 18) | Purdue University, Animal Sciences Ph.D. program, Laboratory of  Shihuan Kuang

Brenton Munson, BME M.Eng. (2014 – 15) | UCSD Bioengineering Ph.D. program, Laboratory of Trey Ideker

Gabrielle Ravelo, BME M.Eng. (2018 – 19) | Research Associate at Lyell Immunopharma in South San Francisco

Lauren Slowskei, BME M.Eng. (2019 – 20) | GenVivo, Process Development Associate

Undergraduate Students

 

Ashritha Bheemidi, Biol. Eng. B.S. (2016 – 18) |

Paula Frazcek, BME B.S. (2017 – 19) | Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. Candidate in Carlos Aguilar’s Lab at the University of Michigan

Joseph Kim, BME B.S. (2015 – 17) |  Cornell University, Computer Science M.Eng. program

Ruth Kopyto, Biol. Sciences B.S. (2016-19) | Weill Cornell Medicine, Pharmacology Ph.D. program

Grace Livermore, Biol. Eng. B.S. (2015 – 16) |

Isabella Mercado, Chemistry B.S. (2017 – 18) |

Muhammad Safwan Jalal, Biol. Sciences B.S. (2015 – 17) | SUNY Upstate Medical University

Hilarie Sit, Biol. Eng. B.S. (2015 – 17) |Cornell University, Materials Science & Engineering M.Eng. program 

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