Yosman Dhar was born in India and grew up in England, Canada, and the United States, until recently settling in New York. She pursued a BE in Biomedical Engineering from Stony Brook University’s Honors College and a MS in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University. Yosman’s research experiences parallel the diversity of her childhood starting from her publications in hematology oncology to her work in single-cell diagnostics and early-stage drug development. Her interests transitioned towards medical devices after attending BMES Coulter College at Medtronic and participating in the Biodesign Internship at Stony Brook Medicine. As a result of the internship, Yosman submitted a patent for an arterial carbon dioxide monitoring device and won a university-wide pitch competition for surgical retractor adaptors. For her Master’s thesis, she expanded her work in medical devices to explore frugal technologies and innovations for resource-constrained settings. As a member of IMED, Yosman is excited to combine her past experiences and engineering background to develop patient and provider inspired innovations. Outside of school, Yosman enjoys weightlifting, gardening, and exploring Chicago.
Sonakshi was born and raised in Southeast Michigan. She graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 2021 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in Gender and Health. During her time as an undergraduate student, she was involved with socially-engaged medical innovation work, leading a team that created a modified walker to reduce fall risk in high-fall risk older adults. She also helped run a medical innovation incubator program that guided interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate students through the engineering design process using real clinical needs. In addition, Sonakshi conducted behavioral neuroscience research throughout her undergraduate career which culminated in a senior thesis on behaviorally and neuronally defining hunger states in d. Melanogaster. She hopes that her IMED education allows her to develop meaningful solutions to clinical needs in her future career. In her free time, Sonakshi enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and going to concerts.
Michaela grew up in Colorado and moved to Chicago to study Neuroscience and Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. Michaela’s interest in research started during her second year while she was studying neuroscience in Paris. Throughout her undergraduate career, she conducted stem cell embryology research centered around neural development. She successfully developed a multi-plasmid system to specifically tag progenitor cells, culminating in the completion of her senior thesis. After graduating in 2020, she worked as an Undergraduate Admissions Counselor at UChicago for a year, then transitioned to being a medical assistant. Michaela has always loved working with kids and is very interested in development. Through IMED she is excited to expand her research skills further into the clinical realm of neurology or women’s health. In her free time, Michaela loves working out, traveling and painting.
Greg was born and raised in Poland. During his early career he trained as a paramedic, and throughout his research and conference proceedings, he attempted to impact the EMS public policy. For over a decade Greg worked as a software developer, DBA, and a network administrator. He served in a broad range of roles, including senior system architect, and Chief Technology Officer. He is passionate about incorporating Agile Methodologies beyond the realms of IT teams, improving collaboration and efficiency of diverse teams. Greg graduated from Aurora University, where he participated in in vitro research on compromised wound healing in Diabetes Mellitus patients. He sees innovation in medicine, possible thanks to advancements in technology, as an integral part of a modern physician’s career. He believes in twenty-first-century healthcare advancement being accessible and easy to use by regular patients and their families. Greg chosen UICOM and IMED to bring his transformative vision of boundless and modern healthcare into reality. In his free time Greg enjoys snowboarding, hacking the Linux kernel, and thinking about ways to simplify our daily lives with technology.
Haari grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to obtain an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in cell and tissue engineering. While in UIC, Haaricollaborated with physicians and software engineers from ImmersiveTouch to create virtual/augmented reality training programs for surgeons. Additionally, healso worked as a research assistant at the Craniofacial Center at UIC, where he performed research on 3D virtual reality programs to visualize and manipulate patient specific anatomy. These experiences, along with his degree in biomedical engineering, has driven Haari to pursue his passion for innovation in medicine. In his free time, Haari likes to play tennis, spend time with family, or find new restaurants to eat at.
Nikith Erukulla grew up in central Illinois and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) for his BS in Biomedical Engineering with a focus in cell and tissue engineering. During his undergraduate education he performed research at the University of Illinois Health’s Craniofacial Center in conjunction with ImmersiveTouch Inc. where he performed 3D virtual reality surgical simulation research. Furthermore, he did an internship with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where he worked on the creation of a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model for the drug labetalol in pregnant women.Finally, he also worked on the development of a dashboard tool to help visualize cancer data statistics at a large hospital systemin Illinois. All of these experienceshave solidified his desire to become a physician innovator. Through IMED he hopes to learn how to identify and solve clinical needs with the skillset that he possesses. In his free time, Nikith loves to play tennis, drive his car, and lift weights in the gym.
Kelly McConnell grew up in Los Altos Hills, CA. She attended Harvey Mudd College and earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. While at Mudd, she was awarded an Engman Fellowship in Dr. Elizabeth Orwin’s labfocusing on corneal tissue engineering. Inspired by the biomedical engineering work at Mudd, she pursued a Masterof Science in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Galway in Ireland. Her thesis work focused on manipulating the chemical and physical environment of tendon cells to promote cell growthand collagen production.She then worked in Dr. Paul George’s lab in the Neurology Department at Stanford University, investigating strategies to improve neurogenesis using stem cells, conductive materials, and electrical stimulation in conditions such as stroke and peripheral nerve damage. Outside of school, Kelly enjoys cooking, baking, running, soccer, pottery, and sewing.
Laura earned her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Temple University in 2021. After her involvement in investigating the role of PD-1 in T-cell mediated and antibody mediated rejection of liver and kidney allograftsEinstein Hospital of Philadelphia, she became interested in lessening the shortage of donor organs. She interviewed physicians and worked closelywith biomedical engineering to achieve feasibility and effectivenessin herprospectiveinvention. Laura designed a heart probe that removes atherosclerotic plaque from ex-vivo donor hearts so they are viable for transplantation, and her invention wasselected as a finalist in the Innovative Idea Competition at Temple University. As an IMED student, Laura aspirestoremedy problems in medicine through innovation toachieve a higher quality of care for patients. In her free time, she enjoystraveling, spending time with family, and cooking.
I’moriginally from Birmingham, England, in the UK. Iattended DePaul University in Chicago and graduated in 2018 with a degree in Health Sciences and a minor in English Literature. After graduation Iworked as a research technician in various laboratories around Chicago, including the Neurosurgery Department at Northwestern University and Memorial Hospital. As a tech, Iwas in a unique position in that he could work both in the laboratory and the operating room through mylab’s clinical trial. Our goal was to test the efficacy of a third-generation implantable ultrasound device, designed temporarily open the blood-brain barrier and facilitate the delivery of chemotherapy inpatients suffering from recurrent glioblastoma.This was an incredible experience for me in that I worked alongside incredibly talented physicians and scientists. I also saw firsthand how innovative new medical devices can push forward the practice of medicine. I also loved working in an interdisciplinary team of physicians, scientists, and engineers, all working on the same project and try to improve the lives of our patients. As a future physician I hope to engage in similarly impactful clinical research, pertaining to the testing of new medical devices can offer benefit to patients in need. Outside of medicine, I love cooking, running, playing the guitar, and I also work for a summer camp for children with disabilities.
Isabella Zorra was born in Wichita, Kansas and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She attended Parsons School of Design, studying fashion, architectural and urban design through the Interdisciplinary Design program. She continued her studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, focusing her research on sculpture and cordwaining, exploring materials and methods such as leather molding and plaster casting, creating innovative fabrics using latex and laser cutters. She has a keen interest in prototyping and fabrication, leading her to develop a sandal line and take on custom clients, specializing in footwear solutions for post surgical patients while completing her B.Arch in Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology. After graduation, Isabella worked in real estate construction and development for Fifield Companies while simultaneously earning an M.Eng from IIT in Construction Engineering and Management. She has since been working in project management for companies in the energy sector includingIndianapolis Power & Light, Duke Energy and TC Energy. She is looking forward to collaborating on interdisciplinary teams at IMED and bringing her wide design and fabrication skill set to assist in finding innovative solutions to medical issues. In her free time Isabella also enjoys ballet, basketball, contemporary art, adventurous travel and her two cats.
Cadence grew up in Northern Californiabefore moving to Providence, Rhode Island to obtain an undergraduate degree inHealth & Human Biology and a Master’s degree in Biotechnology fromBrown University. After graduating, she worked as a cardiovascular research fellowfor 4 years, studying immune-mediated mechanisms of vascular remodeling. Shehas experience with CRISPR-Cas9 in developing novel murine genetic strainsas well as patent workdeveloping a surgical device for use in aortic aneurysm surgery. The combination of her translational research and her experience growing up with a disabled older sister inspired a perspective on advancing medicalinclusionand advocacythrough innovation, which she hopes to explore through the IMED program.Outside of school, Cadence enjoys photography, soccer, wrestling, and cooking.
Richard Chiu grew upin Gurnee, a north suburb of Chicago. He attended UIC for his undergraduate education, where he earned a double degreein Biological Sciences and Applied Statistics. During this time, Richard developed an interest in the applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence in medicine. Hewas involved in research of Hepatitis C andspearheaded a project developing a vaccine clinical trial recruitment methodology that incorporated machine learning to improve the feasibility and equity of vaccine trials. As an IMED student, Richard hopes to learn more about how technology can best address the clinical needs of patients and physicians.In his free time, Richard enjoys playing badminton, taking naps, and going on long walks on Chicago’s lakefront.