*cohort 1 fellows         


Derek grew up in California and obtained both his B.S. and M.S. in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. His undergraduate and graduate research focused on regenerative medicine - specifically on stem cell tissue engineering of the muscle and heart. Derek's masters training further emphasized translational medicine and understanding the regulatory processes to develop novel regenerative medical therapies from "bench to bedside." The IGERT Bioinnovation PhD program at Tulane extends his education in the innovative field of translational medicine. Distinctively, it will elucidate the mechanisms and resources he needs to succeed in expediting his research interests to the biotech market. Through Derek's IGERT training, he aims to not only be a successful scientist, but also to become well versed in advancing novel biomedical therapies from academia to industry.



Karolina is from Stamford, CT by way of the rich farmlands of Poland. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry at Smith College in 2011 where she did extensive organic chemistry research in small molecule synthesis. Karolina was able to develop her interest in medicinal chemistry through an internship at Biogen IDEC in cancer drug synthesis. After vacationing in New Orleans as an undergraduate, Karolina was smitten by the city and its charms. She is now proud to call New Orleans home, where she is currently exploring her interest in curing meats.



Nick is a New Hampshire native. He attended Drexel University, located in Philadelphia, PA, where he earned a B.S. in biomedical engineering with a concentration in biomaterials and tissue engineering. Nick is interested in pursuing regenerative medicine research. He was most attracted to the IGERT Bioinnovation Program for its research initiatives, and its crossover to business and FDA through coursework and externship opportunities.




*cohort 2 fellows         


Devon Bowser is a native of South Carolina. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Bioengineering with a specialization in biomaterials from Clemson University in May 2013. Her undergraduate research in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine focused on tissue engineered vascular grafts. She also spent a summer doing stem cell research at Georgia Institute of Technology. Devon is excited to be a part of Tulane's Bioinnovation IGERT program and is looking forward to the research, business, and regulatory experience she will gain through its interdisciplinary opportunities.



David grew up in Columbus, Ohio and earned a B.S. in Biology from The Ohio State University in 2010. He then worked at The Ohio State University Medical Center in the department of Anesthesiology on phase II, III, and IV clinical trials focused on neurotoxicity of anesthetics, intraoperative medical devices, and post-surgical outcomes. This research inspired pursuit of studies in translational investigations of critical illnesses. Specifically, David plans to continue research in the areas of pharmacological interventions for improved patient outcomes and applications of novel medical technology. The Tulane IGERT Bioinnovation Program offers the opportunity to bridge research initiatives, business ventures, and regulatory understanding via an internship with the FDA.



Ben comes to us from Fort Worth, TX. He earned his B.S. in Neuroscience and Biology from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. He later returned home to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth to pursue a Masters degree in Biology. His Masters thesis focused on exploring the role of the immune system in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. His interests lie in treatment of neurodegenerative disorders through regenerative medicine and medicinal chemistry. The IGERT Bioinnovation program attracted Ben for two reasons: First, the program’s interdisciplinary approach to translational medicine, and second, the opportunities provided by the program to gain business and regulatory experience for bringing biomedical technologies out of the laboratory and into the healthcare environment.




*cohort 3 fellows         


Mitchell was raised in a military family and grew up in several different cities. He graduated from Clemson University in 2013 with his Bachelors of Science in Bioengineering. During undergrad he took part in two summer research programs, a genomics project at Louisiana State University in Dr. Mark Batzer's lab as well as research in biomechanics in Dr. Linxia Gu's lab at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Mitchell is excited to settle in New Orleans and hopes to pursue research interests in regenerative medicine and hopes his varied background will help him forge connections for a stronger translational impact.



Samantha was raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. She attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR and earned a B.S. in Biology in 2012 and a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering in 2014. Her master's thesis focused on the development and characterization of a whole cell breast cancer vaccine. This research sparked her interest in vaccine development, immunotherapy, and various cancer treatments. Samantha was attracted to the IGERT Bioinnovation program due to the integration of engineering and business coursework alongside invaluable hands-on experiences through the FDA internship and business competitions.



Pete has cycled, sprinted, and surfed throughout his travels as part of a military family and as an active duty Air Force Bioenvironmental Engineering technician. He eventually found himself in North Carolina where he attended UNC Wilmington and received a B.S. in Biology as well as Computer Science. His undergraduate research focused on the optimization of genomic prediction algorithms for specific genetic architectures. He also spent time aiding in the improvement of the cyberinfrastructure for the iPlant Collaborative, an NSF funded project that leverages supercomputing resources to make research in large-scale computational biology feasible. Pete came to the Bioinnovation program to explore the interface between biology and computer science, but really he's just looking for any excuse to wear a lab coat.



Asis received his B.S. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in Bioengineering with an emphasis in Rehabilitation. As an undergraduate, he conducted three years of research on medical robotics. At the University of California, San Francisco he collaborated with UCSF Children’s Hospital Pediatric Device Consorium to create a non-implantable prototype medical device for the medical condition pectus carinatum. Through this interdisciplinary collaboration he found his passion for translational research. The Bioinnovation Program at Tulane University promises to be a good fit for Asis as it combines his passion for translational research and business with his objective to make needed medical devices.



Jessica is southern California native. She earned her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a specialization in nanotechnology from UC Irvine in 2014. Her undergraduate research focused on prevascularizing implantable three-dimensional tissues for applications in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Jessica is interested in pursuing research in translational medicine with an emphasis in cardiovascular engineering. She was drawn to Tulane’s IGERT Bioinnovation program because of the integration between research, business and regulatory processes. Through the valuable experiences and skills Jessica will gain from the program, she plans to become a successful scientist in the biomedical industry.



Daniel was born in New Orleans, LA and was raised in Beaux Bridge, LA. He graduated with a B.S. in Biological Engineering from Louisiana State University in 2014. His undergraduate research focus was in tissue engineering. Daniel has spent summers working STEM training camps for high school students in LA and FL, studying abroad in Germany, and traveling throughout the U.S. while living out of his car. The IGERT Bioinnovation program will provide the interdisciplinary training that Daniel seeks to successfully participate in translational research and venture capital. He is excited about the opportunity to live in New Orleans and play guitar as a street performer on the weekends.




*cohort 4 fellows         


Kaylynn lived her whole life in New Orleans, LA, until a volleyball scholarship from Lehigh University sent her off to explore the Northeast for four years. While earning a B.S. in Bioengineering at Lehigh, Kaylynn worked in various labs that spanned from DNA sequencing to biomolecular mechanics to point-of-care microfluidic devices. Her work with devices sparked her interest in translational biomedical research, and Tulane’s Bioinnovation program was a perfect fit for her career goals in industry and entrepreneurship. It was even more perfect that she could move back home and spend these next several years in the city that she loves so much.



After graduating from the University of Colorado – Boulder with a degree in Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology, Nancy has worked in the industry before wanting to pursue a graduate degree. Last year, she attended a lecture on what the Galapagos can teach us about innovation. The environment of the Galapagos archipelago makes it an ideal location for new life and new species, making it nature’s ideal innovation platform. After hearing this talk, she knew which graduate programs to apply. She felt that Tulane’s IGERT Bioinnovation program was her “Galapagos Island” where she is encouraged to think outside-the-box and become a well-rounded scientist and contribute to further efforts in translational medicine.




*cohort 5 fellows         


Ben grew up in the suburbs of Chicago IL and obtained his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Saint Louis University. His undergraduate research focused on hard tissue biomechanics. He spent one year studying the effect of lactic acid buffering on western painted turtle shell mechanical properties before moving to a project focused on developing testing procedures to determine the mechanical properties of mouse periosteum. The IGERT Bioinnovation program allows Ben to use his biomechanics background to forward work in the regenerative medicine field. He is also excited to explore the vibrant city and enjoy the warm weather.



Owen hails from Bainbridge Island, Washington, an island suburb of Seattle. As an undergraduate at Tulane University, Owen majored in mathematics and conducted research in the Tulane Center for Computational Science on mathematically-modeling sperm swimming. Additionally, he was fortunate to take part in a research project in Hong Kong where he managed a project developing a logo-recognition algorithm with members from Lenovo. Owen continues his Tulane education in the BioInnovation program with the aim of using mathematical models to solve biomedical problems. He looks forward to enjoying all that New Orleans has to offer and continuing his practice in the martial arts.



Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Leo completed his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Louisiana State University where he also worked as a research assistant at Pennington Biomedical Research Center looking at the effects of adenovirus-36 infection on obesity. After attending medical school for one year at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia as part of the UQ-Ochsner MD program, he decided he was too much of a lab rat and ceased MD studies in lieu of pursuing a PhD in bioengineering. It was pure luck that he came across Tulane’s Bioinnovation program so close to home - a perfect fit for his interest in translational medicine to develop treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases. Leo wants to explore how the current revolution in synthetic biology can be applied to engineering the living cell through direct genetic modification for purposes of drug development, human enhancement, and biological consumer products.



Maryl is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. She received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of New Orleans. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree, Maryl was accepted into the Bioscience Education and Training program which was funded by the Southeastern Louisiana Institute for Infectious Disease Research (SLIIDR) and hosted by the LSU Health Science Center in New Orleans. While in the program, she did research on Candida yeast. After completing the program, she worked as a lab technician for a forensic toxicology lab and pursued graduate studies. She received her M.S. in Microbiology from Tulane University, where she did research on sublingual influenza vaccinations. While attending Tulane, she learned about the IGERT Bioinnovation program. She was attracted to the program’s approach to translational research and its business component. Maryl ultimately wants to start her own company and she is confident that the Bioinnovation program will provide her with the necessary academic foundation, hands-on skills, and invaluable resources to do so.

Bioinnovation PhD Program, 605 Lindy Boggs Bldg, New Orleans, LA 70118, (504) 865-5718,