Principal Investigator

Krystyn Van Vliet

Associate Provost and Koerner Professor

Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Department of Biological Engineering

[Biography, Research, Teaching & Leadership]

Office: MIT Room 8-237
Mail: MIT Room 8-237; 77 Massachusetts Avenue; Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

Research Scientists

Anna Jagielska

Research Scientist, MIT Materials Science & Engineering

Anna is interested in understanding the interplay between in vivo chemomechanical environment and stem cell differentiation, with an ultimate goal of improving stem cell based therapies. She is currently focused on the role of mechanical factors in neural stem cell differentiation and myelin repair in neurodegenerative diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis. Anna’s past research fields include quantum chemistry (PhD), and computational biology and biophysics (postdoctoral).

Graduate Students

Yen-Ting Chi

PhD Candidate, MIT Materials Science & Engineering

Yen-Ting’s research focuses on the oxygen vacancy migration mechanism under external drive. He uses both density functional theory and nano indentation to study the mechanism, which can be further applied to high performance energy product and next generation memory device. In his spare time, Yen-Ting enjoys playing badminton, board games and movies.

Camille Farruggio

PhD Student, MIT Materials Science & Engineering

Camille is interested in understanding the relationship between the physical properties of cells, their biological attributes, and their success as therapeutic agents. Her work is currently focused on mechanical and morphological characteristics as indicators of differentiation in stem cells, or of status and quality in T-cells. In her spare time, Camille likes to read, bake, and participate in public science outreach.

Mingyu Yang

PhD Student, Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology

Ming’s research lies at the intersection of polymer engineering and neurobiology. His current work leverages additive manufacturing technologies to develop in vitro models of myelination. Ming is also passionate about democratizing STEM education, and he enjoys developing content for MIT’s open education / MOOC initiatives.

Undergraduate Students

Alana Chandler

Undergraduate Student, MIT Materials Science & Engineering

Alana is working towards developing programs for efficient confocal image analysis. She is interested in quantifying how various chemomechanical environments affect myelination and adhesion onto Artificial Axons. In her spare time, Alana likes to blog about her baking on, run, play the violin, and is currently learning how to skateboard!

Brian Williams

Undergraduate Student, MIT Bioengineering

Brian is an aspiring protein engineer, who’s actively looking for ways to uplift marginalized communities everywhere. He is currently developing an online educational curriculum on the fundamentals of cell therapy manufacturing. Brian is also passionate about understanding how policy decisions drive economic and social change. He is an avid creative, loves to model and write poetry, and plays varsity baseball.

Vanessa Kitova

Undergraduate Student, MIT Chemical Engineering

Vanessa is interested in applications of data science in the context of cell therapy manufacturing. She is working on establishing correlations between physical and biological attributes of cells. Prior to that, she contributed to work on mechanical characterization of solid-state electrolytes. In her spare time, Vanessa likes to read and cook, does glassblowing, and plays varsity tennis.

SMART CAMP Researchers

Yie Hou Lee

Scientific Director, SMART CAMP

Dr Lee obtained his Ph.D. in Singapore, and continued his postdoctoral work with Prof. Steven Tannenbaum in MIT’s Department of Biological Engineering, at both the Singapore and MIT locations. Prior to joining SMART-CAMP, Dr. Lee served as a clinic-facing Principal Investigator at KK Hospital, and an Assistant Professor. His research interests and collaborations focused on using an integrated systems biology and cellular approach to characterize diseases for the discovery of biomarkers and identification of novel molecular and cellular therapeutic targets. He joined SMART-CAMP as scientific director where he works with Prof. Krystyn and Prof. Yu and interfaces with the Singapore-based and MIT-based researchers who work on CAMP flagship projects of critical quality attributes and process analytic technologies for cell therapy manufacturing. Dr Lee also engages the larger cell therapy manufacturing ecosystem of clinics, companies, and complementary research teams in Singapore and globally.

Bala Narayanan

Senior Program Manager, SMART CAMP

Bala is CAMP’s Senior Program Manager. He brings years of experience in R&D program management and process engineering in industry and academic research settings.

Nishtha Singh

Postdoctoral Associate, SMART CAMP

Nishtha is interested in developing process analytic technologies for cell therapy manufacturing. Specifically, she aims to understand how the physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of microcarriers influence the 3D-proliferation and recovery of mesenchymal stem cells that are culture-expanded in microbioreactors. Nishtha’s past research experience includes non-viral gene delivery for cancer theranostics and microfluidic flow cytometry. She is also a keen Netflixer and an enthusiastic yoga learner.

Naresh Gnanasegaran

Postdoctoral Associate, SMART CAMP

Naresh currently serves as a post-doc at SMART CAMP, where he explores the intrinsic features of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and ways to leverage them for therapeutic applications. To this end, extensive cell culture and molecular approaches will be explored with the end goal of bridging these findings from bench to bedside. Naresh also helps in conducting pre-clinical works while considering the regulations involved from the current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) perspectives.


Name Position in Group Last Known Affiliation
Jeremy M. Young ScM, Harvard School of Dental Medicine 2004 Private Practice
Anita Shukla NSF REU, Summer 2004 PhD Student, MIT ChemE
Patrick Barragan UROP, 2004 Undergraduate, MIT
Yemisi Afere NSF REU, Summer 2005 Technician, Johns Hopkins University
Irene Tobias DMSE UROP, Summer 2005 Graduate Student, UCSD
Kendall Werts DMSE UROP, Summer 2005
Doria Holbrook UROP, 2005 Undergraduate, MIT
Catherine Roberts NSF RET, Summer 2005 Somerville High School
Esther Yu NSF REU, Summer 2005
Mitsuo Notomi Visiting Scientist, 2005-2006 Meiji University, Japan
Binu Oommen MS Student, 2004-2006 Bose
Ted Feldman NSF REU, Summer 2006
Georgios Constantinides Postdoctoral Associate, 2006-2007 University of Cyprus
Tim Lau MS Student, 2005-2007 Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Jack Milwid MS Student, 2005-2007 Third Rock Ventures
Dessy (Nikova) Long Postdoctoral Associate, 2006-2007 VA Boston Healthcare System
Catherine Tweedie PhD Student, 2004-2007 Artist, Leap Metal
Emilio Silva PhD Student, 2004-2007  Petrobras
M. Todd Thompson PhD Student, 2004-2008
Christopher Bruce DMSE Senior Thesis, 2008 Boston Consulting Group
James Dahlman CMSE REU, Summer 2008 PhD Student, HST
Wing Yee Lau NSF REU, Summer 2008
John Oliverio Summer Researcher, 2008
Joan Mao MS Student, 2006-2009
Sunyoung Lee PhD Student, 2003-2009
Kyle Bryson NSF REU, Summer 2009 PhD Student, University of Massachusetts (Amherst)
Ran Li NSF REU, Summer 2009
Sezen Buell PhD Student, 2004-2010
Jennifer DeBerardinis NSF REU (BE), 2010 Universities of Sydney and Melbourne
Juan F. Rodriguez NSF REU (CMSE), 2010
Karen Stewart Postdoctoral Associate, 2008-2010 GVD Corporation
Emily B. Walton PhD Candidate, 2006-2011
Qing (Kitty) Ji Postdoctoral Associate, 2009-2011 Chief Scientist of HPC Application and Marketing Manager, INSPUR (China)
Fei Deng Postdoctoral Associate, 2009-2011 Interpretation Development Engineer, Schlumberger
Mukul Kabir Postdoctoral Associate, 2007-2011 Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (India)
Meng Qu Postdoctoral Associate, 2008-2011 Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Schlumberger-Doll Research
Jon Estrada UROP (MSE), 2011 Graduate Student, Brown University
Eva Cheung UROP (ChemE), 2011 Sr. Research Associate, Gilead Sciences
Ben Hinton NSF REU (BE), Summer 2011 Undergraduate, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Jacob Wagner NSF REU (CMSE), Summer 2011 Undergraduate, Case Western Reserve University
Eric Lehnhardt NSF REU (BE), Summer 2011 Undergraduate, Arizona State University
John Maloney MEng Student, 2005-2006; PhD student, 2006-2012 Research Scientist, Van Vliet Group
Romain Grossier Postdoctoral Associate, 2010-2012 Researcher, CINaM-7325 CNRS (France)
Abdul Salam Thelakkadan Postdoctoral Associate, 2010-2012 Scientist, SABIC (Saudi Arabia)
Ranjani K. Paradise PhD Student, 2006-2012 Research Associate, Institute for Community Health
Ilke Kalcioglu PhD Student, 2006-2012 Technologist, Gore
Remi Jolibois Quinot MEng Student, 2010-2012 Analyst, Summer Street Research Partners
Lucy Lee UROP (Wellesley), Summer 2012 Undergraduate, Wellesley College
Deepak Jagannathan MS Student, 2010-2012 Entrepreneurial Fellow, Flagship Ventures
Roza Mahmoodian Postdoctoral Associate, 2011-2013 Parker Group, Wyss Institute, Harvard University
Irene Chou Chen PhD Student, 2008-2013 Research Scientist, Gilead Sciences
Adam Zeiger NSF REU, Summer 2006; PhD Student, 2008-2013 Technology Specialist, Wolf Greenfield
Chia-Hua Lee PhD Student, 2008-2014 Research Engineer, Unilever
Kwan Li MS Student, 2011-2014
Aarthy Adityan MS Student, 2011-2014
Will Herbert PhD Student, 2010-2014