Principal Investigator:

Dr. Milica Radisic

Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering
Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
Curriculum Vitae

Research Associate

Serena Mandla

Serena received her MASc in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Toronto where she evaluated the efficacy and safety of a biomaterial for wound healing applications with Dr. Milica Radisic. She is continuing her work here and is focused on the next steps in the clinical translation required to move the biomaterial from the lab bench to use in the clinic.

Carol Laschinger

Carol joined the lab in Feb 2012 as a research associate and has been involved in the culture of IPS cells.
In addition she is responsible for the day to day organization and management of the lab including ordering,maintenance of reagent stocks, inventory and biosafety certification.
Previous to this she was a research consultant to the Matrix Dynamics group in the Faculty of Dentistry where she was involved in characterization of enzymes involved in periodontal disease as well as development of clinical assays for periodontitis.
She obtained an MSc. from the department of Biochemistry, U of T.
Elena Bajenova
Elena joined the lab in Mar 2017 as a research associate and has been involved in the culture of IPS cells.
In addition she is responsible for the day to day organization and management of the lab including ordering, maintenance of reagent stocks, inventory and biosafety certification.
She obtained an PhD in Biochemistry, at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Upon completing her PhD Elena has worked on a wide variety of projects: including the study of ion fluxes in mitochondria, the role of Ca2+- dependent actin filament assembly in PMNs and human gingival fibroblast, discovery of Amelotin, a novel enamel protein, and investigation of the role of V-ATPase in osteoclast differentiation. Most recently she was a research associate with Dr. John Davies assessing the bone bonding to micro- and nano-structured surfaces of titanium implants.


Dr. Scott Campbell

Scott received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from McMaster University for developing a series of injectable drug delivery vehicles capable of remotely-mediated drug release. He then aided in the development of versatile transdermal patches within the early stage start-up, Avro Life Science. During his NSERC Postdocotral Fellowship, Scott intends to help develop alternative organ-on-a-chip platforms and use his polymer-based background to engineer new materials to improve these platforms.

Dr. Simon Pascual Gil de Gomez


Simon received his PhD – extraordinary award – at the University of Navarra (Spain) in 2018, and joined the lab later the same year. In humans, the epicardium constitutes a barrier that hinders the successful engraftment of cardiac patches. Moreover, embryonic derived cardiac macrophages (eDMac) have been recently identified to be essential for proper tissue repair after myocardial infarction. Simon’s projects aim to develop a new tissue engineering approach able to overcome the epicardial barrier by inducing endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and to induce the proliferation of eDMac. For this, he will focus his research on 1) POMaC, a novel shape-memory polymer; 2) cell therapy using human induced pluripotent stem cells; and 3) protein therapy for inducing EMT and eDMac proliferation.

Dr. Qinghua Wu


Qinghua Wu obtained her Ph.D. from Polytechnique Montreal, University of Montreal (Canada) in 2018, where she developed novel chitosan-based inks and 3D printing approach to fabricate highly flexible and microstructured hydrogel and nanocomposites. She developed 3D cell-guided scaffolds for tissue engineering and self-healing nanocomposites featuring hierarchical structures for flexible electronics. She has keen interests in designing inks and developing printing strategy to fabricate multi-functional constructs via additive manufacturing techniques for biomedical applications. Her research with Dr. Radisic focuses on 3D printing and injection molding of thermoplastic elastomers to develop organ-on-a-chip platforms for understanding human cardiac disease.
Dr. Locke Davenport Huyer
Locke graduated in June 2014 with a degree in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University. The characteristics of biomaterials used in tissue engineering scaffolds are designed to mimic the properties of the host tissue and degrade to allow for integration of engineered tissues. Locke is investigating the design of a biodegradable polymer that will satisfy these requirements and elicit a minimized immune response when integrated into functional tissue engineering applications. Locke completed his PhD in the summer of 2019 and continues to work in the Lab.

PhD Candidates

Joshua Yazbeck


Josh received his degrees in Biotechnology (B.A.Sc. Chemical Engineering and B.Sc. Biochemistry) at the University of Ottawa, where he designed and modelled a bioreactor for cartilage tissue engineering. He joined the lab in Fall 2019 with the goal of pursuing his PhD in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. He will be working on developing stimulation protocols including heart rate variation, and understanding the mechanisms of cardiac maturation by electrical stimulation in vitro.

Katrina Vizely



Katrina graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Victoria. Her thesis project focused on the functionalization of bacteriophage for high-throughput screening of inhibitors for application in drug discovery. Other previous experience included working in Agriculture and Cancer Research. She joined the lab in September of 2019 to pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Her project will investigate the direct and indirect effects of a bioactive peptide on keratinocytes and immune cells in the context of wound healing. 

Hadel Al Asafen

Hadel graduated from North Carolina State University with a Master’s degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a minor in Biotechnology. She joined our lab in 2019 to pursue her PhD in Chemical Engineering with a collaborative specialization in Biomedical Engineering. Her research project includes a collaboration with Prof. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic’s lab at Columbia University in New York. She is working on developing personalized heart-on-a-chip model to advance personalized regenerative medicine. When she is not doing heart stuff, she enjoys volunteering, traveling, and learning languages.
Anastasia Korolj

Anastasia’s interests lie with the functional properties of cells that are engineered in vitro. She is currently investigating filtration in cultured kidney podocyte cells, with aims to discover how various stimuli affect these cells, what encourages proper behaviour, and why.

Her work thus far has resulted in a patent application, and has merited several awards including an Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship, the Irving O Shoichet Graduate Scholarship, Chemical and Biological Microsystems Society (CBMS) travel award, and other awards from CREATE in M3 and the University of Toronto.

She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto in 2015, with an honour’s degree in Chemical Engineering, minoring in bioengineering and with a business certificate. Some highlights include her internships abroad: summer research in Sweden (Lund University and NSVA water services company) and Hong Kong (HKUST), and an industrial internship in Belgium (Agfa Graphics). Her favourite dessert is baklava.

Ben Lai20160711_111329-2

After completing his MSc in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in University of British Columbia under the guidance of Dr. Kizhakkedathu, Benjamin joined the group in September 2015 to pursue his doctoral studies. His research will focus on investigating the potential of AngioChip scaffold as a disease model and aim to use it as a high throughput drug screening platform.

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Erika received her MSc in Physiology from the University of Manitoba, where she investigated molecular pathways involved in heart failure under Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum’s supervision. After working on a stem cell project at the Thoracic Surgery Research Division of University Health Network, she joined the Radisic lab in 2016 to pursue her PhD in Biomedical Engineering. Her research will focus on the regeneration of functional cardiac tissues from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) and human embryonic stem cells (hESC), and the development of engineered tissue for pharmaceutical and therapeutic applications.

Karl Wagner


Karl joined the lab in the fall of 2018 as a PhD student in Chemical Engineering with a Collaborative Specialization in Biomedical Engineering. Originally from Calgary, he graduated from the University of Alberta with a BSc in 2017 and MEng in 2018, both in Materials Engineering. His research project is a collaborative effort between the Radisic Lab and Prof. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic’s lab at Columbia University in New York. He is working on simulating heart attacks in cardiac tissue-on-a-chip models to study cellular responses to heart tissue damage, as well as to test the effects of applying stem cell-secreted exosomes to damaged tissues as a personalized regenerative therapy. Outside of the lab, Karl is a track and field athlete with the U of T track club. He competed as a varsity athlete for the University of Alberta from 2013-2018, during which time he won the 2015 Western Canada Games bronze medal in the 400m hurdles and raced at the 2016 Canadian Olympic Trials.
Rick Lu


Rick graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Nanotechnology Engineering. He has worked at the National Institute for Materials Science, NTT, and Mount Sinai hospital all of which focus on the synthesis of nano/micro-materials for biomedical applications. His plan is to use micro-fabricated platform, AngioChip, to study cell-cell crosstalk and molecular interaction between organ compartments engineered from human cells, with a specific focus on heart, skeletal muscles, liver and tumor cells. He will further integrate sensors into the existing AngioChip plates to monitor physiological environment (pH, cell permeability, oxygen level) in real-time.


Dawn Bannerman

Dawn received her MESc in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Western Ontario where she worked on developing a multifunctional microbead system for cancer treatment. She joined the Radisic lab in 2016 to start her PhD in the Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Collaborative Program. Her work will focus on biomaterial-based approaches to developing cardiac tissue patches for repair following myocardial infarction.
Mohammad Hossein Mohammadimohammad
Mohammad received his B.S in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology. He joined the Radisic lab on September 2016 to pursue his PhD in a collaborative program between Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. His is currently researching the separation of carbon nanotubes from cardiomyocytes after enhancing their differentiation and maturation using a microfluidic device.

Masters Candidates



Yufeng Shou

Yufeng received his B.Eng in Polymer Material and Engineering from Shanghai University in 2019, where he investigated functional hydrogels for tissue engineering under the supervision of Dr. Jingbo Yin. He joined the Radisic Lab on September 2019 to pursue his master’s degree in chemical engineering and Applied Chemistry. His research mainly focuses on the biomaterial science and engineering. He is currently researching the itaconate-polyester for anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory functions.

Visiting Student



 Student Volunteer

Work-Study Students

Nanami Sumimoto