Biomechanics at Harvard University



 

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Donald Aubrecht
School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Email: aubrecht [at] fas.harvard.edu

    

Donald Aubrecht is a 3rd year applied physics doctoral student in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  He is a member of David Weitz’s research group and is working on droplet-based microfluidic devices.  His research focuses on devices for high-throughput screening applications.


Donald grew up in East Aurora, NY.  He received his B.S. in Engineering Physics from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  He has worked as an intern with RainDance Technologies, Inc.,  a start-up company working to create a microfluidic-based laboratory system for high-throughput screening.  Outside of the lab, Donald can be found somewhere in the outdoors: sailing, mountain biking, and hiking are some of his favorite escapes.




Erin Blevins
Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology
Email: eblevins [at] oeb.harvard.edu

    

Erin Blevins is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.  Erin is interested in batoid locomotion—how stingrays and their relatives use an expanded, flexible fin surface to swim and maneuver.  She is currently working with Dr. George Lauder to analyze the swimming of freshwater stingrays, creating a three-dimensional model of the undulating fin.

Erin grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia.  After receiving her B.S. from Duke University she spent several years as an itinerant biologist, hiking the Sierra Nevada to study mustelid population biology, reviewing articles for an environmental health website, wrestling toadfish in Woods Hole, and making the occasional latte.

 


 

Jesse Collins
School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Email: jcollins [at] fas.harvard.edu

 


Jesse Collins is a 3rd year applied physics doctoral student in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.   A member of Vinny Manoharan's research group, Jesse is using light scattering and colloidal techniques to study the self-association of Drosophila Dscam (Down-syndrome cell adhesion molecule), a protein that comes in tens of thousands of types, each of which binds to itself and to no other type in the set.  He is interested in how multiple highly specific biochemical interactions can determine structural order, be it in the brain of flies or in small clusters of colloidal spheres. 

Jesse received a B.S. in Physics at MIT and has worked on microfluidics and nanocrystals in prior research projects.  He grew up in Sparta, N.J. and likes to bodysurf in the summer and snowboard in the winter.


Carolyn Eng
Department of Anthropology
Email: cmeng [at] fas.harvard.edu


Carolyn Eng is a 2nd year doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology in Prof. Daniel Lieberman's and Prof. Andrew Biewener's lab. She is interested in the development, plasticity, and functional relevance of muscle architecture.  She is also interested in the material properties of tendons and how they influence locomotor economy, specifically in human bipedalism.

Carolyn was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota and could not be more proud of her Midwestern roots. She received a B.S. in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from Duke University. At Duke, Carolyn compared jaw muscle architecture and mechanics in tree-gouging and nongouging callitrichid monkeys. After graduation, she spent two years working in a muscle physiology laboratory at the University of California San Diego.

 


 

Kristina Marie Fontanez
Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology
Email: kfontanez [at] oeb.harvard.edu

 


Kristina Fontanez is a 4th year doctoral student in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary biology in the laboratory of Dr. Colleen Cavanaugh. She is examining the bacterial diversity associated with deep-sea hydrothermal vent invertebrates, specifically with bivalve hosts of the genus Bathymodiolus.

Kristina grew up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and received her BA in Molecular Biology from Princeton University in 2005. Outside of lab, Kristina can be found playing ultimate frisbee.

 


Brett Huggett
Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology
Email: bhuggett [at] fas.harvard.edu

 

  

Brett Huggett is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.  He is currently working with Dr. N. Michele Holbrook.

Brett grew up just north of Philadelphia.  He received a B.M. in Jazz Performace from Temple University, Philadelphia.  He went on to complete a M.S. from the University of Vermont studying tree physiology. 

Website: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~bhuggett/Brett_Huggett/HOME.html

 


 

Tony Hung
School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Email: tonyhung [at] fas.harvard.edu

 

  


Tony Hung is 3rd year doctoral student in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences pursuing micro-fluidics research in David Weitz's lab.  The overarching goal of his current work is the development of a rapid genome sequencing machine utilizing emulsion micro-fluidic technology, that would be competitive for the Genomics X PRIZE.  The broad nature of the goal necessitates the merging of research in bioinformatics, genetics, micro-fluidics, optics, and protein scale biomechanics.

Before Harvard, Tony completed a Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University where he worked with self-assembly of lipo-protein complexes in the lab of James Swartz.  The work, which was funded by NASA and the Office of Naval Research utilized water transport proteins to create an active biological membrane for filtering water for use on-board manned spaceflights and submarines. 

A tangential interest of Tony is the combination of research with entrepreneurship.  As such he has been involved with start-up efforts on four continents.




 

Louise Marie Jawerth
School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Email: ljawerth [at] fas.harvard.edu

 

 

Louise Jawerth is a 5th year doctoral student in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  Louise is a member of the Weitz lab.

Louise's research tries to understand how small changes in biopolymers (~um sized) lead to large (~cm sized) changes in the bulk properties of biopolymer networks. In particular, she is currently investigating collagen and fibrin biopolymer networks. When these networks are sheared they undergo strain stiffening. To understand the individual filament dynamics that gives rise to this bulk property, she imagines the biopolymer networks as they are sheared using confocal microscopy. Louise also studies how small contractions and rearrangements in collagen networks made by embedded cells gives rise to more global network change.

 


 

Benjamin Jordan
Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology
Email: bjordan [at] oeb.harvard.edu

 


Benjamin Jordan is a 1st year doctoral student in the Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology in Jacques Dumais' Lab. His previous work has spanned many disciplines, including vertebrate limb development, theoretical population dynamics, and computational number theory.  He can be found in the lab working on the mechanics of roots, galls, and other living structures, at a computer terminal trying to figure out how to squeeze more speed out of some code, or in the woods.

A native of Minnesota, a recovering triathlete, and a visual artist, Ben received a B.S. in Computer Science, and a B.S. in Mathematics in 2008 from the University of Minnesota.

 


 

John Kolinski
School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Email: kolinski [at] fas.harvard.edu

 


John Kolinski is a 1st year doctoral student in the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences in Prof. L. Mahavedan's Lab.Current research interests include the mechanics of elastic membranes, and applications of elastic membrane mechanics to problems in Biology and Geology. John enjoys performing simple experiments to unveil the behavior of mechanical phenomena.

Past research projects include an experimental study of the mechanical response of liquid foams to stress, and viscous layer-air interactions. John received his degrees in Mathematics and Engineering Mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 


 

Ann Lai
School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Email: annlai [at] fas.harvard.edu

 


Ann Lai is a 5th year doctoral student in the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences in Prof. Howard Stone's Lab. She is interested in the fluid mechanics with an emphasis on potential for technological applications in the field of biology and, potentially, forensics. Her research focuses mainly on problems at the interface.

Ann grew up half of the time in Taipei, Taiwan, and half of time in
Cleveland, Ohio. She received her B.A. in Chemistry and Physics and
M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard. Outside of school, she spends her time painting, reading, and watching all types of movies.

 




Tony Rockwell
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Email: rockwel [at] fas.harvard.edu

 

    

Tony is a 5th year doctoral student in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, studying hydraulic constraints on leaf structure and function from an evolutionary perspective.

Tony's interest in physiology stems from his work on the family farm, where he expended tremendous effort to make certain plants grow in certain places, while in the field margins lots of plants grew without any effort on his part at all. Being naturally averse to unnecessary work, he decided to try to learn why plants grew where they did, and returned to New Haven to study plant science at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science, earning an MS in 2004. At Harvard, Tony is a member of Prof. Andrew Knoll's lab, studying paleobotany, and works on the leaf hydraulics of extant plants in Prof. Holbrook's lab. His principle interests include how water flows through living tissues, and the constraints these flows impose on where water evaporates within the leaf, as well as, ultimately, the flux of carbon a particular leaf can support.

When not in Cambridge, Tony may be found trying to keep the cows out of the road in Pine Plains, N.Y.

 


 

Edwin Yoo

Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Email: eyoo [at] oeb.harvard.edu

 


Ed is a 4th year doctoral student in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology in Prof. Biewener's lab at the Concord Field Station. His general research interests lie in the biomechanics of non-steady locomotory behaviors in terrestrial animals.

In Prof. Biewener's lab, Ed is studying limb function in goats during climbing and landing jumps. He is also collaborating with with Prof. David Lee, at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on a project involving comparing whole-body and limb dynamics of chinchilla, rabbit, and guinea pigs during incline/decline locomotion using high speed bi-planar x-ray cineradiography and force plates.

Outside of lab, Ed can be found teaching for the Harvard Tae Kwon Do Club or spending money at a local coffee shop.


 

 

 



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