Former Postdoctoral Scholars

Benjamin Heidt
I completed my Ph.D. in Biosensing under the supervision of Dr. Bart van Grinsven and Prof. Thomas Cleij at Maastricht University in January 2022. My work focuses on 3D printing and biosensing with/of/around microorganisms. In my research regarding 3D printing, I specialized in creating microstructures and microfluidic channels via SLA and mSLA 3D printers, as well as creating a novel method coined Topographical Vacuum Sealing, which combines 3D printing and vacuum forming to decrease the channel size of 3D-printed microfluidic structures. My research regarding biosensing revolves around Point-of-Care diagnostics, especially their use for resource limited settings. Here I use several detection techniques from optical and electrochemical readout methods to more niche applications such as detection via thermal resistance. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics unit as a postdoc in April 2022 to continue my research on microfluidic biosensor integration. Next to this I am the founder of Flui.Go Science, a startup that produces microfluidic building blocks to teach the next generation about science.

Stylianos Varchanis
I completed my PhD in Chemical Engineering in 2020 under the supervision of Prof. John Tsamopoulos and Yannis Dimakopoulos from the University of Patras (Greece). My research was focused on the dynamic analysis of elastic and interfacial instabilities in flows of complex fluids, such as polymer solutions and melts, gels, suspensions, soft media, and biological fluids. During that time, I also worked on the development of a finite element technique (PEGAFEM-V) for the simulation of 3-dimensional non-Newtonian flows with multiple free surfaces, and the derivation of constitutive laws for thixotropic elasto-visco-plastic materials. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics unit in 2021 as a postdoc to combine my theoretical background with novel microfluidic experiments, aiming at a deeper understanding of the rheological response of complex fluids. Away from the lab, I enjoy travelling around the world, recreational sailing, camping, and cooking.

Tatiana Porto Dos Santos

I completed my Ph.D in Food Engineering in 2021 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Rosiane Lopes Cunha from the University of Campinas (Brazil) in collaboration with Prof. Patrick Tabeling from ESPCI Paris (France). My Ph.D. research was focused on the development of an emulsion stability analyzer based on microfluidics. Earlier in my MSc, I studied the digestibility of colloidal gel-like systems and built a semi(dynamic) digestive prototype. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit as a postdoctoral researcher in September 2021 to apply my current background in rheology, microfluidics and gelled systems in the development of new food structures. Outside the lab, I enjoy travelling and can’t wait to explore Okinawa.

Daniel Carlson
I earned my Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts under the guidance of Prof. Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi. My work there centered on studying fluid-structure interactions (FSI) of multiple-degree of freedom systems for applications in the offshore wind energy sector. Topics included vortex-surface alignment for flexibly-mounted prisms, suppression of vortex-induced vibrations, and biomimetic ultrasound generation via flow-induced oscillations. During this time I also had the opportunity to collaborate with NASA Langley to investigate potential uses of their contactless SANSEC sensor technology. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics unit as a postdoc in May 2019 and look forward to applying my FSI background to more exotic flexible and biological structures in complex flow! While at Okinawa I want to improve my drawing, pick up some languages, and get into open water swimming.

Vincenzo Mazzaracchio

I earned my PhD at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” in Analytical Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Fabiana Arduini and Prof. Danila Moscone. My research activity is mainly focused on electrochemical sensors and biosensors development for metals, ions and biomarkers detection in biological matrix such as sweat, urine and serum, or bacteriological species in water and foods. During the years I obtained specific knowledge of spectrophotometric and electrochemical techniques (i.e. impedance spectroscopy, amperometry, cyclic voltammetry and potentiometry) and skills on the use of nanomaterials (i.e. Carbon Black, gold nanoparticles), and of the screen-printing technology. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics unit in September 2021 to increase my research activity on biosensors development combining it with microfluidics applications. Besides this I like playing tennis, football and doing interesting activities in Okinawa wonderful island such as bicycling, snorkelling, and hiking.

Cameron Hopkins
I completed both my B.Sc., in 2013, and Ph.D., in 2018, in Physics at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. My Ph.D. research was supervised by Prof. John de Bruyn. My research was focused on the development and use of a novel tool – a vibrating wire rheometer – for measuring the viscoelastic properties of complex fluids at high frequencies.  In 2017, I completed a 4-month research internship here in the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit where I studied a flow instability of graphene oxide dispersions.  Following the conclusion of my Ph.D., in October 2018 I returned to OIST as a postdoctoral scholar in the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit. My research interests span all things related to rheology and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics. I am especially interested in developing innovative new approaches for studying complex fluids.  At OIST, I will be exploiting our unique ability to construct microfluidic channels out of glass to study the flow of complex fluids around confined cylinders.  Besides work, I enjoy watching and playing hockey and exploring this island, both above and below the sea.

Charlotte de Blois
I completed my PhD at the Gulliver laboratory, ESPCI Paris, PSL university, France in December 2019. I worked under the supervision of Olivier Dauchot and Mathilde Reyssat on the behaviour of swimming water droplets in oil in complex environments. My research interest lies in hydrodynamics, and soft and complex matter, so I am very exited to join the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics unit at OIST to explore new amazing phenomena by investigating the interaction between thin structures and non-Newtonian fluids. Besides work, I like dancing, reading and cooking, and I can’t wait to explore the beautiful tropical Island.

Vikram Rathee
I graduated from Physics Department, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, in 2015, working with Prof. Ajay Sood, primarily focusing on the non-equilibrium studies of soft condense matter (SCM) systems including liquid crystals, colloidal suspensions and biopolymers. In the same year, I moved to Georgetown University as a postdoc fellow in the group of Profs. Dan Blair and Jeff Urbach and have worked extensively on understanding shear thickening behavior in colloidal and granular suspensions. I joined Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit in November 2019 and am excited to learn and explore versatile world of microfluidics. Outside the lab I enjoy playing and watching hockey (not hockey on ice) and cricket.

Riccardo Funari - Assistant Professor at the department of Physics, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Italy
I completed my PhD in Industrial Engineering at the University of Naples “Federico II” in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Raffaele Velotta, focusing on the design and realization of biomolecular quantification tools suitable for environmental control, food analysis and biomedical applications. More particularly, I worked on the detection of a wide range of analytes and harmful species including pesticides, mycotoxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, proteins, biomarkers and bacteria. During this period, I had the chance to establish a fruitful scientific collaboration with Dr. Dirk Mayer group at Jülich Forschungszentrum in Germany concerning electrochemical biosensing and single protein imaging using atomic force microscopy (AFM). After receiving my PhD, I worked as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Naples for 2 years until I joined Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit in July 2017. Here in OIST, I started working on the use of bacterial biofilm in optical biosensing and in the next future I wish to explore the advantages of coupling microfluidics and biosensing technology for realizing novel detection tools. Beside work, I love reading, snorkeling and learning more about this wonderful island.

Atsushi Matsumoto - Assistant Professor at the department of Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Fukui, Japan
I completed my PhD at Osaka University under the supervision of Prof. Tadashi Inoue, primarily studying the effect of counter anion sizes on linear viscoelasticities for polymerized ionic liquids using rheo-optical techniques. During this period, I joined Prof. James Runt group at The Pennsylvania State University for 6 months as a visiting scholar and studied the use of dielectric relaxation spectroscopy in polyelectrolyte systems. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit as a postdoctoral scholar in April 2017. I am currently studying the flow behavior of non-Newtonian fluids around confined microfluidic cylinders as my first job at OIST. I am very glad to start my first Postdoc experience at this unit and I am looking forward to exploring the field of microfluidics. Beside work, I enjoy badminton, running, and getting abilities for fishing, Tamann (~30 cm) is one of seeking fishes at first. I also want to try sea activities during my stay in this tropical island.



Nikhil Bhalla - Assistant Professor at NIBEC, School of Engineering, Ulster University in UK
I completed my Ph.D. in Electronic and Electrical Engineering in 2015 under the supervision of  Dr. Pedro Estrela from the University of Bath in UK. Prior to Bath, I completed M.S. in Electronic Engineering from Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan in 2012 and received B.E. Honors in Electronics and Instrumentation from BITS-Pilani, India in 2010. Following Ph.D. I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bath in UK for a period of 3 months just before joining here at Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit. My research interest includes the development of sophisticated biosensing tools for the detection of post translational modification of proteins, disease detection, understanding various intra/inter cellular biochemical process on micro/nano devices. At OIST I will now work on engineering the microenvironment of cancer stem cells. Away from the lab, I ‘love’ cricket (unfortunately not much in Japan), outdoors, guitars and enjoy traveling. Okinawa is a beautiful island to work and live.

Mandy Leung - Special Postdoctoral Researcher in RIKEN, Japan
I have completed my PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. My research background is in the field of spectroscopy and nanomaterial sciences. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit as a JSPS fellow in 2016. I believe that I will gain extensive knowledge and experience in the field of microfluidics and further my research in nanomaterial development during my tenure in the group. Beside work, I enjoy cooking and learning Japanese.



Francesco Del Giudice - Lecturer in Swansea University, UK
I received my PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Naples last April, under the supervision of Prof. Pier Luca Maffettone. During that period I was also a fellow at the Centre for Advanced Biomaterial for Healthcare  and visiting PhD student at University of Glasgow, working in strict contact with Dr. Manlio Tassieri. During this period I studied the effect of the fluid rheology on particle migration in square-shaped micro channels. In addition, during my period in Glasgow, I studied the use of optical tweezers in the microrheology of complex systems. Finally, we derived a novel method for measuring the fluid relaxation time through microfluidic flow. I joined this amazing group in December 2015 for my first Postdoc experience and I am currently working on the use of non-Newtonian fluids together with suspended cells for biomedical application. In addition, I am moving forward in the study of microfluidic techniques for deriving properties of complex fluids. Beside work, I like reading, travelling, meeting new people and sharing cultures. I like Salsa music and I am a piano player/composer.

Casey Galvin – Research and Development scientist in Sysmex, Japan
I joined the MBN unit at OIST in November of 2014. Prior to that, I completed my PhD at NC State University with Prof. Jan Genzer, studying the swelling behavior of surface-grafted polyelectrolytes. My interests include polymer and interfacial sciences, and I look forward to branching into microfluidics and responsive particles during my tenure in the MBN unit. I have most recently spent my free time studying Japanese, practicing martial arts, and getting my swimming abilities ready for Okinawa's shores.

Sébastien Ricoult – Research Scientist II in Illumina, Cambridge
I completed a neuroengineering Ph.D. at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit as a postdoctoral scholar in May 2015. My past work was aimed at developing micro/nanotechnologies to study axonal navigation. These included a nanopatterning-based haptotaxis assay to identify gradient geometries most apt to guide neurons to desired targets. To become a well-rounded micro/nanotechnologies engineer, I will now complement my surface patterning skills with experience in the exciting field of microfluidics.

Michael Boehm – Associate Principle Scientist, PepsiCo, USA 
Be it jelly giggling, rod climbing, marshmallows stretching, waves crashing on shore, clouds in the sky, the swirl of a galaxy or milk mixing into coffee...I am inspired by the flow and deformation of matter. And I would have to be because, as anyone who has used a rheometer knows, measuring rheological properties with parallel plates is relatively uneventful, but it fascinates me none the less.

Doojin Lee – Assistant Professor at Chonnam National University, Korea 
I completed my PhD at Seoul National University and joined Shen Unit as a postdoc scholar in June 2014. During my PhD, I specialized in the study of superhydrophobicity, liquid slip, and microparticle separation. And now I'm interested in microdroplet generation and microheating system. Besides work, I enjoy outdoor activities such as soccer, swimming and biking and also love traveling to new places.

Former PhD Students

Ainash Garifullina (JSPS DC2 Fellow)
I received my BSc degree in Chemistry from Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan. During my undergraduate, I’ve been mostly interested in natural product and macromolecules synthesis, which is why I was planning to work in an organic synthesis lab. However, after my rotation in Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics unit, I got more excited about plasmonic biosensing using microfluidics. So, I decided to join this unit for my thesis project and to use microfluidics in order to address a number of fundamental issues related to plasmonic materials. Outside work, I enjoy spending time with my friends, roaming around the island, and discovering new exciting things about Japan.

San To Chan (JSPS DC2 Fellow)
I received my BEng (Engineering Science) from the University of Hong Kong. I enjoy experimenting with different swirling flow instabilities, such as vortex breakdown and edge fracture. When I am not working, I play with the cats inside and outside my apartment, they are so cute and fluffy.

Shivani Sathish (OIST POC Fellow)
I completed my Bachelors in Technology in Genetic Engineering at SRM University, India. I spent six months at OIST as an intern, working on my bachelor thesis in Prof. Tomoyuki Takahashi’s unit. After my internship, I joined OIST as a PhD student in January, 2015. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit to complete my third laboratory rotation in September, 2015 where my work will involve multi-composite surface patterning to create functional neural networks. Having worked on biological experiments in the past, I am excited to start my work in this new field. Outside work, I enjoy learning Japanese, exploring life underwater, hiking in Okinawan forests and experimenting with new cuisines.

Hsieh-Fu Tsai (OIST POC Fellow)

I completed my bachelor in clinical laboratory science and master in biophotonics in Taiwan. My master thesis was on study of cancer cell migration directed by electrical guidance in microfluidic systems. I joined OIST as a PhD student in 2014 and completed my Ph.D in March 2020. My Ph.D thesis title is "Glioma on Chips: Analysis of glioma cell guidance and interation in microfluidic-controlled microenvironment enabled by machine learning". I am now a POC Fellow at OIST. I will develop a compact AI cytoscope for label-free tracking of cell phenotype and behavior. 

Noa Burshtein - Postdoc at ESPCI in France
I completed my MSc at Weizmann institute of science in Rehovot, Israel and joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit as a PhD student in September 2015. My past work was in the field of atmospheric chemistry and physics and developing a bio-sensor for aerosols detection. In my PhD I would like to study flow instabilities and mixing enhancement in micro scales for both Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids. Apart from research I enjoy yoga, snorkelling, hiking and exploring the beautiful Okinawa Island with my husband and our dog.

Former Unit Technicians

Chua-Zu Huang, Technician
I got my master degree of Department of Photonics of NCKU, Taiwan, in 2017. I was a bio-engineer before being a research technician of OIST. My previous work was focused on the development of stroke treatment system, such as medical guidewires, aspiration tubings, and pumpless system. As a R&D engineer, I was responsible for the designing and building up the manufacture process and the quality control test system.
The reason why I work in medical field is because I’m interested in plasmonic structure applied in bio-sensors. I’ve focused on the plasmonic nanoantenna since I was a sophomore. The nanoantenna with focused and enhanced electromagnetic field provides a potential for various applications from quantum devices to bio-probes. I have technical skills and experiences on nano-fabrcation, optical/mechanical system design and material characterization. I hope I can use my experts in developing high level medical devices. Therefore, here is an opportunity for me to join a part bio-sensor development. It’s a pleasure to be here as a member of Shen’s unit. Welcome to discuss with me if you have any ideas about non-destructive medical products.

Kang-Yu Chu- Technician
I come from Taiwan. I got my Master of Engineering (Biomedical Engineering) from National Cheng Kung University(NCKU) in 2016. After that, I received my first work as a research assistant from Department of Photonics (NCKU). Now, it's my pleasure to join OIST which gathering many prosperous scientist and researchers and to be a technician. I believe that I could acquire a lot of precious experience from them. When I was a master student, I focused on developing an integrated, robust optical imaging system for clinical medical device. During the period of research assistant, I help my team to establish a compact prototype system which based on diffuse optical spectroscopy. Moreover, out team joined a lot of innovative contest so that we could show our promising technique. I am quite interested in interdisciplinary research and also willing to learn or try different kinds of skills, techniques and knowledge, for example, CUDA, machine learning, biophotonics, etc.

Ting-Chun Chou
I completed my bachelor and master in photonics in Taiwan. My master degree thesis was on study of quantification of chromophore concentrations and thickness of human skin using a two-layer diffuse reflectance model. I have lots of experience in Instrument Control, CUDA Coding, and Neural Network Training. And I believe that “Chase Excellence, Success will follow.”, so I learn the new skill and knowledge constantly. I plan to get my Ph.D. degree in the future. It’s my pleasure to be a research technician in OIST. Working here expanded my horizon. I can work with many people from different countries. Besides work, I would like to experience local culture and landscapes.

Kei Funakoshi
I joined the MBN unit in June 2016. I graduated from Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) with a M.S degree of Material Science in 2004. I have research experiences in: analysis for cell membrane functions and on development of cell processing with microdevices at academic institutes and a biotech start-up company. I provide support on microfabrication and cell processing in the MBN unit. In addition, I aim to build bridges between Micro/Nanofluidics and life science disciplines, within OIST and in the local Okinawa prefecture. Outside of work I enjoy badminton, motorcycle touring, and watching American dramas. I’m very happy to work in Okinawa, my home island.

Rotation Students

Igors Dubanevics

I was born and raised in Latvia, and I have spent most of my life in a small city by the Baltic Sea. After finishing high school, I flew to York (UK) to study Natural Sciences for four years. While I initially wanted to be a chemist, I eventually specialized in Physics due to its versatility and dynamic faculty. During my time at York, I worked on protein dynamics induced by thermal fluctuations, which explored the transfer of information in noisy environments. This research was entirely computational, drawing ideas from Statistical Physics.
Since then, I have undergone a slight change in direction and scale at OIST. My research question now focuses on the evolution of bacterial cells in confined geometries. This project is a continuation of a collaboration between BCU and MNBU at OIST and involves both theoretical and experimental work.
Outside of work, I find refuge in books, particularly Russian classics, and music (Bach and John Coltrane are among my favorite artists). Since arriving in Okinawa, I have enjoyed exploring the island on foot, by bike, and with swimfins, and I plan to continue doing so.

PS Although my name may suggest multiples of me, I come in a singular form.

Giulio Foggi Rota

はじめまして, I am Giulio Foggi Rota, from Italy. My background is Aeronautical Engineering, and I graduated with a master's degree from Politecnico di Milano in early 2022. After a first (remote) internship at OIST in 2021, I finally came to Okinawa in May 2022 as a PhD student. The interest for simulating turbulent flows has motivated me to join the Complex Fluids and Flows Unit for my thesis. During this rotation in the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit I hope to gain some experimental experience, approaching the laboratory environment for the first time, but I am also looking forward to broadening my knowledge in elastic turbulence.
When I shut down my laptop, I enjoy playing the piano, swimming, and exploring the island.

Yong Heng Phua

I graduated from Hokkaido University, Japan 2022 studying microorganisms called protists, their taxonomy and interactions with the bacterial communities around and within them. Even though the are tiny, they have a large impact on the ecosystem. I am continuing this work in OIST. When I am not working, I am usually cooking or hiking in the mountains (or hills in Okinawa).

Patrick Clark
I completed my Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with Biomechanics in 2018, completing my thesis in the field of cardiovascular biomechanics under the supervision of Dr. Albero Marzo at the University of Sheffield. After a long break I decided to pursue a PhD at OIST and am currently here in the Micro/nano/bio fluids lab as a rotation student. Whilst my usual focus has been on studies of complex flows and fluids at the scale of the arterial system, for this rotation I will be designing, producing and testing novel microchannel designs. Outside of academics I look forward to visiting more of the island, continuing to play football and badminton and also to improve my Japanese speaking and reading ability. 

Tomoya Noma
I completed my bachelor and master in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering at the Kyushu university, Japan focusing on the development of a genetic circuit to control gene expression in response to cell density and the application to produce carotenoids by E.coli. I joined the lab in May, 2021 as the first rotation. I want to learn microfluidics technology and apply it to optimize the external environment when culturing cells and to analyze biomolecules in detail. Like: sushi, ginger ale, animals, aquarium, karaoke Dislike: roller coaster, ferris wheel

Jiahao Zhang
I am now as a rotation student in micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit during my first year in OIST. Before that, I graduated from Shandong University in China with chemistry BSc degree. I am interested in nanomaterials fabrication with applications in nano-bio-interface. Besides work, I enjoy cooking and movies.

Yuma Kajihara
I’m a PhD student who studies neuroscience and is interested in the neural-circuit basis of mood disorders. I received my BEng and MSc in theoretical biology from the University of Tokyo (UTokyo). Before coming to OIST, I was an academic support staff at IRCN on UTokyo for half a year and worked on developing a statistical method for diagnosing mood disorders from fMRI signals. I joined to Shen unit as an out-of-field lab-rotation student in September, 2020. Here I’m working on cellular lineage tracking in long term culture with Dr. Paul Tsai, while studying the foundation of cell biology. I like cooking, reading, and playing sports while I’m not working.

Hung-Ju Chiang
I am a molecular biologist specialized in virology. I received my Bachelor’s degree and a Master's degree in Clinical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology in Taiwan; I also hold a second Master’s degree in Biology from the US. It is the nature of clinical laboratory scientists to wish to minimize the scale of clinical examinations. I am therefore interested in microfluidic devices, which seem to be a promising platform in this regard. Outside the lab I enjoy listening to heavy metal music. I am also a drummer and play rock and metal music.

Ali Rahmani
I joined Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit at OIST in May 2017 as a PhD student for my first rotation. Before that, I received M.S and B.S in chemical engineering from Sharif University of Technology and Isfahan University of Technology, respectively. During my Master I developed a dielectrophoretic based microfluidic platform to separate biological cells. I am really interested in the design and fabrication of Micro/Nanofluidic platforms for diagnostic applications. Besides research, I enjoy reading Iran & world literature, and running.

Agneesh Barua
I am a biologist by training with a specialization in Genetics. I have worked on projects related to using medicinal plant extracts to combat fungal infections, cancer biology, and even understanding the way snake venom evolves. I joined the Shen unit for my first PhD rotation with the intention of using microfluidics to understand the various steps involved in cancer metastasis.

Tsung-Han Hsieh – Rotation Student
I completed my bachelor and master in National Yang Ming University, Taiwan, then spent 6 years working different biotech companies. When I was in the industry, I always felt I should replenish myself with more knowledge. I finally made my mind last year. Now I am here, in Okinawa, to seek more knowledge and any possibilities to build up enterprise based on my research or innovation.

Maki Kohata Thomas ­– Rotation Student
I enrolled Marine Biology Department in University of  Ryukyus, Japan with interests in ecosystems in tidal flats, then transferred to University of Massachusetts where I received my B.S. degree in Environmental Science/Hydrology.  My current interest is biochemical cycles in complex estuarine environment, especially mangrove forests. Getting myself familiarized with nano, and micro scale particles and films for the first time at this unit was great experience. I am hoping to derive this experience to better understand the physical phenomenon dominated by nano scale clay particles in the estuarine environment in the future.

Rob Campbell – Rotation Student, Summer 2016
I completed my undergraduate studies at Skidmore College in the United States, earning a dual degree in physics and international affairs. I then spent several years working in international sustainable development and communications before returning to the world of research. After a hands-on introduction to MEMS and microfluidics at the Harvard Extension School in Boston I came to OIST to further integrate my interest in “squishy physics” with the study of biological systems.

Research Interns

Silvio Salvatore Bonni
Originally from Dusseldorf in Germany, I completed my bachelor’s degree in natural sciences at Maastricht University in the Netherlands in 2021. During my time there I decided to focus on molecular and synthetic biology. After a short stint of working as a technician in contract research (viral clearance studies), I decided to start a masters in Biomolecular Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam as part of which I joined OIST as a research intern from oct-23 till mar-24. My internship will be on the development and benchmarking of molecular imprinted biosensors. In my free-time I like to play video games, swimming and going out with friends. I am very grateful for the opportunity to do my internship at Prof. Shen’s Unit and excited to explore Okinawa during my time here.

Henry John London
I grew up in the UK and graduated last year from the University of Cambridge with an integrated master’s in physics. My final year project involved designing a new form of flow cytometer, which inspired me onto the path of microfluidics. Here at OIST, I’m building a modular flow cell device for analysing the effect of fluid flow on amyloid fibre formation. Outside of grinding I can be found playing boardgames, making random stuff and trying to improve my Japanese.

Yangyul Ju
I am a Ph.D student at Chonnam National University in Korea, and I will be interning at OIST for approximately 5 months. I am engaged in technology research that focuses on analyzing the correlation between the electrochemical properties of batteries. This involves predicting the structure and physical properties of objects by studying the rheological properties of anode slurry used in lithium-ion batteries. Outside of work, I enjoy drinking beer and exercising. I feel deeply honored to be a part of Amy's group.

Ryoma Suzuki
I am an undergraduate intern from the High Throughput Micro-Nano Engineering Laboratory at Toyohashi University of Technology. My internship from September 2023 to December 2023 involves working on tracking and analyzing DNA molecules within microfluidic devices under the guidance of Dr. Vincenzo. In my own research, I am engaged in the development of software that utilizes deep learning to enable real-time tracking of adherent cells. I am extremely grateful for this valuable opportunity. Outside of research, I enjoy basketball, anime, and hot springs.

Diana Mengdesh

I am from Kazakhstan, where I completed my bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at Nazarbayev University, Astana. Before coming to the OIST, I participated in different exciting scientific projects involving bioinformatics and molecular biology of viruses. Although I am a biology student, I am passionate about interdisciplinary research, which is conducted within the walls of our unit at OIST. So, I came here in September 2022 as an intern to learn more about microfluidics devices and their applications in the diagnosis of different diseases.
While in Okinawa, I would like to learn about the intricate engineering of biosensors and explore the local culture and language as part of my hobbies. I am also a big fan of non-fiction (and fiction) feminist literature and slam poetry

Tamara Iakimova

I am 2nd year master student in Lomonosov MSU, Russia. I’ve received my BSc degree on material science faculty and stayed for my MSc there, but my research work is mainly focused on drug delivery systems and in vitro/in vivo investigation of encapsulated drugs. During my studies, I’ve learned a lot about different fields of science and I agree that the future belongs to interdisciplinary research. OIST impressed me a lot and I’m really grateful for the chance to participate in the work of an international team. Here my work is devoted to 3D-printed biosensors for bacteria and that is very exciting! I studied Japanese in my childhood and could not imagine that I would really get to Japan, so now everything seems incredible to me. So, I’m planning to explore Japan as much as possible, and besides travelling I’m a big fan of TV shows, movies, embroidery and long Zoom calls with friends.

Mauricio Andres Rios Maciel

I completed both my B. Sc., (2018) and M. Sc. (2021) in Biotechnology at ITESM in Mexico City. During my Master's degree, under supervision of Prof. Mario González-Meljem, Prof. Mario Moisés Álvarez and Prof. Grissel Trujillo, I conducted research on the improvements of the in vitro studies in cellular senescence by the implementation of a microfluidic-based platform and three-dimensional gelatin-based matrices. I also performed mathematical approaches to model the cellular state transitions in a culture. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit in April 2022 as a Research Intern to work on biosensors and microfluidics applications in this area. Outside the lab, I enjoy exercising, music and photography. While in Okinawa, I'm hoping to get to know a lot of the Island and Japanese culture.

Marvin Wilhelm Detert

Originally, I am from Germany and did a bachelor’s and master’s degree in physics at the Leibniz University Hannover with a semester abroad in the United States. During my studies I focused on experimental work in solid state physics and the behavior at interfaces. After receiving my master’s degree, I decided to apply this knowledge in a different field and started to pursue a PhD in fluid dynamics at the University of Twente in the Netherlands in 2019. My work revolves around high-speed imaging of the nucleation and growth of microbubbles in multicomponent liquids that are created via rapid, local heating. The heating is caused by surface plasmon resonance in gold nanoparticles connecting my prior experiences in solid state physics with my current project in fluid dynamics.
At OIST I hope to experience a new and different environment and to broaden my knowledge about experimental techniques in fluid dynamics. I am looking forward to exciting experiments combining microfluidics, rheology, and birefringence.
In my leisure time, I enjoy sports like volleyball, badminton, and ballroom dancing, but you can also find me exploring new place and hiking in nature. Besides that, I try cooking new dishes with friends often and am always down for a karaoke session.

Arisa Yokokoji
I received my BSc degree in Chemistry from Osaka University in Japan, recently I'm working there to get an MSc degree in Polymer science under the supervision of Prof. Tadashi Inoue .
I visited the same unit for 4 months as an intern student (2020 September - December) and researched extensional rheology of polyelectrolytes solution by using the microfluidic method. And during the intern period (2021 July - October), I’m working on the elastic flow instability of polyelectrolytes solution in the cross-lot channel and the mechanism. Besides the research, I will enjoy exploring Okinawa.


Haruna Takahashi
I am pursuing my BSc in mechanical engineering at Kyushu University, Japan. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics unit in July 2021 as a research intern for 6 months. In my home university, I worked on developing hydrogel soft actuators and improving microchannels. In this unit, I am researching the rheological property of composite soft materials as my thesis project. Materials such as polymers and nanocrystals have always fascinated me, and I would like to apply them to biomedical devices in the future. Other than research, I love eating and even sometimes cooking sweets, traveling, taking photographs, 3D modeling, and learning languages.

Sk Rameez Iqbal
I am a Research Scholar in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras, India, where I am pursuing my Doctoral research work under the supervision of Dr. Ashis Kumar Sen (IIT Madras, India) and the co-supervision of Prof. Amy Shen (OIST, Japan). Post thesis submission (doctoral), I am currently visiting OIST as an intern for two and a half months (Jan 2020-March 2020). Earlier I visited the same unit in 2017-18 for four months (Nov 2017-March 2018). My research is broadly focused on fluid dynamics with a specific interest in microscale phenomena. Combining both experiments and theory, I primarily study the drying phenomena of various droplets (pure, suspension, or complex) to understand the deposition pattern left by the droplet. My research interests include but are not limited to capillarity and wetting phenomena, droplet evaporation, soft matter, complex fluids, superhydrophobic substrates. Besides work, I love reading, traveling, and interacting with peoples from different parts of the world.

Ryota Yoshizawa
I am a graduate student at Osaka university. Under the supervision of Prof. Tadashi Inoue, I primarily study the use of dielectric spectroscopy in polystyrene film.
I am currently visiting OIST as an intern for four months (July 2020-September 2020).
During the internship period, I study the capacitive deionization for concentrated
electrolyte solutions.
Besides work, I love reading, watching movie, and playing baseball.

Arisa Yokokoji
I received my BSc degree in Chemistry from Osaka University in Japan, recently I'm working there to get an MSc degree in Polymer science under the supervision of Prof. Tadashi Inoue .
I researched the ionic conductivity of polymerized ionic liquids and the mechanism when I was an undergraduate student, then I got interested in the rheology of polyelectrolytes.
During the intern period (2020 Sep-Dec), I want to understand solution rheology for polyelectrolytes more deeply and apply it to my research.
Besides the internship, I will enjoy communicating with people who have various backgrounds and exploring Okinawa.

Alexander Groot
I completed my BSc degree at TU/e (Eindhoven University of Technology) on Mechanical Engineering in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. I am currently working to receive my MSc Polymer Technologies from the same university. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics unit as part of my internship in March. Towards the end of my bachelor’s I became interested in materials science, and during my master‘s I was introduced to the fields of microfluidics and microfabrication. Here at OIST I am able to combine those interests, researching rheology of wormlike micellar solutions, and flow of WLM solutions through a microfluidic channel. Besides working, I enjoy playing sports such as rugby and tennis, and going to the gym. Music also fills a large part of my daily life as I enjoy listening to, but also making music whenever I can. I like traveling to different places and countries, and by coming to Japan I am now able to accomplish a lifelong dream of experiencing life in another country!

Rosa Ripa
I completed my BSc degree in Biomedical Engineering and I am going to receive the MSc degree in Industrial Bioengineering at the University of Naples “Federico II” in Italy. During my studies, I became familiar with Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Microfluidics, Transport Phenomena and Tissue Engineering. Therefore, in the near future, I would like to combine the principles of Biology and the tools of Engineering to create cost-effective devices.
I joined Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit as a research intern in October. In particular, I am going to develop a new cell-based biosensor to sense gold using bacteria biofilms and the Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring (QCM-D).  
Beside my research activities, I enjoy travelling, spending time with my friends and learning more about this wonderful island.



Bruno Miranda
I received my BSc degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Naples “Federico II” in 2016 in Italy. In the same University, I joined the Master’s Degree in Industrial Bioengineering. As a Bioengineering student, I am interested in the implementation of engineering tools with biological systems to provide novel therapeutic, diagnostic and rehabilitative technologies. I am really interested in the challenging design of Biosensors, an interdisciplinary field that combines Computer Science, Electronics, Surface Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Moreover, I am interested in Microfluidics and in its coupling with Microelectronics to produce Point-of-Care devices. I joined Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit on July and I am working on the design of a novel Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR)-based device for the detection of Cancer Biomarkers. Besides my research activities, I enjoy watching TV series, listening to music, travelling, singing, and I love going around discovering the wonderful island of Okinawa. I am the uncle of a wonderful baby-girl, almost one year old, named Isabel. She is my everything

Johanna Roether
I completed Bachelor and Master in food process engineering at the Technical University of Munich. Afterwards, I started to work in packaging industry as a material developer for composite materials. Searching for something more exciting, I came across the very diverse research group of Prof. Willenbacher at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The PhD project I started there in 2015 is related to microrheology of biopolymers. This method allows us to locally characterize mechanical properties of polymeric biomaterials. Recently, we even started to use it to study matrix remodeling by living (and differentiating) human cells.
Before finishing my PhD, I now took the opportunity to learn something completely different and so I hope to get to know LSPR sensing and how to use it to study DNA elongation. Besides, I love hiking, climbing, snowboarding, in general being outdoors, playing handball (and teaching it to school children), and basically anything related to being active and/or outside.

Fernon Eijkhoudt
I received my BSc degree in Biomedical Engineering at the university of Twente in the Netherlands. During this bachelor, I discovered microfabrication. I really liked the way of processing and the overall satisfaction you get when you’ve created tiny devices. Therefore, I’ve chosen to do my masters in this field of work. I’ve almost finished my master thesis which is about measuring electrical impedances on spermatozoa. If you have anything related to this topic and want to discuss this, please just speak to me! At the moment I’m focussing on my internship here at OIST on the fabrication of LSPR sensors. I’m looking forward on discovering all the possibilities on the university and outside the university. Furthermore, my hobbies are gaming, watching series, and martial arts. However, I’m looking to expand this list here on the island.

Sk Rameez Iqbal
I am currently a Ph.D. Research Scholar in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras, India where I am pursuing my Doctoral research work under the supervision of Dr. Ashis Kumar Sen from IIT Madras, India and the co-supervision of Prof. Amy Shen, from OIST, Japan. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics (Shen) Unit at OIST as a research intern in spring 2017 (Nov 2017-March 2018). My research interest includes dynamics of the Fluid-Fluid Interfaces on various substrates. Besides, I also work on Capillary flows, Wetting and Interfacial Phenomena and Superhydrophobic Surfaces. At OIST I am working on a fascinating problem inspired by the famous Coffee Ring Effect. I am grateful to be a part of Shen unit and would like to gain knowledge and hone my skills in this unique and fabulous research environment in the best possible way. Besides work, I love reading, travelling and interacting peoples from different parts of the world. I really enjoy the life at OIST and of course the very beautiful landscapes of Okinawa.

Steffen Recktenwald
I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics (Shen) Unit at OIST as a research intern in fall 2017. I am currently a PhD student at the Chemical Engineering department at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany where my research mainly focuses on the rheology of wormlike micellar surfactant solutions. Here at OIST, I use microfluidic techniques to study the flow behavior and the phenomenon of flow-induced structure formation of these self-assembling systems in extension. I am very grateful to be a part of Shen Unit and it is a great opportunity to learn new experimental methods in a unique research environment. Away from the lab, I enjoy playing squash, practicing yoga and outdoor activities such as climbing, hiking and snorkeling in beautiful Okinawa.

Cameron Hopkins
I am a PhD student in Physics from The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.  My PhD research is focused on rheology and the development of new experimental tools for studying the microscale structure of complex materials.  I started an internship in the Micro-Bio-and Nanofluidics unit in January 2017. My research here is focused on studying the instability that forms in certain flows for Graphene-Oxide suspensions. This is observed in large-scale flow geometries, however, we are also interested in seeing if the same instability forms in microfluidic channels and intend on fabricating microfluidic devices to study this phenomenon.  This internship will introduce me to new aspects of rheology and fluid mechanics that are outside the scope of my PhD, and I am grateful to OIST and Professor Shen for allowing me this tremendous opportunity.

Mohmed Ashra Mulla
I am a PhD student in the Chemical Engineering department at the University of Leeds, UK. The opportunity to carry out research in the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics unit arose thanks to generous funding from the Royal Society of Chemistry and from Professor Amy Shen. My research at OIST focusses on the elongational flow of sub 100 nm latex particles, which require methods based on microfluidics. This internship is a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and research interests beyond the confines of traditional colloidal science.

Mariana Rodriguez Hakim
I visited the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics unit at OIST during the fall of 2016. I am currently a PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University (California, USA), where I am studying soluto-capillary flows in thin liquid films. Specifically, I am interested in examining the effects of liquid evaporation and composition on flow generation and stability.  My time at OIST focused on the experimental investigation of these soluto-capillary flow instabilities through the use of color interferometry and microscopy. Outside work, I enjoy listening to music, dancing, traveling, and spending time with my friends.

Abhishek Sinha -Research Intern (July 2016- Oct 2016)
I joined the micro/bio/nanofluidics unit as a research intern after receiving my Bachelor of Science from McGill University. During my undergraduate degree I took part in a Neuroengineering research project under the supervision of Dr. Timothy Kennedy and Dr. David Juncker, during which I used various surface patterning techniques to investigate cellular responses to extracellular matrix components. By joining the MBN unit I hope to diversify my knowledge of micro/nanotechnology through microfluidics. Outside of the lab I love practicing martial arts, rock-climbing, and traveling to new countries. I am especially excited to take advantage of Okinawa’s beautiful snorkeling and unique cuisine.

Rintaro Hayashi-Research Intern (March 2016-July 2016)
I completed my M.S.  in Mechanical Engineering last year at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. My thesis is on the backscatter response of polymer contrast agent subjected to high frequency ultrasound. I am also interested in the study of low Reynolds number flow which is why I became interested in microfluidics. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nano-fluidics Unit this year in March as a research intern. During my internship, I would like to investigate the formation of micellar structure under various flow condition.

Shwetha Meena Sakthi Nallasivam - Research Intern (October 2015-March 2016)
I completed my Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from Kongu Engineering College, Anna University in India. I joined the Micro/Bio/ Nano Fluidics Unit in October 2015 and I have been working on simultaneous generation and separation of emulsion droplets.

Viviane Lutz Bueno – JSPS Fellow
I’m a PhD student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology - ETH Zürich. The opportunity of visiting OIST was provided by a Japanese-Swiss program, which grants JSPS fellowships for overseas researchers. My research activities link the fields of soft matter physics and small angle scattering. The online investigation of confinement and flow effects on the microstructure of soft mater required the development of new methods based on microfluidics. Being part of Shen’s group is a great opportunity to exchange information and carry out important experiments on the field. When I’m out of the lab, I enjoy the sun and the sea – for that Okinawa is also a great opportunity.

Masashi Kaneda - Research Intern (February-March 2016)
I'm a third year under graduate student, majoring in Environmental Engineering at Hokkaido University, Japan. And I'm currently a research intern at OIST in the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit until the end of March 2016. I learn how to measure surface tension and interfacial tension, and also make a PDMS. Almost all of them are new to me, so I hope I gain some environmental knowledge and skills as long as possible during this intern. And I have one more thing I want to do while I'm staying here is practice my English, so I'm grad you'll talk to me and please just don't wait until I can do it. I'm quite sure this experience will do me good for the future.

Aniket Ravan ­– Research Intern (July - December 2015)
I graduated from IIT Roorkee with a Master's degree in Physics in May 2015 and am currently a research intern at OIST in the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics (Shen) unit until November 2015. My work here mainly involves using computational methods for analysis of data obtained from in vitro experiments aimed at understanding cell migration, while I also hope to learn a few experimental techniques in Microfluidics during my stay here.

Ya Zhao – Research Intern (Summer 2014)
I visited OIST summer 2014 as a research intern in Micro/Bio/Nano fluidics unit, and I'm also a Ph.D candidate from Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington. My research with Prof.Shen focuses on the rheological characterizations of complex fluids, fluid dynamics of wormlike micellar solutions in microfluidic device, including experimental studies and potential simulation work. I think OIST offers a great opportunity to experience the vibrant and intensive research environment and immerse myself in higher learning and to make a difference.

Dan Walls – Research Intern (Spring 2015)
I visited the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit at OIST in the spring of 2015 from Stanford University, where I am a PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering. My time at OIST focused on confocal microscopy and PIV experiments to advance my research project, which is a collaboration with Professor Shen. The aim of the project is to understand the physics of a sessile drop spreading in a miscible environment. The two types of experiments performed at OIST further elicudated the flow pattern that develops over the course of the droplet spreading. Outside of the lab I enjoyed my explorations of Okinawa, particularly Heiwa-Kinen Koen and Hedo-misaki. I am grateful to Professor Shen for hosting my visit and her unit members for their warm welcome and assistance.

Cifeng Fang – Research Intern (Spring 2015)
I visited the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidic Unit at OIST in the spring of 2015. I'm also a Ph.D candidate from Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington. My internship in Shen unit turns out to be a unforgettable experience. During my time in OIST, I focused on building a 2D microfuildic droplets/particles/cells trapping and localized heating platform, which is originally raised when Prof. Shen is still in University of Washington. The world leading experimental space and highly trained and helpful lab members made my work in OIST both efficient and smooth. It's my pleasure to work with Prof. Shen and her unit members on the fascinating and challenging topics in complex fluids and interfacial tension dynamics. 

Christina Ripken – Research Intern (January - June 2015)
I received both of my master degrees from the University of Bonn, Germany, in Biology and in Agricultural Science & Resource Management in the Tropics & Subtropics, respectively. After joining the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics (Shen) Unit of OIST in December 2014 I have been working on a collaboration project with the Marine Biophysics Unit (Mitarai) Unit on applying microfluidics methods to answer questions about the marine ecology and the micro-environment of planktonic Dinoflagellates.

James Baye – Research Intern (Summer 2015)
I am currently a research intern in the OIST Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit until September 2015, date at which I will go back to Grenoble, France, to pursue my Biomedical Engineering MEng.
My project consists in the design of an in vitro screening device to accompany nanoparticle formulation for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (cancer therapy). I hope to make the most of my stay in Okinawa. The island in itself is a wonderful place to stay, that combined with the amazing working conditions that OIST provides... Okinawa as I see it is a great place to be. I am eager to learn and discover more!


Visiting Research Students

Irina Koriakina

I am a 4th-year PhD student of ITMO University, St. Petersburg, Russia. My main research is devoted to optically active materials synthesis via microfluidic approaches and further characterization of the synthesized materials from physics of condensed matter point of view. One of the recent studies focuses on a droplet microfluidics approach for a finely tuned synthesis of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).
As a visiting researcher at Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit I hope to improve the MOFs droplet synthesis by gaining an experience on the fluid mechanics and to expand my knowledge in hydrodynamics.
Out of work I enjoy hiking, exploring interesting places and reading fiction.

Yohei Nishikawa
I am currently a PhD student at the department of life science and medical bioscience, Waseda University. My current work uses droplet microfluidics for analyzing environmental bacteria at the single-cell level. I am visiting Shen unit for studying how to fabricate the microfluidic device for isolating bacteria. I am so inspired because the technique of Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics unit is new for me. I am very grateful to be a member of Shen Unit. I really enjoy the life in OIST and also enjoy local food and beautiful landscape in Okinawa.

Visiting Reseachers

Shunsuke Kato
I'm a junior at Tohoku University, majoring in electrical engineering. I'll be spending one month in Shen's unit to explore the possibility of fiber-based microfluidics. Together with Prof. Yuanyuan, I've developed a new system for fabricating helical microchannels in thin fibers. Currently, I'm working on measuring flow in the microchannels using micro-PIV and a fluorescent microscope. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work in this interesting unit. Besides the research, I enjoy cycling. Okinawa is a very nice place for cycling!

Lucie Ducloué – Visiting Researcher
I completed my PhD in 2014, working in Laboratoire Navier (Universit・Paris-Est, France) on the rheology of bubble suspensions in complex fluids. I then joined the Manchester Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics (University of Manchester, UK) for my first postdoctoral research position, during which I investigated viscous fingering instabilities in a channel with a compliant boundary. I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at PMMH (ESPCI, France), where I work with Anke Lindner and Sandra Lerouge on the elastic instability of polymeric solutions in curved microchannels. My short visit at OIST is part of a collaboration with the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit in which we aim at characterizing the elasticity-induced secondary flows that develop for polymeric solutions in curved microchannels. Outside work, I like swimming and walking, two perfect hobbies to enjoy beautiful Okinawa!

Joshua Cardiel – Visiting Researcher (Summer 2014)
I earned my PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Nanotechnology at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. My PhD research focused on complex fluids and microfluidics. Currently, I'm a visiting researcher at OIST. I'm investigating how different ionic solutions interact with micellar solutions by using microfluidics. I am also studying the behavior of non-ionic surfactant solutions at different temperatures to induce the formation of biocompatible gel-like materials.
Outside my research, I spend time watching movies (I'm cinephile), working out and doing any kind of outdoor activity!