Unit Members


Amy Shen
In 2014, I moved from University of Washington to start my new lab at OIST on micro- and bio-fluidics, and anything squishy! Outside work I enjoy the beach, yoga, and exploring/learning more about Okinawa, a perfect work and living paradise. If you are interested in working with us, feel free to contact me or any unit members.

Group Leader

Simon Haward
I completed my Ph.D in Physics in 2002 under the supervision of Dr. Jeff Odell from the University of Bristol (UK) and Prof. Alejandro Muller from Simon Bolivar University (Venezuela). Following postdoctoral research positions first at Bristol, then at MIT with Prof. Gareth McKinley, I obtained a Marie Curie International Research Fellowship which I carried out at the University of Porto (Portugal). I joined OIST as Group Leader for the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics (Shen) Unit in September 2014. Away from the lab, my main activity is road cycling. In Okinawa I’m also keen to take up sea kayaking and scuba diving.

Postdoctoral Scholars

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.

Atsushi Matsumoto
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.



Riccardo Funari
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.

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.

Research Technicians

Kazumi Toda-Peters
I am originally from Seattle where I received my undergraduate degree in Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences from the University of Washington. Although my background is in math I am fascinated with the more tangible sciences. I recently moved to Okinawa from Hawaii and I brought a few ukuleles with me. I have a wide range of artistic and physical hobbies but my favorites are woodcarving, hiking/camping, snorkeling, bicycling, music, chess, traveling and general goofiness. OIST is quite an amazing place and I am grateful to be here.

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.

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.

Ph.D. Students

Hsieh-Fu Tsai (JSPS DC1 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 I am interested in developing automated lab-on-chip systems for bioengineering and neurobiology studies. I am also very interested in developing multimodal microscopy for live cell imaging and study of viscoelastic fluid property.

Shivani Sathish
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.

Noa Burshtein (JSPS DC1 Fellow)
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.

San To Chan
I completed my BEng (Engineering Science) from the University of Hong Kong. In the Shen’s Unit, I am studying the vortex breakdown phenomenon in microfluidic devices. When I am not working, I play with the cats inside and outside my apartment, they are so cute and fluffy.

Ainash Garifullina
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.

Research Interns

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!

Research Administrator

Yuno Kaneshi
I was born and grew up in this sub-tropical island. I support the unit members with administrative works and enjoy working with this very interesting group at OIST. Besides work, I like dancing and traveling. I am also interested in languages.