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.

Vincenzo Calabrese
After completion of my MSc in Food Technology at Wageningen University (NL), I moved to the University of Bath (UK) to pursue my PhD in Chemistry. The project led by Prof. Karen Edler and Prof. Janet Scott focused on the characterisation of the structural-property relationship of colloidal cellulose nanofibrils in bulk and across liquid-liquid interfaces. I also performed scattering techniques (X-rays and Neutrons) and (non)linear rheology to yield structural information of the colloidal state. I joined the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics unit as a postdoc in January 2020 to link rheological behaviour and structural properties of complex fluids in microfluidics. Besides lab-related activities, I enjoy playing guitar, cycling, open water swimming, and exploring the 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.

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.

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. 

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.

Ph.D. Students

Shivani Sathish (JSPS DC2 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.

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

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.

Rotation Students

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.

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.