Prof. Scott Howard

Graduate Students
Tahsin Ahmed - MidIR Sources and Sensors
Tahsin finished his undergrad from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in Electrical Engineering. He started his graduate studies in University of Texas – Arlington. Texas in Fall, 2010. He worked in the Nanobio lab of Dr. Samir Iqbal on cantilever based sensing techniques. Tahsin moved to University of Notre Dame in Summer, 2011 and worked in Dr. Gregory Timp's lab as a summer research student. He joined our Biomedical Photonics Lab after that. He is working on Chip-to-Chip optical coupling now to develop an on-chip mid-IR sensing technique.
Research Interest include, Chip-to-Chip waveguide coupling, FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy), On chip detection, Mid-IR spectroscopy, Optical trapping and more. 

Aamir Khan - Multiphoton Microscopy & Fluorescence Lifetime Microscopy
Aamir is a microscope magician, laser wizard and expert photon wrangler. He is currently developing multi-photon microscopy methods and characterizing oxygen-sensing fluorescent dies. 

Genevieve Vigil - MidIR Spectroscopy and Bio-Optical Sensors
Genevieve received her BS in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle in 2011. She focused her undergraduate studies in Biomedical Instrumentation and was in involved in the MEMS research group under Dr. Karl Bohringer exploring paper-based, microfluidic platforms, dubbed Microfluidic Origami, for low-cost, point-of-care DNA extraction aimed at facilitating the detection of Tuberculosis from complex sample matrices.  After graduation, she spent over a year as a research scientist at Intellectual Ventures Laboratory working on several projects including Multi-spectral Angle Resolved Dark-field Imaging [MARDI] and liquid crystal based detection of Mycolic acid, both aimed at the point-of-care detection of Tuberculosis, as well as UV Self-Sanitizing Surfaces for touch screens. Gen is now in her first year of PhD studies in Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame where she is beginning work in Dr. Scott Howard's research group studying MidIR tissue spectroscopy and other bio-optical sensors. 
Gen's areas of research interest include developing-world medical instrumentation and in-vivo diagnostics. Her personal interests include playing guitar and piano, reading sci-fi, outdoor activities like hiking, shooting and jet-skiing. and ball-room dancing, especially swing! 

Mark Snelling - Filed PCR Business Model
Mark is currently in the ESTEEM program, which marries business and entrepreneurial practices with previous STEM major backgrounds. He graduated Hampton University in 2012 with a BS in Computer Engineering, having work experience in the field working with the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Notre Dame. He now is involved in Dr. Howard's research, developing a low-cost, portable thermo-cycler aimed at amplifying and detecting the DNA of invasive species whilst on commercial trade vessels. His particular function in this research is developing a business model that would be optimal concerning this device upon its completion.
Mark is currently working on developing a viable and feasible business model for Dr. Howard's thermo-cycler. This is being structured within the ESTEEM curriculum as his thesis project, in which he thoroughly discusses the science, history, and application of the product and defend the business model he deems appropriate.
Mark's interests range from new technologies, music composition, outdoor activities such as fishing, and shooting videos.

Undergraduate Students

Matthew Brittan - Field PCR
Matt is a junior at the University of Notre Dame and is originally from Littleton, Colorado. He has always been interested in technology, which resulted in choosing to major in Computer Science Engineering; however, Chemistry has always fascinated him, and when the opportunity to combine both interests with the Howard Group arose, he was extremely excited.
Throughout the project, he has used the knowledge and experience in Computer Science to assist him, as he, along with Alex Toombs, wrote the initial program for the thermocycler. Matt is now part of a group working on testing the field depolyable thermocycler to compare against commercial machines. This involves performing PCR on both machines and comparing the results. The group plans to utilize these results in order to help market the PCR device to investors.

Lucas DelaFuente - Field PCR
Lucas de la Fuente is Senior originally from Santiago, Chile. He is a Dual Degree student in Electrical Engineering and Arabic at the University of Notre Dame. He has broad interest that range from technology and biology to political science and sociology. He has been working on the field based PCR since June 2012 building the first functional prototype and calibrating and testing it afterwards.
After graduation he plans on getting a PhD in Electrical Engineering and start a career in Academia most likely in Bioengineering.

Alex Toombs - Field PCR
Alex is a senior electrical engineering student concentrating in semiconductors and nanotechnology. While he has focused on device physics and simulations, he has ended up gravitating toward the software side and currently finds himself involved in various personal open source software projects. Alex is gearing up for work at a tech startup in San Francisco following graduation. He first became involved with the Howard group in September of 2011, working on the Arduino-based thermocycler project from both the hardware and software sides. As time went on, he focused more on developing the software and user interface of the device.
Currently, his main research focus is in testing the efficacy of the first generation thermocyclers that were developed, for an eventual comparison against more expensive, commercially-available thermocyclers used by the biology department.
Alex's personal interests include.....

Elizabeth Huschke - Field PCR
Sean Bauer - Field PCR
Ka Hin Lee - Field PCR
Thomas Butler - Laser & sensor integration across chip

Sean Bauer, Matt Brittan (top), Alex Tombs (bottom), and Elizabeth Huschke evaluating the first generation prototype of the field portable thermocycler.

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