Lu is engaged in research to better understand how colloidal particles interact with an external
fields, particularly acoustic and magnetic fields. By employing the dynamics of the colloids driving by these fields, Lu is building microfluidic systems with downstream applications of cellular and particle sorting
and collecting. His ultimate goal is to facilitate the new generation of point-of-care
diagnostic devices. In his spare time, Lu loves playing basketball, swimming, and
Phanindhar received his B.S in
Chemical Engineering from Osmania University, India. Later, he got the
opportunity to join López lab at University of New Mexico for pursing M.S in
Chemical Engineering. During this period, Phanindhar worked on developing new and
efficient ways for synthesizing grafted polymer brushes. Being funded by U.S.
Office of Naval Research (ONR), his research was specifically focused on using
stimuli-repsonsive polymer brushes in the field of biofouling to understand the
attachment and release phenomena of various fouling microorganisms in shear
Vrad is a PhD student who joined the Lopez lab in
2012. His research interests include biofilms, catheters, glucose
sensors, cell therapies, and translational medical device development.
Vrad received his Honors Chemical Engineering B.S. from the University of Texas
at Austin where he also performed research in Dr. C. Grant Willson's lab
(recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation). After UT, he
worked as a medical device engineer at W.L. Gore. for nine years. During his
tenure at Gore, he worked on products including vascular grafts, pacing leads,
aortic stents, delivery catheters, balloon catheters, carotid stents, and
shunts. Vrad started the PhD program at Duke in 2009 and received a MS while
researching cardiovascular cell therapies, but joined the Lopez lab after
excitement about the broad research and translational opportunities. His
current research develops novel techniques for the controlled detachment of the
bacterial exopolysaccharide matrix (biofilm) using active soft materials.
Vrad is a Duke CBTE Fellow, Morton H. Freedman Fellowship Winner, and member of
the PhD Plus Certificate program. Vrad enjoys travel, backpacking,
out-reach,kickboxing, and salsa dancing.
Born in Lanzhou, China
and having immigrated to the United States in 1995, Wei completed his secondary
education in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He graduated from Duke University with
double B.S. degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Economics in 2010. Having
completed an independent study in Dr. Chilkoti's lab, Wei made a natural
transition in joining the López group in August 2010 with a strong interest in
biomaterials and a continuing fondness for both the Biomedical Engineering
department as well as Duke University. Outside of the lab, Wei enjoys playing and
watching sports, culinary challenges, and scenic and indoor photography.
Wei's work in the lab
explores the combination of biological and synthetic materials to form
responsive carriers and systems with potential applications in delivery and
biosensing. Towards that goal, he works with elastin-like polypeptides that
exhibit a temperature dependent, amphiphilic potential to form nanoparticles,
and conjugate them with bio-inspired peptides that template the deposition of
biosilica in physiologically-relevant conditions. By taking advantage of
positive attributes in both material realms, Wei is interested in creating hybrid
biomaterials with even greater functionality and stability.
Born and raised in rural
Virginia, Wyatt graduated from the University of Virginia in May 2011 with a B.S.
in Biomedical Engineering. His undergraduate research in Dr. Walker’s ultrasound
lab and Dr. Saucerman’s cardiac systems biology lab led him to pursue a
Ph.D. in biomaterials. He joined the López group in August 2011 due to the
strength, resources, and collegiality of the department.
As an NSF
fellow, Wyatt's research explores both the rapid separation of complex cell mixtures
using sound waves as well as the programmed assembly and actuation of soft
matter in directed fields. Wyatt is actively developing new methods for synthesizing
monodisperse elastomeric colloids from bulk synthesis with tunable acoustic and
biochemical properties. He is also interested in non-spherical particle
fabrication for field-directed assembly. These technologies will help serve as
a platform for in vitro diagnostics and actuating biomaterials. Outside of lab,
Wyatt enjoys hiking, traveling, sports, music, and running.
Alice Linying Li
joined Dr. Gabriel López's lab as a graduate student in 2011. She is from
China, where she had three years research experience as an undergraduate working on self-assembly and characterization of nanostructure film in Dr.
Kezhi Wang’s lab at Beijing Normal University. In her spare time, Alice enjoys
cooking, reading, painting, writing Chinese Calligraphy, and traveling.
research interests lie in developing stimuli-responsive hybrid membranes. She
is a James B. Duke fellow and also a Triangle Materials Research Science and
Engineering Center (MRSEC) fellow. Her research was specifically focused on
fabrication of Elastin-Like Polypeptides (ELPs)-containing membrane, which can
exhibit discrete rapid and reversible conformational changes in response to
many environmental stimuli. These membranes offer the promise of allowing
greater control of the structure of the dynamic porous network and thus
optimization of the permeability of the membranes. Therefore, they can be
useful in a number of applications, such as biosensors, drug and gene delivery
systems, tissue engineering, and numerous nanoscale devices.
Born and raised in the
Twin Cities, Joe graduated from the University of Minnesota in May 2012 with a
Bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering. His previous research experiences in Dr.
Vunjak-Novakovic’s (Columbia University) stem cell and tissue engineering lab
and Dr. Tranquillo’s cardiovascular tissue engineering lab led him to pursue a
Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, with an emphasis on biomaterials with the
López group in August 2012.
Joe's research explores
the development of hierarchical, stimuli responsive materials and materials systems. In particular, he is interested in developing
new polypeptide-based materials platforms that exhibit 'smart' behavior and can be precisely controlled on multiple length scales. These materials systems can be used in a number of biomedical applications, from drug delivery to bioanalytical detection. Outside of lab, Joe enjoys watching and playing sports (Skol, Vikings!), traveling, reading a captivating
novel, and sipping on a bold cup of coffee. Oh, and you might catch him at
Cameron during basketball season!