People

Principal Investigator

Bryan Q. Spring, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Physics

Northeastern University

Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex (ISEC), Room 314

805 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02120

Bryan Q. Spring is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Physics and an Affiliated Faculty of Bioengineering (Northeastern University, Boston). He is a Visiting Scientist at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine (Massachusetts General Hospital and at the Harvard Medical School) and at the Fetal–Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center (Boston Children’s Hospital). As an undergraduate NSF fellow, he contributed to characterizing one of the intricate photophysical parameters of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) under the guidance of Robert S. Knox (Department of Physics, University of Rochester, NY). His doctoral work with Robert M. Clegg (Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) focused on developing fluorescence lifetime and quantitative FRET imaging. He developed patented technology for molecular imaging and selective treatment of cancer micrometastases during his postdoctoral fellowship in Tayyaba Hasan’s laboratory (Wellman Center for Photomedicine). Since joining the faculty at Northeastern University in 2015, Prof. Spring received The NCI Transition Career Development Award (K22), an award from the Smith Family Awards Program for Excellence in Biomedical Research, as well as several active awards from the National Cancer Institute and the Physical Sciences–Oncology Network (P01, R01, R21, and U01). In 2021, he was selected as a Scialog Fellow for Advancing Bioimaging. Prof. Spring co-founded a new startup company, Nira Biosciences, with series A funding in 2021. The Nira platform and assets were integrated into the Alys Pharmaceuticals launch in 2024, which aspires to reduce suffering around the globe by advancing new therapies for immuno-dermatology. Outside the laboratory, Prof. Spring practices meditation, calisthenics, and running.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Kai Zhang, Ph.D.

Ph.D. Physics, Northeastern University, 2023

B.S. Physics, University of Minnesota, 2015

Kai joined the Spring lab in 2017 as a graduate student. His research focuses on multiphoton fluorescence microendoscopy. In collaboration with Nima, he works on building the femtosecond pulsed, all-normal-dispersion fiber laser with the new design. He also leads the assembling and testing of the hand-hold miniature probe of the endoscope with fiber scanner and micro-objective in collaboration with Guillaume.

Kai also leads the design and assembly of the LED-based low-cost photodynamic therapy setup, helps on the FPGA-based multichannel GHz data acquisition project, manages and maintains the servers and workstations of the lab, and cleans the lab space.

Kai graduated with a B.S. in Physics from the University of Minnesota, with the major project of the characterization of the iron oxide compound with Mössbauer Spectroscopy. He also built a Mie Scattering characterization setup and a B-mode ultrasound imaging device for teaching during his student-worker program.

Graduate Students

Rebecca Harman

Doctoral Candidate, Physics, Northeastern University

B.S. Physics, Harvey Mudd College, 2017

Rebecca joined the Spring Lab in early 2019. She is investigating new approaches to tumor-targeted, activatable photomedicine and precision microsurgery that address heterogenous deposits of cancer cells missed by standard therapies.  As an undergraduate at Harvey Mudd College, she completed a senior thesis project applying single-molecule super-resolution microscopy to study the huntingtin protein aggregation associated with the genetic mutation that causes Huntington's disease. Rebecca aims to become a professor and to pursue a research career in interdisciplinary biomedical physics and biophysical microscopy.


Liam Price

Doctoral Candidate, Physics, Northeastern University

B.S. Physics, Northeastern University, 2018

Liam joined the Spring Lab in early 2019. He is currently focused on several optical engineering based projects, including assisting in the design of a microendoscope for glioblastoma removal, as well as compound prism design for use in hyperspectral imaging. Liam completed his B.S. in Biomedical Physics at Northeastern in 2018 where he focused on nanomedicine and the clinical applications of optics. In his free time, Liam enjoys spending his free time building computers and listening to music.

Sudip Timilsina

Doctoral Candidate, Physics, Northeastern University 

B.S. Physics, Tribhuvan University, 2016

Sudip joined the Spring Lab in 2020 with a focus on cell culture and tumor-targeted activatable photoimmunotherapy experiments. His research is focused on the development of a multi-targeted tumor-associated activatable photoimmunotherapy platform that addresses heterogeneous cancer cells. After completing his B.S. in Physics from Tribhuvan University, Nepal in 2016, he taught high school physics in Nepal for a year. He joined the Ph.D. program at Northeastern in 2018. He enjoys listening to radio, music, hiking, and watching soccer in his spare time. 


Ji Tae Park

PhD Student, Physics, Northeastern University

PharmD, Northeastern University, 2022

B.S. Pharmacy Studies, Northeastern University, 2021

Ji Tae joined the Spring Lab in 2019 during his undergraduate years at Northeastern University. He completed the six-year accelerated Pharmacy School program at Bouve College of Health Sciences and earned his Doctor of Pharmacy with a minor in physics. Following his true passion, he is now a first year PhD student in physics. Ji Tae's both computational and experimental research focuses on investigating the behaviors of antibody and antibody-conjugates (such as photoimmunoconjugates) in tumor microenvironment. He hopes his both theoretical and empirical approaches to the problem would enable quantification and better understanding of important phenomena such as bystander effects, selectivity/avidity, and resistance to targeted therapies. He is also a breakdancer and a passionate fan of Chelsea, an English Premier League soccer team.

Matthew Waguespack

Doctoral Candidate, Physics, Northeastern University

B.S. Physics, East Carolina University, 2016

Matt joined the Spring Lab in 2018 with a focus on tumor cell ablation and the feasibility of femtosecond microsurgery. He is also creating a Monte Carlo program for mapping photon delivery in the tumor microenvironment. Matt graduated with a B.S in Physics from East Carolina University in 2016 where he studied optically stimulated luminescence leading to the development of a device to detect absorbed radiation within teeth.

Undergraduate Students

Ellie Smith

Northeastern University, Biochemistry, 2023

Ellie is a second year Biochemistry major following a pre-medicine track that has been with the Spring Lab since October 2019. She primarily works with the cell culture team developing models of chemoresistant ovarian cancer. As well as volunteering in the Spring Lab, she is a trainee in the CaNCURE cancer nanomedicine program working at Massachusetts General Hospital in Dr. Medarova’s lab on RNAi therapies for breast cancer. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, figure skating, and baking. 


Jvalanti Prasad

Northeastern University, Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2024

Jvalanti is a third year Electrical and Computer Engineering major with a minor in Physics. She joined our lab in January 2023 and is currently assisting PhD candidates Liam Price and Kai Zhang in fabricating custom detectors and femtosecod lasers for multiphoton microendoscopy.

Maria Mataac

Northeastern University, Physics, 2026

Maria is a first year Applied Physics major following a pre-medicine track at Northeastern University. She joined our lab in December 2021 and is currently assisting PhD candidate Kai Zhang in fabricating, characterizing, and optimizing the lab’s novel femtosecond fiber laser. In January 2022, she received the PEAK Base-Camp Award, an award for undergraduate students getting involved in their first research experiences. In her free time, Maria enjoys playing basketball, lifting weights, and serving as freshman representative for Northeastern’s NU Barkada, the Filipino culture organization on campus.

Gabriel Hill

Physics and Philosophy, Northeastern University, 2026

Gabriel Hill is a second-year student at Northeastern University who is currently pursuing a degree in Physics and Philosophy. He joined Spring Lab in 2023 and he is currently assisting Liam Price and Kai Zhang in developing and building new housing for the microendoscope. His dream is to eventually do research as a career and he hopes to continue to cultivate this passion through his work in the lab.

Nikolas Sanderson

Electrical Engineering, Northeastern University, 2026

Nikolas is a second year student at Northeastern University majoring in Electrical Engineering. He joined the Spring Lab in June 2022 and is assisting Kai Zhang in developing a femtosecond laser pulse splitter. He hopes to pursue a PhD in engineering in the future with a career in research and development. He is an active member of both NUAerospace and Northeastern Robotics.

Alumni

Dr. Ryan Lang

Ph.D., Physics, Northeastern University, 2021

B.S. Physics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2016

Ryan joined the Spring Lab in 2017 via the graduate summer fellowship program hosted by the Physics Department. He is primarily focused on fluorescence microscopy and image analysis, and he has developed video-mosaicking algorithms for real-time hyperspectral imaging systems He is involved in many other projects, including personalized photomedicine and characterization of multi-photon cross-sections of many common fluorophores to fill in gaps in the literature (particularly beyond 1000 nm). Ryan completed his B.S. program in Physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2016, where he focused his studies in Optics, Photonics, and Lasers. 

Dr. Eric Kercher 

Ph.D., Physics, Northeastern University, 2020

B.S. Physics, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 2015

Eric's interdisciplinary research career led him to join the Spring Lab in 2016, where he was involved in many projects, and he spearheaded our efforts to learn about and characterize specific phenotypes within a heterogeneous culture of cancer cells. Eric is primarily interested in developing translatable cancer therapies by combining his experience in fundamental photophysics, medical imaging, and cancer biology. Eric also received a Certificate in Nanomedicine through the Nanomedicine Academy as part of his doctoral training, and hopes to use these concepts to create new nanomedicines later in his career. In 2015, Eric completed the Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) program at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital where he worked on hepatic iron quantification using MRI in the Diagnostic Imaging Department. He enjoys running, cycling, and watching sports in his spare time.  

Alejandro Olmos

Northeastern University, Health Sciences, 2022

Alejandro joined the Spring Lab in the Fall of 2018 and his work has focused on preclinical tumor culture models. Presently, Alejandro is exploring several resistance mechanisms of cancer cells in two- and three-dimensional culture models to create new models of chemoresistant ovarian cancer. In his spare time, he enjoys piloting small planes, exploring new restaurants, and traveling.


Sophia Renauld

Northeastern University, Physics, 2021

Sophia is a first year Biomedical Physics major at Northeastern University. She joined the lab in winter of 2018 as member of our cell culture team. She plans to leverage this research experience to guide her future career path in medicine.  In her free time, she works as a ski instructor and soccer coach.

Dr. Nima Davoudzadeh

Ph.D., Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), 2014

Nima's research interests include lasers, photonic circuit design and fabrication, and imaging systems. He joined the Spring Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2016 to design and implement fiber-based femtosecond lasers suitable for two and three photon imaging of microscopic disease. These innovative lasers are characterized by their multi-wavelength, femtosecond pulses that propagate entirely within a fiber ring and are ideal for low-cost and compact multiphoton endoscopy. 

Previously, Nima was a postdoctoral scholar at the Photonic Systems Lab (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), where he focused on utilizing both the thermal bi-stability of Si3N4 and the Kerr Effect nonlinearity of LiNbO3 micro-ring resonators to implement an optical clock pulse generator and an optical analog to digital (A/D) converter. One highlight of these novel schemes was a significant enhancement of the micro-ring resonator quality factor (Q).

Dr. Guillaume Ducourthial

Ph.D. in Photonics Systems, University of Limoges, France, 2014

Guillaume brought his expertise in photonic and fiber-optic systems to our lab in 2016 to lead development of a low-cost, all-fiber multi-photon imaging device. This miniaturized fiber scanning probe is designed to simultaneously deliver femtosecond pulses for multi-photon excitation and collect hyperspectral fluorescence emission at rates of 15 frames per second or greater (i.e., video rate acquisition). 

Formerly, Guillaume's Ph.D. work at XLIM concerned the development of new fiber-optic imaging tools based on multi-photon responses. He successfully verified the feasibility of a fiber-optic multi-photon microscope with characteristics on par with those of a commercial device, and continued on to miniaturize this microscope in order to obtain a flexible multi-photon microendoscope compatible with in vivo imaging. Guillaume also held a postdoctoral position at the Laboratoire d’Optique et Bioscience (Palaiseau, France), where he implemented a fast polarization modulation system to study the effect of mechanical stresses on biological tissues using Second Harmonic Generation microscopy in living samples. 

Gabby Brauner

Northeastern University, Health Science, 2018

Gabby joined the Spring Lab as a co-op student through the CaNCURE program, and was instrumental in setting up our lab and helping perform our cell culture experiments. After her co-op, she continued her work characterizing chemo-resistant ovarian cancer cell lines for her senior capstone project. She is a pre-med student who is starting medical school in the Fall of 2018. Previously, she worked at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Comprehensive Breast Center as a medical assistant. Outside of the lab, Gabby enjoys running and taking spin classes.

Taresh Sharan

Visiting Scholar, Physics, Northeastern University

Doctoral Candidate, Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi, 2016

Taresh is a graduate student pursuing his doctoral training at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Varanasi, India. Trained as an electrical and biomedical engineer, his research focuses on the applications of spectroscopy, image and signal processing methods in biomedical diagnostics. Currently, he is working on the application of Raman Spectroscopy in cardiac biomarker detection for a prognosis for heart muscle deterioration and the application of deep learning-based techniques to classify heart conditions based on different imaging techniques.


Arvind Mohan

M.S. Student in Bioengineering, Northeastern University

B.E. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, BITS Pilani, 2016

Arvind joined the Spring Lab in the spring of 2018 as an instrumentation specialist. He will be working on the development of a laser-scanning, multi-photon, and microendoscopic probe for his masters thesis project. He completed his Bachelors of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, India in 2016 where he worked on imaging malarial parasite detection in stained blood smear images. Arvind is a recipient of the KVPY Scholarship, a fellowship bestowed by the Government of India for Excellence in Science. Arvind wishes to work in research regarding imaging techniques for cancer and diabetes in the future. In his free time Arvind enjoys playing the violin and is an avid football fan. 

Jiancheng (J.C.) Zeng 

Doctoral Candidate, Physics, Northeastern University

B.S. Physics,  Sun Yat-Sen University, 2018

J.C. joined the Spring Lab in 2019 with a focus on large stream data analysis. He designed a circuit based on FPGA card which will be applied to collect hyper frequency data.  He  graduated with a B.S in Physics from Sun Yat-Sen University(Guangzhou) in 2018 where he studied particle physics and Monte Carlo simulation. He enjoys rock music in his free time as well as playing guitar himself. J.C. left the Spring Lab to pursue his passion in particle physics and continues to collaborate with us on the FPGA project.

Julia Tatz

Northeastern University, Physics, 2019

Lauren Herschelman

Northeastern University, Bioengineering, 2020

Lauren joined the Spring lab after receiving the Undergraduate Women in Physics award for undergraduate research. She presently contributes to the cell culture team to develop and characterize new models of chemoresistant disease. Lauren plans to attend medical school after graduation. Outside of the lab, she enjoys running and eating lots of food.

Jiasen Hou

Northeastern University, Applied Physics, 2020

Anna McIntyre

Northeastern University, Biochemistry, 2020

Anna is currently pursuing her bachelor’s in Biochemistry at Northeastern University. She plays a critical role in advancing our cell culture lab. In addition to volunteering in the Spring Lab, she is also involved in a research project at JFK Medical Center working in the Sleep Medicine department.  In her spare time she enjoys swimming, running, and teaching fitness classes. Anna hopes to pursue a career in medicine following her undergraduate career. 

Jen Selingo

Northeastern University, Physics, 2020

Jen joined our lab as an undergraduate in Spring 2018, contributing to the design and implementation of a high-power LED array that is central to the lab's low-cost PDT system. Her work expanded to our microendoscope team, where she created an automated LabVIEW program to calibrate the scanning pattern by principal axis identification. She graduated with a BS in Applied Physics in May 2020. As an aspiring R&D engineer, she is pursuing her Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University with a certificate in Medical Device Design. In her free time, Jen loves genealogy research and discovering new music.