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Previous Members

Graduate Students and Postdocs

Lilibeth Ortega-Pineda, PhD

Graduate Student (2019 - 2022) 

Lilibeth joined Dr. Higuita-Castro’s lab in January 2019 as a visiting scholar and subsequently started her PhD in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at OSU in August 2019. The primary focus of her research involved developing therapeutic nano-carriers into targeted gene delivery systems for application in translational metabolic disorders and brain injury therapies. Lilibeth successfully defended her thesis in December 2022, titled "Engineering Extracellular Vesicles as Nano-Carriers for Targeted Payload Delivery and Cell Reprogramming Applications". Following graduation, she began working with Eli Lily in Indianapolis.

Ana Salazar-Puerta, PhD

Graduate Student (2019 - 2022) 

Ana joined Higuita-Castro Nanomedicine lab in 2019 as Visiting scholar, and immediately after transitioned into her PhD in August of the same year at The Ohio State University. In 2021, Ana received the prestigious Presidential Fellowship from Ohio State, one of the university's most notable fellowships. Her research focused on developing cutting-edge treatments based on novel engineered extracellular vesicle (EV)-based nanotherapeutics for gene delivery and cell reprogramming. Her research was focused on EV-based therapeutics for pulmonary inflammation, valvular heart diseases, low back pain, and neurofibromatosis applications. She completed her PhD in Biomedical Engineering and defended her thesis in December 2022, titled "Engineering Extracellular Vesicles for Therapeutic Applications". Following graduation, Ana began working as a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State in the Gallego-Perez Nanomedicine Lab.

Cintia Gomez Limia, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher 

Cintia joined my lab during Spring 2022. Her research focuses on the implementation and evaluation of novel nanocarriers for NF1 applications

Research Staff

Ludmila Diaz-Starokozheva

Lab Manager (2017 - 2020)

Ludmila joined the Gallego-Perez Nanomedicine Lab as the lab manager in 2017. As lab manager, she also performed research that focused on tissue engineering for therapeutics outcomes in ischemic disorders and diabetes. Following her tenure, Ludmila joined Ohio State as a PhD student in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Interdisciplinary Program.

Undergraduate Students

Aarti Patel

2022 - 2023 

Aarti is an undergraduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She is currently working on the development of EV-based therapies for NF1

Natalia Mendonca

2019 - 2022 

Natalia is an undergraduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She is currently working on the development of nanotechnology-enabled therapies for brain injury.

Henry Hoskins

2020 - 2022 

Henry was a biomedical engineering student. She worked on the implementation of engineered extracellular vesicles in inflammatory conditions of the lungs.

Bryn Lafferty

2020 - 2022 

Bry was a biomedical engineering student. She worked on the implementation of engineered extracellular vesicles in inflammatory conditions of the lungs.

Hamza Jafri 

2020 - 2022

Amrita was a biomedical engineering student . She was working on therapeutic applications of extracellular vesicles in diabetes and neurovascular disorders.

Lauren Lubin

2020 - 2022 

Pratima was a biomedical engineering student. She worked on the implementation of engineered extracellular vesicles in inflammatory conditions of the lungs.

Ellie Guilfoyle

2019 - 2022

Ellie was a biomedical engineering student and was working on the reprogramming of pancreatic cells into insulin-producing cells via extracellular vesicles.

Jad Hussein

2020 - 2022 

Jad was an undergraduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He worked on the development and application of novel nanocarrier for heart valve disease.

Amrita Anaparthi

2020 - 2022

Amrita was a biomedical engineering student . She was working on therapeutic applications of extracellular vesicles in diabetes and neurovascular disorders.

Pratima Prabala

2019- 2022 

Pratima was a biomedical engineering student. She worked on the implementation of engineered extracellular vesicles in inflammatory conditions of the lungs.

Anika Kamisetty

2018 - 2019

Anika was an undergraduate student working towards a degree in Biomedical Engineering. She joined my lab as a research volunteer in 2018 and under my mentorship participated in projects involving advanced techniques of gene transfection and animal models.

Priscilla Afriyie Boachie

2019

Priscilla is an undergraduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She worked on the development of nanotechnology-enabled therapies for metabolic disorders.

Max Joseph Miller

2018- 2019

Max was an undergraduate student working towards a degree in Biomedical Engineering. He joined my lab as a student research assistant and under my mentorship he worked on the development of novel nanocarriers for therapeutic applications.

Daniel Dodd

2019

Daniel was an undergraduate student from the Neuroscience Department. During his time in my lab he learned proper/basic laboratory techniques while providing support to a number of research projects in my lab.

Soma Latif Jaf

2019

Soma was an undergraduate student working towards her major in Engineering Re-Exploring. During her time in my lab, she was trained on diverse biomolecular techniques for characterization of biological sample.

Gina Paola Guio-Vega

2017- 2018

Gina was a visiting scholar from Colombia working in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. I mentored Gina on the implementation of micro and nanotechnologies for cancer and cell reprogramming applications.

Arline Joachim

2016- 2018

Arline was an undergraduate student from the Department of Psychology at OSU. During her time in the laboratory I mentored Arline and trained her on standard laboratory techniques, animal handling, and data analysis.

Lizbeth Negron Irizarry

2016

Lizbeth was an undergraduate student from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at OSU. Under my supervision she learned basic molecular laboratory techniques and data analysis.

Jeffrey McGuire

2014

Jeffrey was an undergraduate student from Virginia Tech participating in the SUCCESS program at the OSU Wexner Medical Center. During this internship, I mentored Jeffrey to conduct research related to modeling of a biomedical device to estimate adhesion energy density in the Eustachian tube.

Idaliz Martínez-Traverso

2012 

Idaliz was an undergraduate student from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Campus participating in the SUCCESS program at the OSU Wexner Medical Center. During this internship, she studied the molecular pathways of chemical and mechanically induced inflammation.

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