2020 FIP Fitzpatrick Scholars, Chambers Scholars & Fellows

Vanessa Cupil Garcia, Haoran Zhang, Tri Vu, Alana Gonzales, Mingyu Kang, Kanghyun Kim, Steven Parker


Vanessa Cupil-GarciaVanessa Cupil-Garcia (Fitzpatrick Scholar) is a 4th year Ph.D. Candidate in Dr. Tuan Vo-Dinh’s Group in the Department of Chemistry. She was born in Tabasco, Mexico and came to the United States as a child. She graduated summa cum laude from Meredith College with degrees in chemistry and biology and an international studies minor. She conducted a summer of research at the Georgia Institute of Technology under Dr. Stefan France where she synthesized indole carboxylates and worked on the carbon hydrogen functionalization of naphthalene diimide. She also worked at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) on quantifying the genetic variability in mitochondrial supercomplexes in D2 and B6 mice strains in Dr. Kari Buck’s laboratory. Her research at Duke University under the guidance of Dr. Vo-Dinh focuses on integrating nanotechnology and chemistry to develop diagnostic and therapeutic tools. She is currently synthesizing inorganic and organic nanomaterials for the treatment of cancers combined with immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs. She is also adapting inverse molecular sentinel sensors (iMS) for microRNA detection in plants for bioenergy purposes. She is applying iMS sensors on fiber optrodes for in situ detection of disease related analytes.


Tri Vu

Tri Vu (Chambers Scholar) is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in Department of Biomedical Engineering. Tri graduated from University at Buffalo with a B. S. in Biomedical Engineering. During his undergraduate research, he focused on biosensors and photoacoustic tomography (PACT) image reconstruction. At Duke University, he carries on his passion for photoacoustic imaging (PAI) to Dr. Junjie Yao’s laboratory. One of his main focuses is on PAI artifact removal and image enhancement using deep learning. His recently published work demonstrated the use of generative adversarial network on eliminating limited-view and bandlimited artifacts in PACT. He is also developing a state-of-the-art full-view PACT system for potential applications in functional imaging and focused-ultrasound therapeutics. Besides the main projects, he enjoys developing high-speed high-resolution photoacoustic microscopic platforms for small-animal vasculature imaging. His goal is to understand the immune response during immunotherapy using PAI technology, pushing it to widespread clinical applications.


Haoran Zhang

Haoran Zhang (Chambers Scholar) is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He received a B.S. degree in Physics from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, in 2017, and a M.S. degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University in 2019. At Duke University, he works under the guidance of Dr. Adam Wax in the Biomedical Interferometry Optics and Spectroscopy (BIOS) lab. His research mainly focuses on developing new applications of interferometry for early cancer detection, primarily on angle-resolved low coherence interferometry (a/LCI) to detect angular distribution of scattered light. His current research involves designing an optomechanical system for collection and reconstruction of the angular scattering distribution through a single multimode fiber for determining nuclear size distribution and density in tissue, which serves as a biomarker for dysplasia. He is also working on a dual modality probe system incorporating both OCT and a/LCI instruments to detect esophageal dysplasia. The merge of these two modalities will provide real-time imaging guidance of the tissue, and dramatically reduce procedure time and rejected a/LCI scans.

Alana Gonzales

Alana GonzalesAlana Gonzales (Chambers Fellow) is a first year Ph.D. student in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Duke University. She graduated cum laude from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and from Scripps College with a B.A. in Engineering in 2020. At the University of Arizona, she was a member of the Biosensors Laboratory led by Dr. Jeong-Yeol Yoon where she helped develop novel, cost-effective biosensors for detecting cancer cells in blood samples and norovirus in water samples using smartphone fluorescence microscopes and paper microfluidics. This work was funded by the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program at the University of Arizona. Alana also participated in summer research programs at the University of California, San Diego, Boston University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as a semester-long research experience in the Institute of Sports Medicine at Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark. Through each experience, her interest in global health applications of biomedical engineering grew, and she is now working in the Duke Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies (GWHT), led by Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam. In GWHT, she hopes to develop low-cost tools for addressing women’s health disparities around the world.

Mingyu Kang

Mingyu Kang

Mingyu Kang (Chambers Fellow) : I am a first year Ph.D student in the Physics Department of Duke University. I graduated Stanford University with a B.S. in physics. During undergraduate I conducted research on optimal control of nano-mechanical quantum memory coupled to superconducting qubit, under supervision of Prof. Amir Safavi-Naeini. I developed methods of finding the pulse that generates entangled states of nano-mechanical resonators, under experimental imperfections and limits in pulse amplitude and bandwidth. I also had several research projects in quantum algorithms. I am excited to do my research in Duke University, a leading institute in trapped ion quantum computing where experimentalists and theorists collaborate constantly. Currently I am working with Prof. Kenneth Brown on pulse optimization for robust two-qubit gates, as well as quantum simulation of a biochemical phenomenon. I also look forward to collaborate with experimental research in Prof. Jungsang Kim’s lab.  

Kanghyun Kim

Kanghyun Kim

Kanghyun Kim (Chambers Fellow) is a first-year Ph.D. student at Duke University’s Biomedical Engineering Department. He is pursuing his graduate degree under the supervision of Dr. Roarke Horstmeyer, where Kanghyun's research is focused on developing task-specific microscopes using a deep neural network for image analysis. His most recent work explores an approach to jointly optimize microscope elements along with the deep neural network, to increase the speed and accuracy of automated image analysis. He also has a master's in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke University and a bachelor's in Statistics with minors in Computer Science from Chung-Ang University

Steven Parker

Steven Parker

Steven Parker (Chambers Fellow) is a first year Ph.D. student in the Biomedical Engineering Department. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering as a Photonics Major with a Biomedical Engineering Minor. At Virginia Tech, he conducted his undergraduate research on medical applications of functional polymer micro-fibers with the Jia Group. He designed a woven pressure-sensing fiber fabric to be integrated into patient beds to monitor bed sores. He presented this device to the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America. At Duke, he currently researches quantitative phase imaging and its applications in monitoring automated cell death. He hopes to find useful correlations between physical cell characteristics and chronic illnesses.