MEET THE TEAM

We are a transdisciplinary team that addresses biomedical challenges by building upon fundamental chemistry, biophysics, and engineering concepts. To sustain these scientifically diverse efforts, our team is committed to creating an inclusive, equitable and collaborative space where each member can excel in their research endeavors.

We want to cultivate STEM opportunities aimed towards leveling the playing field for people that come from marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds.

 

We are committed to creating a safe training environment where everyone demonstrates mutual respect

 

We welcome members from all walks of life, each with unique scientific perspectives, as well as personal backgrounds. Our group embraces the fact that diverse environments lead to a more productive and creative team.

 

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

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HERDELINE ARDOÑA

Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

B.S., University of the Philippines Diliman  

Email: hardona at uci.edu

ABOUT THE PI

POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS

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ZE-FAN YAO

B.S., Ph.D., Peking University

 

Email: yaozefan at pku.edu.cn

 

Ze-Fan received his B.S. degree in 2016 in Chemistry from the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University. As an undergraduate researcher, he worked on the organic synthesis and structural characterization of organic conjugated molecules. He then obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2021 under the supervision of Prof. Jian Pei at Peking University. His Ph.D. research focused on conjugated polymers, transistor devices, and the effect of multi-level aggregation on charge transport. He started as a postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Ardoña’s group in September 2021. He is currently working on peptide-based materials and related electronic applications. He will also be working closely with the Arguilla Group in the UCI Chemistry department.During his free time, Ze-Fan likes running, cooking, and watching movies.

GRADUATE STUDENTS

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SUJEUNG LIM

PhD Student, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

 

M.S., University of Southern California

B.S., California State University, Long Beach

 

Email: sujeungl at uci.edu

 

Sujeung joined the Ardoña group in Fall 2020. Sujeung is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UC Irvine. She is interested in engineering new biomaterials to model biological responses and is interested in creating platforms to understand those responses. She hopes to work in the industry after completing her Ph.D. studies. She likes to bake and listen to music outside research.

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YUYAO KUANG

PhD Student, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

 

M.S., Northwestern University

B.S., East China University of Science and Technology

 

Email: yuyaok at uci.edu

 

Yuyao obtained his B.E. in Bioengineering from ECUST in 2018. During his undergraduate, he examined the modification of key enzyme in the synthesis of Ezetimibe for cholesterol medication. After that, he obtained his M.S. of Biotechnology in 2020. At Northwestern University, Yuyao explored magnetic nanostructures for MRI contrast enhancement and environment remediation. These research experiences cultivated an interest in biomaterials where his interests in biology and nanotechnology can be combined. He is developing novel mechanochromic hydrogel systems for cellular force sensing in Professor Ardoña’s group. At his free time, Yuyao likes cooking, playing basketball, hiking, and watching movies.

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HARRISON JEONG

PhD Student, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

 

B.S., M.S., Johns Hopkins University

Email: harrij1 at uci.edu

 

Harrison joined the Ardoña group in Fall 2021. His interest in biomaterials for tissue engineering applications sprung from his Master’s research with Dr. Anirudha Singh at JHU. He is working with photoconductive scaffolds for applications in cardiac and skeletal tissue engineering. Prior to joining the group, he worked in protein purification in Process Development at Amgen. Outside of the lab, he is very passionate about sneakers and streetwear. He also enjoys dance, gaming, golf, and tennis.

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KIARA LACY

MS Student, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

2021-2022 Samueli School of Engineering Pathway to the PhD Fellow

B.S., University of California, Irvine

 

Email: lacyk at uci.edu

 

Kiara is a co-advised MS student between the Adams and Ardoña labs. Her research is focused on Dielectrophoresis (DEP), a label-free cell characterization technique to differentiate between different cell types using a non-uniform electric field. She is currently developing new platforms that enable light-induced dielectrophoresis for sorting subpopulations of human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) populations. Due to their immunological and regenerative properties, she hopes to gain a better understanding of hMSC characteristics and how they can be used to make advancements in stem cell therapy.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

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JAIDE VENTOCILLA

Junior, Chemistry

Email: jventoci at uci.edu

Jaide is a full-time student with an interest to specialize in medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. After graduating, she hopes to attend graduate school and pursue her dreams of doing clinical research or drug discovery. Some of her hobbies include caring for lots of houseplants (she's a proud plant mom!) in addition to drawing and painting. Jaide has developed a great interest and appreciation for both chemistry and biology. Despite her major not being directly related to biomedical engineering, being part of the Ardoña research group has allowed her to jumpstart her career as a scientist and to make contributions to the biomedical field.

 

JOIN OUR TEAM!

Interested to join our group as a postdoctoral researcher, graduate researcher, or undergraduate student? Please contact Herdeline and check the UCI CBE webpage for more details. Postdoc applicants should send their CV, research summary, and a list of references to Herdeline via email.