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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EMIL LUNDQVIST

PhD Student, Biomedical Engineering

 

B.S., University of California, Irvine

Email: elundqvi at uci.edu

 

Emil completed his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from UCI in 2019. As an undergraduate researcher, Emil focused on determining impacts of cardiomyocyte organization on cardiac function. Following his undergraduate studies, he worked for two years as the lab manager for the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation Cardiovascular Innovation and Research Center where he worked with faculty and students to promote innovative cardiovascular research. Emil is interested in developing novel biomaterial platforms to advance the field of cardiovascular tissue engineering and improve the maturation of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Aside from his time in the laboratory, Emil enjoys painting, playing board games, and rock climbing.

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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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CATHERINE NGO

Sophomore, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Email: cathen8 at uci.edu

Catherine is an undergraduate with an interest in tissue engineering. In the Ardoña lab, she hopes to learn more about the synthesis of biomaterials and their applications in tissue engineering. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school and eventually work in the biotech industry. Outside of the lab, she enjoys cooking and playing video games.

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THOMAS WAKUTA

Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Email: twakuta at uci.edu

Thomas is a 4th-year student at UC Irvine in pursuit of a B.S. in chemical engineering with a minor in materials science. His interest in materials science led him to work with Dr. Khalid Rafique, where he studied the electrochromic and optical properties of nickel oxide used in CubeSats for space applications. He further applied his research experiences in materials science to an industrial setting as an intern at Roche. He developed dry storage protocols using trehalose and polyvinyl alcohol to preserve an oligonucleotide sample, a starting template used in DNA sequencing. In the Ardoña research group, he will be partaking in a project based on additive manufacturing. After graduating, he will be pursuing a M.S. in materials science and engineering at UCLA. Some of his hobbies include cooking, playing video games, and running marathons. 

 

JOIN OUR TEAM!

Interested to join our group as a postdoctoral researcher, graduate researcher, or undergraduate student? Please contact Herdeline Ardoña 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.