Our Team

Current Members

Dr. Yao Wu - Joined 2018

Post Doctoral Associate

Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2017


Yao reveived her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln under the supervision of Prof. Rebecca. Y. Lai. During her PhD study, she foucsed the research on the development of novel-type biosensors to address biologically and environmentally important issues. In the course of her stay at Nebraska, she has accomplished three major milestones, including new biosensors for diagnostic research; nanoscience matching bioanalysis; metal-ion sensors for environmental monitoring. 


Recently Yao joined Prof. Ryan J. White’s group at University of Cincinnati as a Postdoc fellow. Currently, she is working on developing and incorporating electrochemical aptamer-based sensors for online measurement of insulin to tackle limitations from offline enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). She is also interested in working on advanced biosensors equipped with photoresponsive nanoscale materials, since specifically engineered nanoscale components could endow the photoresponsive biosensors with desired characteristics such as ultrahigh sensitivity, exquisite selectivity, excellent specificity, real-time analysis and low cost. 

Dr. Xiaowei Zhang - Joined 2018

Post Doctoral Associate

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, the University of Texas at Austin (2017-2018).

Ph. D., Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2017)


Xiaowei obtained his Ph.D. in China at the State Key Lab of Electroanalytical Chemistry under supervision of Prof. Erkang Wang. His research focused on the microfluidic chip. During the PhD phase, his research work was mainly centered on the design of microfluidic bipolar electrochemistry system with high current efficiency, the preparation of functional materials with ultrahigh/ultralow mechanical stability, and the construction of portable sensing platform. Later, he moved to the US and studied a different research area: fundamental electrochemistry under the guidance of Prof. Allen J. Bard. He was leaning the oxalate oxidation in alkaline solution in the scanning electrochemical microscopy. Now, in the Prof. White’s group, he is focusing on the preparation of n-poles (bipolar) electrodes for sensing or other applications and electrochemical aptamer-based sensors for body fluid (like sweat or urine) sensors.

Kiana Pickle - Joined 2017

PhD Student

B.S. Tennessee Wesleyan College 

My research is based on studying the dynamic and biophysical properties of short tethered nucleic acids by electrochemical methods. Ultimately this research will provide new insight into the structure function relationship of tethered nucleic acids and how this is manifested into electrochemical signaling.

Israel Belmonte - Joined 2017

PhD Student

B.S. Chemistry, Northern Illinois University

My research focuses on the functionalization of carbon electrodes via electrochemical reduction of diazonium salts for the immobilization of thiolated aptamers to develop a more robust electrochemical aptamer-based sensor.

Spencer Hendrickson - Joined 2018

PhD Student

B.S. University of Cincinnati

My research is focused on coupling E-AB sensors with nanoporous electrodes that can be used to in the detection and monitoring of analytes like ATP, tobramycin, insulin, etc., in complex media like serum and blood without purification or filtration of the sample media.

Hope Kumakli - Joined 2019

PhD Student

M.S. Chemistry, North Carolina A & T State University

B.S. Chemistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Research description coming soon....

Tatiana Ilina - Joined 2019

PhD Student

M.S. in Physics, Moscow State University

B.S. in Physics, Moscow State University

My research focuses on the development of calibration-free intermittent pulse amperometry technique and application of this method to real-time in vitro monitoring of a single cell adenosine triphosphate release combined with microelectrode electrochemical aptamer-based sensors.

Vasileia Vogiazi - Joined 2019

Ph.D. Student

M.S. in General Chemistry University of Patras, Greece

B.S. in Chemistry University of Patras, Greece


Essra Khalil - Joined 2020

PhD Student

M.S. in Materials Science and Technology, Qatar university

M.S. in Analytical Chemistry, Beni-Suef University

B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Beni-Suef University

My research is focused on nanopore sensing using protein channel-based probes with different geometry and composition. Our ultimate goal is to develop feedback-controlled probes for spatially-resolved molecular sensing as well as serving as imaging probes for scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM).

Alex Olivan - Joined 2020

PhD Student

B.S. in Geology Northern Kentucky University

B.S. in Chemistry University of Cincinnati

My research is primarily focused on the characterization and functionalization of boron doped diamond electrodes which will eventually be made into electrochemical-aptamer based sensors. In addition, I am working on a project focused on the creation of recessed gold microelectrodes which will be used to measure chemical releases from single astrocyte cells.

Spencer Lanham - Joined 2020

PhD Student

B.S. in Chemistry Wilmington College

My research focuses on development of an electrochemical imaging method to probe the air-water interface of aqueous microdroplets.  These droplets have been hypothesized to have a strong electric field at this interface, which can induce electrochemical reactions.  Ultimately, using this new method, I aim to quantify these reactions and characterize this interface.

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Dr. Kan Shoji


Current Location: Nagaoka University of Technology

Dr. Robert Lazenby


Current Location: Assistant Professor Florida State Chemistry

Sufyaan Ali- Walnut Hills '19


Current Location: Washington University St. Louis

Sierra Mize- B.S. Chemistry '19


Current Location: Lab Teach at Hartz Mountain

Cody Walnoha- B.S. Chemistry '19


Current Location: Air Force Research Laboratory

Catherine Peters- B.S. Chemistry '19


Current Location: unknown

Mirelis Santos Cancel- Ph.D. Chemistry '19


Current Location: Postdoc at UCLA

Nicholas Vacarro- B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology '17


Current location: UMBC

Inayah Entzminger- B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology '18


Current location: UMBC

Justine Lottermoser- B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology '16


Current location: Ph.D. Student at Weill Cornell

Dr. Florika Macazo - Ph.D. Chemistry and Biochemistry '16


Current Location: Eccrine Systems, Cincinnati, OH

Dr. Lauren Schoukroun-Barnes - Ph.D. Chemistry and Biochemistry '15


Current Location: Associate Consultant, Latham BioPharm Group

Ethan Glaser - B.S. Biology '15


Current location: unknown

Brenda Gutierrez - B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Minor in Psychology ’16 

Meyerhoff and NIDA Scholar


Current Location: M.D/Ph.D. Program at UC Irvine

Dr. Juan Liu


Current Location: Senior Research Staff at Duke University

James Taylor - B.S. Biology '13


Current Location: PhD Program, UNC Chapel Hill Chemistry

Sam Wagan - B.S. Biology '13


Current Location: Medical School at the University of St. Louis

Melissa Dávila Morris - M.S. Chemistry and Biochemistry


Current Location: Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories

Kuan-Chun Huang - M.S. Chemistry and Biochemistry


Current Location: Sunny San Diego, CA

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