Fellowship Alumni

Alfred E. Mann Innovation in Engineering Doctoral Fellowships


Kevin Keomanee-Dizon

Kevin Keomanee-Dizon received a PhD from the Translational Imaging Center at the University of Southern California, advised by Professor Scott E. Fraser. The title of the thesis was “Optical Physics for Optimal Volumetric Biological Imaging.” Multiple imaging technologies were developed that have a broad range of applications spanning basic science to medicine.

Dr. Keomanee-Dizon is a Dicke Fellow in Experimental Physics at Princeton University.

Jonathan Wang

Jonathan Wang received a PhD under the advisement of Professor Eun Ji Chung in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. Jonathan’s research interests included applications of kidney-targeted nanoparticles for renal disorders, focusing on polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Using engineered nanoparticles as carriers of currently approved drugs, this research aimed to increase their therapeutic efficacy, reduce side effects, and create novel treatment strategies for renal disease.

Dr. Wang had first-authored various peer-reviewed articles and had mentored undergraduates and high school students in the lab. Jonathan holds a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Wang is a Process Development Scientist with Emergent Biosolutions.


Christine Cheng

Christine Cheng received a PhD in chemical engineering from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering with the advisement of Professor Malancha Gupta. Christine’s research focused on investigation of biopolymer materials and surface functionalization of novel biomedical implants, such as 3D-printed medical devices. Dr. Cheng studied the scale-up of vapor-phase deposition of polymers to work towards large-scale processing, to bridge the gap between lab bench and industrial scale research.

Dr. Cheng is a Principal Systems Engineer in the Future Technical Leaders Program at Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Joycelyn Yip

Joycelyn Yip received a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering under the advisement of Dr. Megan McCain at the Laboratory for Living Systems Engineering. She designed Heart-on-a-Chip and microfluidic devices that preserve and stimulate cardiac tissues for disease modeling and drug screening. Collaborators at USC Stem Cell and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles continue to use her platforms today.

Dr. Yip was also passionate about serving the Los Angeles community and improving the student experience for Joycelyn’s peers. Because of Dr. Yip’s involvement as President of the Graduate Student Government and the student representative on the President’s Culture Commission, Joycelyn was recognized with the USC Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Award and the USC Rockwell Dennis Hunt Scholarship.

Dr. Yip is an Associate at McKinsey & Company focusing on global health and the public and social sectors.


Alexa Hudnut

Alexa Hudnut received a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering under the advisement of Professor Andrea Armani. Dr. Hudnut worked to create tools to improve how physicians diagnose diseases such as cancer. Alexa worked on developing a wide array of platforms that vary drastically in their applications, yet all use fundamentals of optics as their scientific foundation. In a field where overworked doctors are often disconnected from their patients, Alexa hopes to act as a bridge to refocus the conversation onto areas critical to patient well-being.

Dr. Hudnut is an Optimal Systems Engineer at Illumina.

Dave Kale

Dave Kale received a PhD in Computer Science from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Dr. Kale studied the challenges of applying machine learning to digital healthcare data in the context of learning to diagnose from historical patient records. Dave demonstrated that recurrent neural networks could learn to accurately recognize dozens of diseases common in critically ill hospitalized patients, investigated the way that missing values in clinical data leak information about treatment, and proposed a novel neural network architecture that jointly solves multiple high-impact clinical prediction problems. Dave was advised by Professor Greg Ver Steeg at the USC Information Sciences Institute.

Before coming to USC, Dave earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees at Stanford University and worked as an applied machine learning researcher at Children’s Hospital LA. Dr. Kale co-founded the Machine Learning for Healthcare Conference (MLHC), the flagship meeting for rigorous research on the application of machine learning and data mining to digital health data and problems.

Dr. Kale works as a Senior Machine Learning Scientist at Netflix.

Daeun Kim

Daeun Kim studied Electrical Engineering, under the guidance of Professor Justin Haldar in the Biomedical Imaging Group (BIG) at the University of Southern California.  Dr. Kim’s research interests included multidimensional signal processing, constrained signal processing, inverse problems, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and biomedical data processing.

Daeun’s research was focused on developing an advanced MRI technique that could provide more accurate characterization of microstructure in biological tissues.

Dr. Kim is a recipient of the USC Women in Science and Engineering Merit Award and the 1st Place Award for Best Abstract Presentation at the Quantitative MR study group in the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine from Daeun’s recent work.

Dr. Kim is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Southern California.

Samantha McBirney

Samantha McBirney received a PhD degree at USC in May 2018. Samantha was a student in Professor Andrea Armani’s research group. Dr. McBirney’s research interests included developing novel optical sensors to study blast-induced neurotrauma and to detect catheter-related bloodstream infections before a patient becomes symptomatic, among other things. See Samantha’s latest discovery to detect staph infections earlier in this article.

Dr. McBirney was also very passionate about empowering young women to pursue STEM, as Samantha was involved in several different outreach groups that focus on mentoring young women interested in STEM-related fields.

Dr. McBirney is a Full Engineer at the RAND Corporation.


Daniel Bone

Daniel Bone received a PhD in Electrical Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Dr. Bone’s research concerned human-centered signal processing and machine learning with an emphasis on developing engineering techniques and systems to characterize and eventually treat developmental disorders such as Autism (which has a high prevalence of 1 in 68). Daniel worked with Dr. Shrikanth Narayanan and was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the interdisciplinary Signal Analysis and Interpretation Lab (SAIL) at USC.

Daniel received Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2009, and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from USC in 2011. He was an NSF GK-12 Body Engineering Fellow during 2012-2013.

Dr. Bone has first-authored five journal papers, nine conference papers, and one book chapter. Daniel has led and been a part of two teams that won international engineering competitions (Interspeech 2011, 2015). Dr. Bone’s work has been featured on KPCC off-ramp, SFARI.org, and USC media.

Dr. Bone is a Senior Applied Scientist at Amazon.


Philip Kwong

Philip Kwong developed paper-based microfluidic devices for use in “lab-on-a-chip” and “point-of-care” applications. His research was conducted under the guidance of Dr. Malancha Gupta (Assistant Professor, The Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science). Polymeric architectures on paper were created using the initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) process with use of metal salt inhibitors to direct polymer growth.

Dr. Kwong is Engineer Director of Product Identity at TruTag Technologies, Inc.

Simin Mehrabani

Simin Mehrabani received her PhD in Chemical Engineering in Professor Andrea M. Armani’s research group. Her research was focused on the development of environmental monitoring optical sensors based on whispering gallery mode optical microresonators.

Dr. Mehrabani is a Senior Air Quality Engineer at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).


Matthew Black

Matthew Black received his PhD in Electrical Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Matt’s thesis under Professor Shri Narayanan was on the development of a quantitative, automated framework that emulated human observational processes to describe subjective human judgments made on speech signals. It concentrated on real-world problems with societal significance: children’s literacy, marital therapy, and autism. This pioneering work represented a major step toward a shift in engineering from modeling and recognizing objective human behaviors to quantifying subtler and abstract ones, a central theme to the emerging area of behavioral signal processing.

Dr. Black is Senior Director of Head of Data Science at Mercury Insurance.

Erica Greene

Erica Greene developed novel statistical machine learning methods to analyze and develop predictive models of fMRI scans in Dr. Fei Sha’s (Assistant Professor, Computer Science) laboratory. The goal of the research was to reveal scalable, accurate, and robust models of functional networks in the human brain using resting state fMRI data. She applied techniques from statistical machine learning such as graphical models to improve the state-of-the-art techniques by incorporating multivariate relationships among individual voxels. Multitask learning was incorporated as a tool to improve the robustness of her model.

Ms. Greene is a Senior Engineering Manager at Etsy.


Hsiu-Sheng Hsu

Hsiu-Sheng Hsu worked on developing a label-free microlaser sensor platform in Dr. Andrea Armani’s (Assistant Professor, Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science) laboratory. The novelty in this technology was in the development of an “active” optical resonant microcavity technology. This technology’s capability characterized the structural dynamics of biomolecules, their functional implications without labeling the biomolecule in real time.

Dr. Hsu is an Engineer at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited.

Jay Mung

Jay Mung’s research was developing a high accuracy (= 2mm) ultrasonic navigation system for minimally invasive repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms in Dr. Jesse Yen’s (Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering) laboratory. The novelty of this project was the fact that this ultrasonic localization tool was not based on an ultrasound imaging system, but instead acquired catheter location information which could then be displayed on an easily interpreted Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance (MR) image.

Dr. Mung received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Jesse Yen was his advisor and they collaborated with Dr. Fred Weaver. His dissertation title was Ultrasound-based Localization System for Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair.

Dr. Mung is in Health Technologies at Apple.


Joyita Dutta

Joyita Dutta worked to develop a novel 3-D in vivo imaging system for fluorescence tomography. This work was done in the laboratory of Dr. Richard M. Leahy (Professor, Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering) in collaboration with Dr. Simon Cherry at the University of California, Davis. She was developing theoretical computational methods for forward modeling and image reconstruction that could improve image resolution. Her approach to developing this system was both theoretical and practical.

Dr. Dutta is an Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


Ta-Shun Chu

Ta-Shun Chu worked on developing a miniature CMOS sensor chip to remotely detect pulse rate blood pressure and pulmonary ventilation rates of multiple individuals simultaneously. This work was done in the laboratory of Dr. Hossein Hashemi (Assistant Professor, Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering). Ta-Shun incorporated advances in radio frequency integrated circuit design that he spearheaded in Dr. Hashemi’s laboratory into his vision of a working prototype of the biometric sensor.

Professor Chu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at National Tsing Hua University.

Alfred E. Mann Biomedical Engineering Doctoral Fellowships


Angelica Cobo

Angelica Cobo pursued her PhD under the lead of her advisor, Professor Ellis Meng, in USC’s Biomedical Microsystems Laboratory (BML) on the study of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for application to the human body and other biological systems (bioMEMS).

Her research entailed the design, fabrication, and characterization of implantable polymer-based bioMEMS, devices made of soft plastics that can safely be implanted within the body for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The main topics in her doctoral research focused on the development of an implantable wireless drug delivery device for management of chronic diseases and rare childhood cancers, and a peripheral nerve interface for restoration of sensorimotor function in amputees.

Dr. Cobo is a Mechanical Design Engineer at Medtronic.


Ruchi Deshpande

Ruchi Deshpande pursued her PhD under Dr. Brent Liu’s guidance, at the Image Processing and Informatics Laboratory. Her focus was developing an informatics system to provide decision support for treatment planning in radiation therapy of head and neck cancer. The system features knowledge-driven data mining algorithms that assist clinicians in selecting and evaluating IMRT dose constraints, so as to minimize the radiation dose exposure of healthy organs.

Dr. Deshpande is a Machine Learning Scientist at Adobe.


Arvind Iyer

Arvind Iyer used computational models of the early visual system to characterize neural encoding schemes which could inform image enhancement and annotation approaches for visual rehabilitative technologies, at the Visual Processing Laboratory under the guidance of Professor Norberto M. Grzywacz.

Dr. Iyer is at Cactus Communications.


Anika Joseph

Anika Joseph received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering – Biomedical Imaging. She investigated the use of hyperspectral image processing and analysis of tissues for pathological diagnosis at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Farkas (Director, Minimally Invasive Surgical Technologies Institute).

Dr. Joseph is a Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist at Black Diamond Networks.


Markus Hauschild

Markus Hauschild, as a biomedical engineering graduate student in Dr. Gerald Loeb’s lab, designed and implemented real-time computational platforms for the simulation of musculoskeletal and mechanical systems in stereoscopic 3D virtual reality environments.

Markus earned his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2010. He received his Master of Science Degree in Medical Device and Diagnostic Engineering from USC in 2006. He advanced neural prosthetics and brain-machine interfaces while at the California Institute of Technology as a graduate student and postdoctoral scientist.

Dr. Hauschild is a Patent Engineer at Ferguson Braswell Fraser Kubasta PC.