Lab Members and Alumni


Ferrara, Katherine W.

Katherine FerraraKatherine W. Ferrara is a Professor of Radiology at Stanford University, School of Medicine. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the IEEE, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Acoustical Society of America and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. Ferrara received her Ph.D. in 1989 from the University of California, Davis. Prior to her PhD, Dr. Ferrara was a project engineer for General Electric Medical Systems, involved in the development of early magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound systems. Following an appointment as an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Dr. Ferrara served as the founding chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis. Her laboratory is known for early work in aspects of ultrasonics and has more recently expanded their focus to broadly investigate molecular imaging and drug delivery. Dr. Ferrara’s laboratory has received numerous awards including the Achievement Award from the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society, which is the top honor of this society.

Link to Katherine Ferrara’s Google Scholar profile.

Current Lab Members

Mohammed AhmedAhmed, Mohammed – Research Scientist
inayath at

Mohammed Inayathullah received his Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry from the University of Madras, India, in 2006. He was a postdoctoral scholar in UCLA Neurology from 2006 to 2010, studying conformational dynamics of amyloid β-protein in Alzheimer’s disease. He was a Research Scientist at Stanford Radiology and Cardiovascular Institute (2010-2021), developing biomaterials for drug delivery systems, and an Associate Director at Stanford BioADD/ADDReB lab (2015-2021). He joined Prof. Ferrara’s lab as a Research Scientist in 2021. His current research involves developing lipid-based delivery systems for immunotherapy.

Javier AjenjoAjenjo, Javier – Postdoctoral Scholar
jajenjo at

Javier received his MSci from the University Complutense in Madrid (Spain). He then moved to Prague (Czech Republic) where he earned his PhD degree in Chemistry from Univerzita Karlova under the supervision of Dr Petr Beier at IOCB, working on the synthesis and derivatization of hypervalent sulfur fluorides. During this period, he also took part as ESR of FLUOR21 initial training network led by Prof Graham Sandford (Durham University) and collaborated with F2 Chemicals Ltd. Later, he joined the University of Oxford (UK) as a postdoctoral research fellow to work on the synthesis and biological evaluation of F18-labeled ATM inhibitors under the supervision of Prof Bart Cornelissen. In 2021, he joined Ferrara lab as a postdoctoral scholar to work on the development of radiochemistry methods and the synthesis of therapeutics for medical imaging.

David AndersAnders, David – Postdoctoral Fellow
danders at

David received his M.Sc. degree in Chemistry with Industrial Experience from the University of Bristol, UK in 2012. His projects included drug discovery of new asthma therapies at GlaxoSmithKline and the photochemistry of pyrroles. David received his PhD in Chemistry in 2017 from Imperial College London, UK. His PhD thesis was on the development of electrochemical reduction of [11C]CO2 for PET imaging. David joined the Gambhir Lab at Stanford in 2017 where he worked on radiolabeling DNA aptamers and immunoPET imaging. In the Ferrara Lab, David will continue his immunoPET studies as well as labeling viruses with PET isotopes.

Josquin FoiretFoiret, Josquin – Instructor
jlfoiret at

Josquin Foiret received his B.Sc. degree in Physics and his M.Sc. degree in Acoustics from the University Paris VII in 2008 and 2009, respectively. In 2013, he received the Ph.D. degree from the University Paris VI for his work on characterization of cortical bone using ultrasonic guided waves. He joined the Ferrara lab in 2014 as a postdoctoral researcher. He currently works on novel signal processing to monitor ultrasound induced hyperthermia and enhancement of drug delivery through the combined use of ultrasound and contrast agents.

Yutong GuoGuo, Yutong – Postdoctoral Scholar
yutongg at

Yutong Guo received her Bachelor degree in mathematics at University College London and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She received her Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology, where her research was focused on ultrasound-actuated microbubble dynamics and the associated mass transport in the brain tumor microenvironment. Yutong joined the Ferrara Lab in 2023 to explore the potential of focused ultrasound in cancer immunotherapy.

Aris KareKare, Aris – PhD Candidate
ariskare at

Aris received his BS in Bioengineering from Stanford in 2018 and is working to complete his masters by 2020. He joined the Ferrara lab in 2019 to pursue his PhD and investigate spatial and temporal regulation of the immune system with response to combination therapies.

Alex KwonKwon, Alex – Undergraduate Researcher
alexkwon at

Alex Kwon is an undergraduate student at Stanford University interested in biology, chemistry, and computer science. He joined the Ferrara Lab in 2021. He currently conducts radiochemistry research on a novel Cu-64 multichelator labeling method for in vivo PET imaging.

Haeni LeeLee, Haeni – Visiting Student Researcher
haenilee at

Haeni Lee received her B.S. degrees in Optics and Mechatronics Engineering from Pusan National University, Republic of Korea, in 2021. She is currently in a combined master’s-PhD course in Pusan National University and joined Stanford University in 2023 as a visiting student researcher. Her research interest is in photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging in biomedical studies.

Ning LuLu, Ning – Postdoctoral Scholar
ningluu at

Ning joined Ferrara Lab in 2023 to explore volumetric ultrasound imaging. Previously, she received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and Scientific Computing from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, in 2023, working on MR-guided histotripsy for noninvasive brain treatment. She gained a B.S.E. degree (highest honors) in Biomedical Engineering from Southeast University, Nanjing, China, in 2018. Her research interests include ultrasound instrumentation, ultrasound therapy, ultrasound imaging algorithms, and AI in healthcare.

Mallesh PandralaPandrala, Mallesh – Research Scientist
malleshp at

Mallesh Pandrala is a Senior Scientist of Radiology at Stanford University, School of Medicine. He received his PhD in 2014 from the University of New South Wales, Australia, where his research focused on therapeutic properties of mono- and di- nuclear Iridium(III) complexes. Prior to his PhD, Dr. Pandrala worked as a process chemist and drug discovery chemist in leading drug discovery companies such as Dr Reddy’s laboratories and Jubilant Biosys in India. During postdoctoral training at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR-Rio Piedras), he developed synthetic strategies to conjugate small molecules to bioactive peptides to improve selective drug delivery to cancer cells. As a postdoctoral researcher and research scientist in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University, he developed small molecule kinase inhibitors of the BCR-ABL1 oncogene, small molecules to prevent or reverse T cell exhaustion. He developed strategies to synthesize prodrugs for approved drugs to improve their pharmacokinetic properties. He continued his medicinal chemistry efforts at Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon. At Stanford, he continues to develop and translate novel small molecules for cancer treatment and imaging.

Eunyeong ParkPark, Eun-Yeong – Visiting Researcher
eyp at

Eun-Yeong Park received her B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Pohang University of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea, in 2013 and 2020, respectively. Her Ph.D. work focused on the development of non-ionizing and non-invasive biomedical imaging techniques including photoacoustic/ultrasound imaging and their clinical applications. She joined the Ferrara lab in 2020 as a Visiting Scholar. Her current work is to develop an ultrasound/photoacoustic dual-modal computed tomography system.

Marina RaieRaie, Marina – Life Science Research Professional 1
mraie at

Marina received her B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Davis in 2019. She joined the Ferrara Lab in 2018 as an undergraduate volunteer at the University of California, Davis, maintaining mammalian cell cultures and processing tissues for testing the effects of anticancer therapies. Currently, she works as a researcher helping with pre-clinical studies.

Angelie Rivera-RodriguezRivera-Rodriguez, Angelie – Postdoctoral Scholar
amrr at

Angelie Rivera Rodriguez received her B.S. in Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez. She then moved to the U.S.A., where she earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida under the supervision of Dr. Carlos Rinaldi-Ramos. Her thesis was focused on biomedical applications of iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles for cancer thermal treatment and cell tracking using Magnetic Particle Imaging. In Summer 2022, Angelie joined Stanford University as a postdoctoral scholar under the supervision of Dr. Katherine Ferrara and Dr. Michelle James, working at the intersection of nanomedicine and medical imaging.

Martin SchneiderSchneider, Martin – Postdoctoral Fellow
martin.schneider at

Martin received his M.D. from Tuebingen, Germany and his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. His Ph.D. work was focused on in vivo imaging of angiogenesis under drug treatment and photoacoustic imaging of endogeneous chromophores. Martin joined the Gambhir Lab at Stanford in 2019 where he worked on optical phantoms and clinical photoacoustic imaging trials. In the Ferrara Lab, Martin will continue his photacoustic imaging studies as well as ultrasound studies.

Jai Seo Seo, Jai W. – Research Scientist
jaiwseo at

Jai Woong Seo received a B.S. (2001), M.S. (2003), and Ph. D. degrees (2007) in chemistry at Inha University in Korea. He conducted the preparation of ionic liquids by the time he finished B.S. and development of nitric oxide suppressor as M.S. degree. While he was doing Ph. D course, he studied about estrogen receptor imaging for breast cancer detection with F-18 labeled cyclofenil derivatives at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a visiting graduate student (2003-2004). After then, he developed facile F-18 labeling methods for small molecules until he finished Ph. D. at Inha University (2004-2007). He joined professor Ferrara group in University of California, Davis (2007). His research involved development of Cu-64 and F-18 labeling method for tracking liposome in vivo, and synthesis and evaluation of near-infrared dye for optical imaging. His research interest is the molecular imaging for targeted drug delivery system.

Spencer Tumbale Tumbale, Spencer – Lab Manager
stumbale at

Spencer Tumbale received his B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Technology Management from the University of California, Davis in 2015. He joined the Ferrara Lab in 2013 as an undergraduate research assistant and continued his work as a Jr. Specialist, serving as an assistant to in vitro studies. After the lab moved to Stanford University, he assumed the role of lab manager and continues to assist in in vitro studies.

James WangWang, James – Postdoctoral Fellow
jimwg at

James received his BS from Bioengineering at the University of Washington and PhD in Chemical Engineering from UCSD in 2019. His PhD work focused on the development of hollow silica nanoshells as ultrasound contrast agents and sensitizers for acoustic mechanical ablation in combination with immunotherapy for solid tumors. He joined the Ferrara lab in 2019 to further investigate the underlying mechanisms of tumor ablation and immune response to combination therapeutics.

Bo WuWu, Bo – LSRP3
bowu85 at

Bo Wu received a B.S. in Medical Science from Shanxi Medical University (China) in 1984 and Ph.D. degrees in Clinical Immunology from Leuven University (Belgium) in 2000. His Ph.D. work was focused on allergic diseases immunotherapy. Currently, his work in Ferrara laboratory is performing pre-clinical studies.

Nisi ZhangZhang, Nisi – Postdoctoral Fellow
nszhang at

Nisi Zhang received her PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from Peking University in 2022. Her PhD work focused on the development of nanosonosensitizers and conducting sonodynamic therapy in murine cancer models. Nisi joined the Ferrara lab in 2022 and is working on ultrasound-mediated gene transfection for cancer immunotherapy using microbubbles and lipid nanoparticles.

Lab Alumni

  • Aghevlian, Sadaf
    2019-2020: Postdoctoral fellow.
    Currently a scientist at Fusion Pharmaceuticals.
  • Beegle, Julie
    2010-2011: Assistant to in vivo studies.
  • Borden, Mark
    2004-2007: Project scientist.
    Currently an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder.
  • Bendjador, Hanna 
    2021-2022: Postdoctoral Fellow.
  • Brandner, Dinah dinah_brandner at
    2020: Visiting student researcher.
    Currently enrolled in the masters program in Mechatronics at the Johannes Kepler University.
  • Cai, Xiran
    2018-2020: Postdoctoral Fellow.
    Currently an Assistant Professor at ShanghaiTech University.
  • Caskey, Charles cfcaskey at
    2004-2008: PhD student.
    2008-2013: Postdoctoral fellow.
    Currently an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University.
  • Chen, Weiyu
    2020-2021: Postdoctoral fellow.
    Currently an Assistant Professor in The Fourth Affiliated Hospital Zhejiang University School of Medicine.
  • Choi, Wonseok 
    2022-2023: Visiting Scholar.
    Currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea.
  • Dayton, Paul
    2001-2007: Research engineer.
    Currently a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University.
  • Even, Lisa
    2009-2019: Manager of in vivo studies.
  • Feng, Yi 
    2019: Visiting Associate Professor.
    Currently an Associate Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University.
  • Fite, Brett 
    2008-2013: PhD Student
    2013-2016: Postdoctoral Scholar
    2016-2018: Assistant Project Scientist
    2018-2023: Instructor
  • Gagnon, Karen
    2009-2014: Postdoctoral fellow.
  • Hlawitschka, Mario
    2009-2011: Postdoctoral fellow.
    Currently a faculty member in Leipzig, Germany.
  • Hu, Xiaowen
    2007-2011: PhD student.
  • Ilovitsh, Asaf
    2016-2019: Postdoctoral fellow.
  • Ilovitsh, Tali
    2016-2019: Postdoctoral fellow.
    Currently an Assistant Professor at Tel-Aviv University, Israel.
  • Ingham, Elizabeth 
    2009-2019: Manager of in vitro studies.
    Currently the UC Davis School of Medicine Safety Officer.
  • Kakwere, Hamilton 
    2016-2018: Postdoc Research Fellow.
    2018-2019: Research Scientist.
  • Kheirolomoom, Azadeh (Azi)  akheirolomoom at
    2005-2018: Project Scientist
    2018-2021: Senior Research Scientist
  • Kruse, Dustin
    1999-2004: Postdoctoral fellow.
  • Kusunose, Jiro
    2006-2013: PhD student.
    2013-2014: Research engineer.
  • Lai, Chun-Yen
    2007-2013: PhD student.
    2013-2014: Post doctoral fellow.
  • Liu, Cheng  cheng.c.liu at
    2018-2019: Postdoctoral Fellow.
    Currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford.
  • Liu, Jingfei
    2014-2017: Postdoctoral fellow.
  • Liu, Pei 
    2019-2022: Postdoctoral Researcher.
    Currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Bioengineering and Bioimaging, A*STAR, Singapore.
  • Liu, Yu
    2007-2014: PhD student.
    2014-2017: Postdoctoral fellow.
  • Lum, Aaron
    1998-2003: PhD student.
    2004: Postdoctoral fellow.
    2005-2006: Project Scientist.
  • Paoli, Eric eepaoli at
    2009-2013: PhD student.
  • Patterson, Craig
    2006-2018: Contracts and grants manager.
  • Podkowa, Anthony 
    2020-2022: Postdoctoral Scholar.
    Currently at Fujifilm.
  • Qin, Shengping
    2005-2009: Postdoctoral fellow.
  • Robinson, Elise 
    2012-2014: Undergraduate Research Assistant.
    2020-2021: PhD Student.
    2021-2022: Postdoctoral Fellow.
  • Silvestrini, Matthew
    2013-2018: PhD student.
  • Stephens, Douglas 
    2007-2019: Principal Engineer.
  • Stieger-Vanegas, Susanne 
    2003-2007: PhD student.
    Currently an Associate Professor at Oregon State University.
  • Sun, Pengwei  pengwei at
    2022: Graduate Student.
    Currently a PhD Student in Biomedical Physics at Stanford University.
  • Sun, Yang
    2002-2006: PhD student.
    2006-2010: Postdoctoral fellow.
    2010:2012: Assistant Project Scientist.
  • Tam, Sarah
    2011-2019: Assistant to in vivo studies.
  • Tang, Wei-Lun
    2019-2023: Postdoctoral Fellow.
    Currently a Scientist II at Nutcracker Therapeutics.
  • Tartis, Michaelann Shortencarier
    2002-2006: PhD student.
    Currently an Associate Professor at New Mexico Tech.
  • Tucci, Samantha
    2015-2019: PhD student.
  • Vralsted, Vivian Costa
    2009-2011: Postdoctoral fellow.
  • Watson, Katherine
    2006-2008: Research associate.
  • Wong, Andrew
    2011-2016: PhD student.
  • Zhang, Hua 
    2005-2006: Postdoc Research Fellow.
    2006-2018: Assistant Project Scientist.
    2018-2019: Senior Research Scientist.
  • Zhao, Shukui
    2003-2006: PhD student.