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

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.

Chandler CoateCoate, Chandler – Staff Research Associate
ccoate at

Chandler graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2022 with a B.A. in Neurobiology. There, he studied the development of the retina in the lab of Dr. Marla Feller. After graduation, he worked at SonALAsense, Inc., which is administrating clinical trials in Sonodynamic Therapy for brain cancer. He hopes to study Cancer Biology as a Ph.D. student with a focus in lipid peroxidation and ultrasound.

Gokce EngudarEngudar, Gokce – Physical Science Research Scientist
gengudar at

Gokce received her B.Sc. degree in Chemistry and Food Engineering from Istanbul Technical University in 2009 and 2010, respectively. She received her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and Radiochemistry from Technical University of Denmark in 2018. Her Ph.D. projects focused on the development of drug delivery systems and methods for therapeutic compounds and imaging agents. She conducted her first postdoctoral research in Hafeli Lab at the University of British Columbia, where she worked on evaluation of the pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of insulin self-assembly using SPECT/CT imaging (2019-2020). She worked as a postdoctoral researcher/research officer in several projects, from the production and radiochemical separation of radionuclides to in vivo evaluation of the developed radiopharmaceuticals, under the supervision of Dr. Paul Schaffer at TRIUMF (2020-2023). Her main focus was to develop 225Ac-labeled immunoconjugates for the treatment of neuroblastoma. She joined the Ferrara lab in 2023 to develop radiopharmaceuticals for peptide receptor radionuclide therapy.

Josquin FoiretFoiret, Josquin – Senior Research Scientist
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.

Basit JanJan, Basit Latief – Life Science Research Professional 3
bljan at

Basit is a researcher having more than 10 years of experience working in both industry and academia. He is experienced in the fields of innate immunity and stem-cell biology. He was working as an Associate Scientist at a biotech start-up before joining Ferrara lab here at Stanford. Prior to that he worked at Stanford’s Stem Cell Institute. Basit has a BS in Biotechnology and a MS in Immunology.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
  • Ahmed, Mohammed Inayathullah Nazir 
    2021-2022: Research Scientist.
    2022-2023: Senior Research Scientist.
  • Anders, David  danders at
    2021-2022: Postdoctoral Researcher.
    Currently the Director of the Cyclotron and Radiochemistry Facility.
  • 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.
  • Kwon, Alex 
    2021: Undergraduate Student Researcher
  • 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.
  • Park, Eunyeong 
    2020-2021: Visiting scholar.
    2021-2024: Postdoctoral scholar.
    Currently an Assistant Professor at KAIST.
  • 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.
  • Rivera-Rodriguez, Angelie 
    2022-2023: Postdoctoral Scholar.
  • Schneider, Martin 
    2020-2024: Postdoctoral Scholar.
  • 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.
  • Wu, Bo 
    2018-2024: Life Science Research Professional 3.
  • Zhang, Hua 
    2005-2006: Postdoc Research Fellow.
    2006-2018: Assistant Project Scientist.
    2018-2019: Senior Research Scientist.
  • Zhao, Shukui
    2003-2006: PhD student.