Lab Members and Alumni


Ferrara, Katherine W.

Katherine 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.

Her Google Scholar profile can be found here.


Current Lab Members

Ahmed, 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.

Ajenjo, 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.

Anders, 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.

Bendjador, Hanna  –  Postdoctoral Fellow
hanna.bendjador at

Hanna Bendjador received a BS and MS in Physics from ESPCI Paris in France, as well as an MS in Engineering and Management from Mines Paris School. She graduated with her PhD in 2020, under the supervision of Mickael Tanter in the Physics for Medicine Laboratory (ESPCI Paris, INSERM, France). Her work focused on SVD and matrix approaches for aberration correction and sound speed quantification in ultrafast ultrasound imaging. She joined the Ferrara Lab in 2021 where she will be working on the issue of deep high-resolution imaging, in three dimensions, and in complex and aberrated media. She will also explore photo switchable proteins and use experimental data as input in neural networks in order to allow a precise determination of the anatomy, and help identify the vasculature localization.

Fite, Brett  –  Instructor
bfite at

Brett Fite received his B.A. in both Physics and Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis in 2003 where he conducted undergraduate research during all four years of his undergraduate career, examination enzymatic mechanisms through fluorescence, especially time resolved fluorescence, to probe various catalytic states. He subsequently received his PhD from UC Davis in Biophysics while exploring the use of MRI and US to enhance the delivery of chemo- and immuno-therapeutics. His current research interests include the use of ultrasound for imaging and therapy, whole transcriptome and single cell sequencing to evaluate response to ultrasound-activatable drug combinations and developing MRI methods to guide interventions.

Foiret, 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.

Kare, 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.

Kwon, 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.

Liu, Pei  –  Postdoctoral Researcher
peiliu at

Pei Liu received her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from University of California, Berkeley in 2019. Her PhD work focused on the development of genetically targeted voltage sensitive dyes to monitor membrane potential changes in excitable cells including neurons. Pei joined the Ferrara lab in 2019 as a post-doctoral researcher and is working on sonogenetics to apply ultrasound for gene expression control.

Park, 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.

Podkowa, Anthony  –  Postdoctoral Scholar
apodkowa at

Anthony Podkowa received his Ph.D degree in 2020 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working under Dr. Michael Oelze at the Bioacoustics Research Laboratory. His dissertation focused on using spatial-temporal array signal processing to address challenges in Doppler ultrasound and pulse-echo sound speed imaging. His research interests include quantitative ultrasound imaging, inverse problems, beamformation, ultrasound tomography, pulse compression, signal processing, and parallel computation. He joined the Ferrara lab in 2020, and is currently working on developing real-time quantitative ultrasound imaging modes on multi-array ultrasound tomography systems.

Raie, Marina  –  Life Science Researcher
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.

Robinson, Elise  –  PhD Candidate
erobin at

Elise Robinson received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from University of California, Davis in 2014 and her M.S. in Bioengineering from Stanford in 2017. Her PhD work focuses on early cancer detection strategies using a combination of blood biomarkers and imaging. She joined the Ferrara lab in 2020, where she is excited to expand her work on gene delivery strategies.

Schneider, 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.

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.

Tang, Wei-Lun  –  Postdoctoral Fellow
wltang at

Wei-Lun Tang received his Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2018. His Ph.D. work was focused on developing an innovative and robust liposomal loading technology, called Solvent-assisted Active Loading Technology (SALT) that can significantly improve poor drug encapsulation and delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs. During his Ph.D. studies, he had received numerous awards and scholarships including Young Scientist Travel Award from the Release Controlled Society (CRS), Frederick Banting & Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and Four Year Doctoral Fellowship from the UBC. He joined Ferrara lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2019. Currently, he works on developing multifunctional lipid nanoparticles for cancer immunotherapy and diagnostic imaging.

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 currently works as a Jr. Specialist, serving as an assistant to in vitro studies.

Wang, 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.

Wu, 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.



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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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.
  • Qin, Shengping
    2005-2009: 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, Yang
    2002-2006: PhD student.
    2006-2010: Postdoctoral fellow.
    2010:2012: Assistant Project Scientist.
  • Tam, Sarah
    2011-2019: Assistant to in vivo studies.
  • 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.
  • Zhang, Nisi  ns.zhang at
    2019-2020: PhD Candidate.
    Currently a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering at Peking University
  • Zhao, Shukui
    2003-2006: PhD student.