Principal Investigator

Steven Caliari

Associate Professor 
Department of Chemical Engineering 
Department of Biomedical Engineering 
University of Virginia 

Education and Training
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania (2013-2016)
PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2013) 
MS, Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2010) 
BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Florida (2007) 

Email: caliari at virginia dot edu
Office: Wilsdorf 204
Phone: 434.243.1821
ORCID: 0000-0002-7506-3079

Senior Personnel

Beverly Miller

Postdoctoral Associate
PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Virginia (2022)
BS, Bioengineering, Oregon State University (2017) 
Hometown: Portland, Oregon 
Interests: Hiking, live music, dancing, snowboarding and traveling 
Email: bbb4nq at virginia dot edu
ORCID: 0000-0002-6066-2415

Graduate Students

Mackenzie Grubb

4th Year (joined Fall 2019) 
PhD Candidate, Department of Biomedical Engineering 
BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Florida (2019) 
Hometown: Sarasota, Florida 
Interests: Hiking, reading, exploring, skiing, baking sourdough loaves
Email: mg7qw at virginia dot edu

Kelly Bukovic

3rd Year (joined Fall 2020) 
PhD Candidate, Department of Chemical Engineering 
BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Florida (2020) 
Hometown: Orlando, Florida 
Interests: Painting, art history, refinishing furniture, crocheting, traveling, wine
Email: kmb5pu at virginia dot edu

Leilani Astrab

3rd Year (joined Fall 2020) 
PhD Candidate, Department of Biomedical Engineering 
BS, Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida (2020) 
Hometown: Melbourne, Florida 
Interests: Eating, traveling, reading, spending time with friends & family, drinking coffee
Email: la4re at virginia dot edu

James Gentry

3rd Year (joined Fall 2020) 
PhD Candidate, Department of Biomedical Engineering 
BS, Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University (2018) 
Hometown: College Station, Texas 
Interests: Baking, reading, spending time with family, music 
Email: jg9zk at virginia dot edu

Geshani Bandara

2nd Year (joined Fall 2021) 
PhD Candidate, Department of Chemical Engineering 
BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Peradeniya (2020) 
Hometown: Matale, Sri Lanka
Interests: Spending time with family & friends, journaling, cooking, traveling, meditation
Email: bek2hm at virginia dot edu

Ryann Boudreau

2nd Year (joined Fall 2021) 
PhD Student, Department of Biomedical Engineering 
BS, Bioengineering, University of New Hampshire (2021) 
Hometown: Londonderry, New Hampshire 
Interests: Baking, ultimate frisbee, board games, zumba, hanging out with friends & family, puzzles 
Email: zns8mx at virginia dot edu

Undergraduate Students

Tanvi Bhat

4th Year (joined Spring 2022) 
Major: Psychology 
Hometown: Chantilly, Virginia 
Interests: traveling, bubble tea, yoga, horseback riding, and spending time with friends 
Email: tb4eh at virginia dot edu

Zach Tentor

4th Year (joined Spring 2022) 
Major: Chemistry (specialization in Biochemistry)
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Interests: Distance running, board games, reading
Email: zt5vn at virginia dot edu

Lily Burns

4th Year (joined Fall 2022) 
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Interests: traveling, gymnastics, thrifting, and going to the beach 
Email: lgb3em at virginia dot edu

Sabrina Liskey

2nd Year (joined Fall 2022) 
Major: Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Fort Defiance, Virginia
Interests: dancing, weightlifting, music, traveling 
Email: sel7qy at virginia dot edu

Brynn Earl

3rd Year (joined Spring 2023) 
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Minor: Engineering Business Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Interests: Running, board games, hiking, plants, journaling, hanging with friends
Email: qnm9wm at virginia dot edu

Lab Alumni

Doctoral Students:

Jenna Sumey (PhD, Chemical Engineering), Fall 2018 – Spring 2023
Dissertation: Engineering mechanically dynamic hyaluronic acid hydrogels to investigate stromal cell mechanosensitivity
Current: Investigator, Downstream Process Development at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Beverly Miller (PhD, Chemical Engineering), Fall 2017 – Fall 2022
Dissertation: Supramolecular Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel Fibers for Translational Tissue Engineering Applications
Current: Postdoctoral associate, Caliari Lab

Ivan Basurto (PhD, Biomedical Engineering), Fall 2017 – Spring 2022
Dissertation: Designing Biomaterials for Skeletal Muscle Tissue Engineering Following Volumetric Muscle Loss Injury
Current: Scientist I, Research & Development at Anika

Erica Hui (PhD, Chemical Engineering), Fall 2016 – Fall 2021
Dissertation: Designing Spatiotemporally Tunable Viscoelastic Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels to Study Cell Mechanobiology During Fibrosis
Current: Investigator, Downstream Process Development at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Masters Students:

Deniz Unal (MS, Chemical Engineering), Fall 2017-Fall 2019 
Thesis: Studies of Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells in 3D Hyaluronic Acid Scaffolds

Undergraduate Students:
Samir Muhammed
(BS, Biomedical Engineering), Summer 2021-Spring 2023, Current: Technology Business & Integration Analyst at Accenture (Philadelphia, PA)
Peyton Johnston
(BS, Biomedical Engineering), Summer 2021-Spring 2023
Mikayla Jackson
(Biomedical Engineering), Summer 2021-Spring 2022
Emily Pham
(BS, Biomedical Engineering), Summer 2021-Spring 2022, Current: Data Scientist Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton (McLean, VA)
Abigail Harrell
(BS, Chemistry), Summer 2021-Spring 2022, Current: Chemical Engineering PhD Student at the UC – Boulder (Boulder, CO)
Austin Amacher
(BS, Biomedical Engineering), Spring 2020-Spring 2022, Current: BME Patent Examiner at U.S. Patent Office (Washington, D.C.)
Audrey Hansrisuk
(BS, Chemistry), Spring 2019-Spring 2022, Current: Bioengineering PhD Student in the Webber Lab at Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN)
Gregg Gardner
(BS, Chemical Engineering), Spring 2019-Spring 2022, Current: Engineers in Leadership Trainee at Emerson (Austin, Tx)
Kathryn Smith
(BS, Chemical Engineering), Summer 2019-Spring 2021, Current: Technical Solutions Engineer at Epic Systems (Verona, WI)
Kathryn Gimeno (BS, Biomedical Engineering), Summer 2018-Spring 2021, Current: Manufacturing Scientist at Eli Lilly (Indianapolis, IN)
Erin McIlhinney (Biomedical Engineering), Fall 2019-Summer 2020
Priyanshi Jain (BS, Biology), Fall 2016-Fall 2019, Current: Medical student, New Jersey Medical School 
Sarah Zagorin (BS, Biomedical Engineering), Fall 2017-Spring 2019, Current: Biomedical Patent Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Washington DC)
John Quezada (BS, Biomedical Engineering), Summer 2019, Current: Medical Scribe at UVA Health (Charlottesville, VA)
Emily Zezas (Speech Pathology), Fall 2018-Spring 2019 
Mark Mora (BS, Biomedical Engineering), Summer 2017-Spring 2019, Current: Masters Student in Translational Medicine at Keck Graduate Institute (Claremont, CA)
Oliver Phoa (BS, Chemical Engineering), Fall 2016-Fall 2018, Current: Rotational Development Program Associate at Amgen (West Greenwich, RI) 
Rebecca Earhart (BS, Chemical Engineering), Summer 2017-Spring 2018, Current: Associate Specialist, Engineering at Merck (Elkton, VA) 
Grant Guan (BS, Computer Science), Fall 2016-Spring 2018, Current: Associate at Boston Consulting Group (Chicago, IL)

Visiting Students:

Alex Harmon (undergraduate, Hampton University), Summer 2022 
Amber Jackson (undergraduate, George Mason University), Summer 2018
Noah Hester (high school student), Summer 2018