Team

Carolyn Harris, Ph.D

Principal Investigator

Dr. Harris is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Wayne State University with a joint appointment in Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Harris received her B.S. from Purdue University in 2006 and her Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 2011, both in Biomedical Engineering. She then pursued her postdoctoral research at the Seattle Children's Research Institute in 2014. Dr. Harris is nationally and internationally recognized as an expert in hydrocephalus due to her comprehension of the pathophysiology and her investigation into shunt obstruction and shunt infection utilizing unique in vitro model systems. In addition to her academic activities, Dr. Harris is deeply committed to improving public education and cultivating sincere connections between researchers and patients.

Prashant Hariharan

Graduate Student

Prashant is a 2nd year PhD candidate in the Biomedical Engineering department at Wayne State. He earned his Bachelors of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Mumbai in 2013 and went on to complete a Masters of Science in Bioengineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2015 and a Masters of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University in 2016. After graduating, he worked as a technician for Dr. Harris's lab in the Neurosurgery department at Wayne State. Prashant joined the Harris Lab as a PhD student in the Fall of 2018. His work involves using confocal fluorescence microscopy in combination with image analysis software to quantitatively understand roles of different cell types in the foreign body response to ventricular catheters collected from patients with hydrocephalus. His PhD project is focused on using organ-on-chip technology to understand the process of CSF production. When he isn’t in the lab, Prashant enjoys road-biking.

Arash Faryami

Graduate Student

Ahmad is a 1st year PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering department at Wayne State. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences from Western Michigan University, in 2019. At Western, he was actively involved with teaching and mentoring his peers. He joined the Harris Lab in August of 2019. Ahmad has a fascination for rapid prototyping using 3D printers which he wants to apply towards his PhD. When Ahmad isn't working he's on a quest to find the country’s best burger; so far he has tested and ranked over 400 burgers across 11 states in the country!

Fatemeh Khodadadei

Graduate Student

Fatemeh is a 3rd year PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Wayne State. She earned her Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering & Biomaterials from Iran University of Science and Technology. Her PhD project is focused on using the combination of total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIR-FM) and microfluidic devices for quantitative analysis and direct spatial-temporal mapping of secreted cytokines at the single-cell level, under shear stress. Her goal is to understand the relationship between neuroprosthetic device failure and shear stress. When not in the lab, Fatemeh enjoys spending time with her family, swimming and gardening.

Saja Al-Saloum

Undergraduate Student

Saja is in her senior year of the Bachelor’s of Engineering program in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Wayne State University. She joined the Harris lab in Spring of 2018. Saja is part of a team in the Harris Lab that is working towards modifying biomaterial surfaces to impede foreign body responses; her role is to quantify the degradation of modified biomaterial surfaces using contact angle measurements and spectrophotometric techniques. Saja is also an avid adventurer; most recently she made it to the summit of Mount Fuji.

Mira Zaranek

Undergraduate Student

Mira is in her junior year of the Bachelor’s of Engineering program in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Wayne State University. She joined the Harris lab in Spring of 2018 as a research assistant. Mira is part of a team in the Harris Lab that is working towards modifying biomaterial surfaces to impede foreign body responses; her role is to quantify the degradation of modified biomaterial surfaces using spectrophotometric techniques. Independently, Mira is using in vitro models to understand the contribution of specific blood components in driving the foreign body response to ventricular catheters. When she isn’t in the lab or in class, Mira coaches her high school track and field team.

Simran Hehar

Undergraduate Student

Simran is in her junior year, majoring in Biological Sciences at Wayne State University. She joined the Harris lab in Winter of 2018. Simran is part of a team in the Harris Lab that is working to test proprietary surface modifications to impede foreign body responses, for the company ‘FreeFlow Medical’. Her role is to process tissue samples using immunofluorescence techniques to assess the cytotoxicity of an implanted biomaterial on surrounding tissue.

Raniya Ibrahim

Undergraduate Student

Raniya is in her senior year of the Biological Sciences program at Wayne State University. She is also working towards a minor in psychology. Raniya joined the Harris lab as a volunteer research assistant in September of 2019. She is part of a team in the Harris Lab that is working towards understanding the molecular signals that drive foreign body responses to catheters in patients with hydrocephalus; her role is to help construct in vitro model systems that mimic the ventricular environment around a catheter. Raniya has been serving in the Michigan Army National Guard for the past 5 years and is a scholarship contracted cadet with University of Michigan ROTC. She will be commissioning as a medical officer after graduation. In her spare time she volunteers with PB&J outreach, feeding the homeless in Detroit and tutoring students.

Kevin Zheng

Undergraduate Student

Kevin is a premed in his sophomore year of the Bachelor's of Engineering program in Biomedical Engineering at Wayne State University and hopes to pursue a minor in chemistry. He recently joined the Harris lab in the summer of 2020. Kevin is currently working on finding the relationship between ventricular size and shunt obstruction through the analysis of patient brain scans. Outside of lab, Kevin volunteers as a Crisis Counselor for the Crisis Text Line.

Pranav Gopalakrishnan

Undergraduate Student

Pranav is in his senior year of the Bachelor’s of Engineering program in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Wayne State University. He joined the Harris lab in Spring of 2018. Pranav is part of a team in the Harris Lab that is working towards modifying biomaterial surfaces to impede foreign body responses; his role is to use SEM to qualitatively analyze and confirm biomaterial surface modification. Pranav is also on Wayne State’s competitive fencing team.

Jeff Horbatiuk

Undergraduate Student

Jeffrey is in his junior year of the Bachelor’s of Engineering program in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Wayne State University. He joined the Harris lab as a volunteer research assistant during his High School education. Jeffrey is part of a team in the Harris Lab that is working towards modifying biomaterial surfaces to impede foreign body responses; his role is to test the effects of pressure on modified biomaterial surfaces. His independent project is focused on developing an automated, electronic pressure and flow rate controlling bioreactor system that can be used to study foreign body responses to ventricular catheters. In his spare time Jeff enjoys baking and skeet shooting.

Mariana Sierra

Undergraduate Student

Mariana is in her sophomore year, majoring in Biomedical Physics and Neuroscience at Wayne State University. She is part of the NIH-funded reBUILD program at Wayne State. Mariana joined the Harris lab in Winter of 2018 to gain research experience for the BUILD program and stayed on as a research assistant. She is part of a team in the Harris Lab that is working to test proprietary surface modifications to impede foreign body responses, for the company ‘FreeFlow Medical’. Her role is to process tissue samples using immunofluorescence techniques to assess the cytotoxicity of an implanted biomaterial on surrounding tissue.

Kylie Lee

Undergraduate Student

Kylie is in her sophomore year as a Computer Science major at Wayne State Univeristy, and joined the Harris Lab in January 2020. Currently, she is part of a team that is working towards enhancing the development of a flow rate bioreactor system through the use of the Arduino and C++ programming languages. In her free time, Kylie enjoys coding graphic designs with HTML/CSS and is currently learning Javascript to take her personal projects on another level.

Jacob Gluski

Medical Student

Jacob is a 3rd year medical student at Wayne State. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan in 2016. He then completed 2 years at the NIH as part of the prestigious Postbac IRTA program. Jacob joined the Wayne State University Medical School in 2018 and subsequently joined the Harris Lab. His role in the lab is focused on clinical coordination, extraction of data from medical records and organization into databases for analysis.

Rooshan Arshad

Research Staff

Rooshan earned his Bachelor of Biological Sciences, from the University of Windsor and Wayne State University in 2016. Between 2015 and 2017 Rooshan worked as a research assistant at the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics at WSU under Dr. Lawrence Grossman, Dr. Felix Fernandez-Madrid, and Dr. Russell Finley. He also worked as a research assistant for Dr. Harris at Wayne State’s Department of Neurosurgery. He then went on to complete an M.E.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Western Ontario in 2019. Rooshan joined the Harris Lab as a research technician in July of 2019. His role is focused on assessing foreign body response to proprietary ventricular shunt modifications made by collaborators at FreeFlow Medical Devices and Microbot Medical using in vitro 3D culture systems. His independent project focusses on using in vitro simulations of catheters to study the influence of repeat revisions and of specific cytokines on the aggressiveness of gliosis.

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