Chow Lab @ Penn Bioengineering


Principal Investigator

Brian Y. Chow, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, where his laboratory invents optical technologies to manipulate and monitor cellular physiology, and applies them to understanding how cells make decisions in response to external cues. Prior to Penn, he was at Third Rock Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm, and served on the founding management team of SAGE Therapeutics, a neurotherapeutics company. He has also held engineering roles at IBM. Brian received his B.S. in Chemistry from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from the MIT Media Laboratory, where he also conducted his postdoctoral training, jointly with the Department of Biological Engineering and McGovern Institute for Brain Sciences. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award.

Post-graduates (Post-docs, Graduate Students, and Technical Staff)

Erin Berlew
Ph.D. candidate (defense completed), Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania
B.S. Chemistry, Haverford College
Gabrielle Ho
Ph.D. candidate, Bioengineering
B.A. Molecular and Cellular Biology, UC Berkeley
Ivan Kuznetsov, Ph.D.
M.D. Candidate (MSTP)
Ph.D. Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania B.S. Biomedical Engineering, and Applied Mathematics & Statistics
Johns Hopkins University
Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow; NIH F30 Fellow
Kevin Smida
M.S. Candidate, Bioengineering
B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Molly Sheehan, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania
B.S. Chemistry, Haverford College


Keisuke Yamada
Electrical Engineering and Bioscience Candidate, Waseda University
School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania


(Post-lab position; Current position if known)

  • PhDs and Post-docs
  • Spencer Glantz, PhD 2012-2017 (Post-doc at Jackson Laboratories; Head of Molecular Biology at 4Catalyzer and Head of Research and Development / Co-Founder at Detect ) 
  • Pimkhuan Hannanta-Anan, PhD 2012-2018 (Assistant Professor at KMUTT) 
  • Ivan Kuznetsov, PhD 2018-2021 (M.D. Candidate (MSTP) at University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine) 
  • Michael Magaraci, PhD 2014-2021 (Research Scientist at Protein Evolution) 
  • Amy Chuong, Post-doc 2017-2018 (Post-doc, Janelia Farms) 
  • Molly Sheehan, Post-doc 2015-2018

  • Undergraduates, Masters, and Staff
  • Chandler Ochs, Visiting Undergraduate (McGill) 2019 ( )
  • Bohdana Discher, Visiting Faculty 2015 ( )
  • Christian Fagre, Master’s student 2017 ( )
  • Chris Herbst, Lab Technician, 2019 (Ph.D. candidate, Thomas Jefferson)
  • Ranganath Parthsarathy, Research Scientist 2013-15 ( )
  • Rajiv Patel-O’Connor, Undergraduate 2016 ( )
  • Nikita Rao, Undergraduate 2014-16 ( )
  • Eleanor Rand, Lab Technician and Undergraduate, 2017-19 (Ph.D. candidate, Harvard)
  • Jane Shmushkis, Undergraduate 2014-17 ( )
  • Anup Singh (Vagelos Scholar), Undergraduate 2013 ( )
  • Shriram Sundararaman (Rachleff Scholar), Undergraduate 2013-15 (M.D. Candidate, UVA)
  • Karol Szymula, Undergraduate 2015-18 (Researcher, Penn BE)
  • Avin Veerakumar, Lab Technician, 2013-14 (MD & Ph.D. candidate, Stanford)
  • iGEM 2013 (Daniel Cabrera, Mahammad Charawi, Danielle Fields, Bradley Kaptur, Joshua Tycko)
  • iGEM 2014 (Nikita Rao, Jane Shmushkis, Amey Vrudhula, Renyao Wei)
  • iGEM 2015 (Nikita Rao, Hannah Rears, Jane Shmushkis, Shriram Sundararaman, Karol Szymula)
  • iGEM 2017 (Andrew Clark, Mike Patterson, Karol Szymula)
  • iGEM 2019 (John Bellwoar, Griffin Murphy, Katherine Simms, Danielle Tsourgarakis, Keisuke Yamada)