Graduate Students

Matthew Foster

Research Interests

Computational and Mathematical Modelling
Clonal Hematopoiesis
Single Cell Analysis



BEng (Hons) Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Queensland, 2017


Matthew completed his undergraduate studies (BEng) in 2017 at the University of Queensland, School of Chemical Engineering. In parallel to his studies, he held a part-time research position at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, focused upon electrochemical platforms for breast cancer detection from patient samples under Prof. Matt Trau. Matthew was awarded a scholarship to study the final year of his undergraduate at Imperial College London, where he shifted focus of his studies towards mathematical modelling, completing a thesis for ‘Mathematical Modelling of Heterogeneity within Acute Myeloid Leukemia’ in the Biological Systems Engineering Laboratory (BSEL) with Prof.Mantalaris and Dr.Panoskaltsis.


In 2018, Matthew returned to London to work as a research assistant in the BSEL where he worked upon a predictive computational model for therapy optimisation in AML patient cohorts. During this time, Matthew also become involved within the Imperial College start-up incubator and at wider scientific start-up scene in London at large, with specific interest upon cancer detection and treatment technologies. In late 2018, Matthew relocated with the BSEL group to Atlanta, Georgia studying a PhD in Biomedical Engineering in the joint Georgia Tech/Emory University and Peking University program. His PhD research focuses upon novel experimental and computational models for interrogating clonal hematopoiesis and microenvironmental interactions to shed light upon mechanisms of pathogenesis in a range of hematological malignancies.

Akaash Kumar

Research Interests

Tissue Engineering
Bioreactor Design and Development
Cell Therapy Manufacturing/ Bioprocessing



BEng (Hons) Biochemical Engineering, University College London, 2017

MSc (Hons) Advanced Chemical Engineering with Biotechnology, Imperial College London, 2018

Akaash graduated with a BEng in Biochemical Engineering from the Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, University College London (UCL). While there, he worked on bacterial and mammalian cell bioprocesses, carried out economic assessments on tissue engineered constructs, and completed a thesis in the development of a bioprocess/plant design for the production of a generic monoclonal antibody. He also undertook a Minor in Regenerative Medicine.


After attaining his Bachelors, he went on to study an MSc at Imperial College London in Advanced Chemical Engineering with Biotechnology. His research involved the development of a three dimensional bioprocess for bone tissue engineering using a novel bioreactor. Now based in Atlanta, Akaash has moved with the Biological Systems Engineering Lab from Imperial College London and is conducting his PhD in Biomedical Engineering in the joint department between Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. His research includes novel bioreactor/bioprocess development for tissue engineering/cell therapy manufacturing applications.

Esther Chen

Research Interests

Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Reaction Engineering
Continuous Manufacturing



BSc Chemical Engineering, ETH Zurich, 2017

MSc Chemical and Bioengineering, ETH Zurich, 2019



Esther received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from ETH Zurich, in Switzerland. During her undergraduate studies she worked in the field of green chemistry. Her semester project focused on kinetic studies of ring-opening polymerization of polyethylene furanoate (PEF) using bio-compatible initiators. Before graduating, she also completed a 6-month internship in API manufacturing at Janssen-Cilag (Johnson&Johnson).


Continuing with her Master’s in Chemical and Bioengineering at ETH, Esther deepened her knowledge on process design and simulation. She completed her thesis in the group of Prof. Klavs Jensen at MIT (Cambridge, MA) on the continuous end-to-end synthesis of ciprofloxacin hydrochloride. Once back in Zurich, she worked in the Macromolecular Engineering Lab led by Prof. Mark Tibbitt on the preparation of photodegradable hydrogels.


To join the Biological Systems Engineering Lab, she moved to Atlanta, GA where she will pursue her PhD in the joint Biomedical Engineering department of Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. Her research focuses on the development of a 3D model of leukaemia.


Paulino Jarquin

Research Interests

Tissue Engineering
Regenerative Medicine



BSc Biomedical Engineering, Mississippi State University, 2019



Paulino “PJ” Jarquin received his Bachelors of Science from Mississippi State University’s department in Agriculture – ARS division studying efficient farming techniques. After completion of his undergraduate studies, he went on to work for Alcon as a Manufacturing Science & Technology Engineering intern where he helped to increase production of intraocular lenses. During his last two years in his undergraduate studies, PJ researched novel therapies for mitigating osteoarthritis under the guidance of Prof. Steve Elder. This research tenure led him to present his work at local and national conferences, winning two presentation awards for his research, and the honor of Undergraduate Researcher of the Year for MSU’s College of Engineering in 2019.


In 2019, PJ moved to Atlanta, GA to start his PhD in Biomedical Engineering in a joint program between The Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. PJ was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and is distinguished as an Emory University Centennial Scholar. His PhD research focuses on the study of 3D in vitro models of erythopoiesis.


Elana Cooper

Research Interests

Cell Therapy Manufacturing and Bioprocessing
Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine



BSE Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, 2010

MS Biomedical Engineering, City College of New York, 2012


Elana gained valuable experience in orthopedic tissue engineering and regenerative medicine throughout her 4 years of undergraduate research at the University of Pennsylvania. During her masters, at the City College of New York, she received a NSF Bridge to Doctorate Fellowship that afforded her clinical collaborations at the Hospital of Special Surgery and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. This work, researching biomechanical aspects of cartilage degradation and tissue repair strategies, garnered her growing interest in osteoarthritis (OA).


Following an internship at Corning Inc. in MSC growth surface development, Elana received a GEM PhD Fellowship as a Corporate Product and Process Development Fellow to engage in doctoral research with commercialization potential. While at Georgia Tech she has evaluated OA along cell-tissue, tissue-joint, and joint-whole body levels through ex-vivo microcomputed tomography (uCT) and in vivo 3D joint kinematics via biplanar x-ray radiography. She is now expanding into the molecular realm within the Biomedical Systems Engineering Lab (BSEL) to evaluate potential OA cellular therapeutics for her PhD.


Elana currently serves on the Early Stage Professionals Committee for the International Society of Cell and Gene Therapy (ISCT) where she is gaining more exposure to research, regulatory, and commercial aspects of cell therapy development. At BSEL, she has sights on applying these principles to her translational research. Her PhD research explores iMSC-derived, 3D in vitro models of OA, identifying metabolic targets that attenuate local inflammation and enhance joint repair.


Andrew Mingee

Research Interests

Model-Based Biomanufacturing and Optimization
Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems and Experimental Validation



BS Biomedical Engineering, University of Oklahoma, 2019



Andrew Mingee received his Bachelor of Science at the University of Oklahoma, where he graduated with special distinction as part of the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering’s inaugural class. During the last two years of his studies, he volunteered in a cancer research lab under the guidance of Dr. Roger Harrison, where he assisted graduate students in their work on the production of recombinant proteins and applied them in enzyme pro-drug therapies for treating solid tumors. After his third year, he interned in the Quality Systems and Compliance department at Cytovance Biologics, a biopharmaceutical manufacturing company in Oklahoma City.

After deciding to continue his education, Andrew came to Georgia Tech to pursue his thesis-based Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering. With the intention of expanding his repertoire of laboratory and analytical skills for the end goal of landing an R&D job in industry work, he found his home in BSEL. His research explores using predictive modeling to enhance biomanufacturing by optimizing cellular media design.