Graduate Students

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.


Alejandro De Janon Gutierrez

Research Interests

Cell Therapy Manufacturing
Cancer Biology



BS Chemical Engineering, National Technological University (Argentina), 2015
Master in Biotechnology, Texas A&M, 2020



Alejandro received his degree of chemical engineer at the National Technological University  (UTN), Buenos Aires, Argentina. During his final year of study and after obtaining his degree, he worked in process risk management consulting for oil, chemical, food and pharmaceutical companies. After being awarded with a Fulbright Scholarship, Alejandro continued his studies and obtained his Master in Biotechnology at Texas A&M. During his masters he worked on bioprocessing and downstream purification of proteins. His research on this field led him to an internship at Merck & Co. where he gained experience on monoclonal antibodies manufacturing.


After completing his masters, Alejandro came to Georgia Tech to pursue his PhD in Bioengineering. His research is focused on developing a 3D in vitro leukemia model, analyzing cancer metabolism to culture leukemic cells.