Graduate Students


Paulino Jarquin

Research Interests

Tissue Engineering
Regenerative Medicine



BSc Biomedical Engineering, Mississippi State University, 2019



Paulino “PJ” Jarquin received his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Mississippi State University’s department in Agricultural and Biological Engineering in the spring of 2019. He first started his research career working for The United States Department of Agriculture – ARS (USDA- ARS) division developing an integrated network of sensors for sustainable and optimal crop growth. After this, he went on to interning for Alcon as a Manufacturing Science & Technology Engineer where he assisted in optimizing manufacturing for 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 then being awarded 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 the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and is distinguished as an Emory University Centennial Scholar. As a BSEL lab member, he is studying novel ways to recapitulate the human bone marrow microenvironment to study erythropoiesis. He hopes these advances in erythropoiesis will allow for the development of a bioreactor to produce functional red blood cells.


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.


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.