PEOPLE

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Principal Investigator
Mehmet Kurt, PhD

(He/Him)

mkurt@uw.edu |       @KurtLabResearch

Mehmet Kurt (he/him) is the director of Kurtlab and an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Department of Mechanical Engineering. Mehmet received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey) and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University from 2014 to 2016. Prior to joining UW in 2022, he was an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology
Mehmet’s research is focused on biological and biomedical challenges, particularly in the areas of brain biomechanics, neuromechanics imaging, nonlinear systems, and smart biomedical devices. Some examples of his research projects include investigating the nonlinear dynamics of the human brain during head impacts, studying aneurysm stability through aneurysm wall motion imaging, and measuring brain tissue stiffness in vivo through ultra-high resolution MR Elastography in Alzheimer’s Disease.
His awards include the Lucile Packard Children Hospital Postdoctoral Fellowship, Thrasher Research Foundation Early Career Award, Provost’s Early Career Award for Research Excellence and the Thomas Bernard Hall Prize. His research and neuroimaging work has been recognized with prizes and coverage in the popular media, including an NSF Best Scientific Visualization (Vizzie) Award, being named in the 40 under 40 list in Turkey by Fortune Magazine, and an Annals of Biomedical Engineering Editor’s Choice Award. His research group is currently sponsored by multiple grants from NSF, NIH and DoD. Mehmet is active in a variety of initiatives to increase the participation and visibility of LGBTQ+ students in STEM, including through mentorship programs and outreach events.

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Postdoctoral Researchers
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Aymeric Pionteck, PhD
(He/Him)
apiontec@uw.edu |       @APionteck

Aymeric graduated from the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (France) with a Master's degree in Biomechanics, Biomedical and Biomaterials in 2016.  During his Ph.D at Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne (France), he focused on coupling 2D images with 3D mechanical models for aorta non-rigid registration and stent-graft deployment simulation during endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms. After his graduation in January 2020, he joined Kurtlab as a Postdoctoral fellow working on brain amplified MRI.

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Ya-Chen Chuang (Kristina), PhD
(She/Her)
ycchuang@uw.edu |        @YaChenChuang1
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Ya-Chen (Kristina) graduated from National Cheng Kung University (Taiwan) with a Bachelor's degree (2013) and a Master's degree (2015) in Chemical Engineering. She specialized in polymer physics during her Master's, and studied the rheological properties of hydrogel and its electrospinnability. During her Ph.D. at Stony Brook University, she focused on studying the synergistic effects of scaffold modulus and surface chemistry for cell mechanics and cytoskeleton organization, and the influences in stem cell differentiation and hard tissue formation. After her graduation in August 2020, she joined Kurtlab as a Postdoctoral fellow working on cellular and multiscale brain biomechanics.

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Javid Abderezaei
(He/Him)
javidab@uw.edu |       @j_eldared
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Javid received his PhD at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey in 2021. Javid’s research during his PhD was focused on developing new image processing techniques for the analysis of the biomechanics of the brain and cerebrovasculature. After joining Kurtlab as a postdoctoral scholar in 2022, he continued his research by developing novel neural networks for various image processing tasks such as image classification, segmentation, and registration for brain disorders such Chiari Malformation I, and Hydrocephalus.

Graduate Students
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Emily (Em) Triolo

(They/Them)

etriolo@uw.edu |       @em_triolo
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Em Triolo graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering in May of 2019. During their time at The College of New Jersey, they worked on developing and performing human trials of a robotic exoskeleton for the human hand to augment grip and pinch strength. They earned their Masters of Engineering, specializing in Medical Device Engineering, from Stevens Institute of Technology while a member of KurtLab. They are now a Ph.D. candidate at The University of Washington advised by Dr. Kurt. They are currently researching the use of ultra-high field MRI to determine the mechanical properties of the human brain, volunteering as a student researcher with BMEII at Mount Sinai Hospital. Read more about their projects at their website emily.thetriolos.com

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Fargol Rezayaraghi (R. Araghi)

(She/Her)

fargor@uw.edu |       @AraghiFargol
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Fargol graduated from the Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT, Tehran, Iran) with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2014. In her bachelor’s project, she started to study the mechanical behavior of the brain tissue. During her Master’s in Biomedical Engineering at AUT, she worked on modeling the anisotropic behavior of brain tissue. She also has three years of experience working in the field of orthopedic biomechanics at orthopedic clinics. She is now a Ph.D. student in Kurtlab, advised by Prof. Kurt.

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Agamdeep S. Chopra

(He/Him)

achopra4@uw.edu

Agamdeep earned his Bachelor's Degree(2020) in Physics from Purdue University and a Master's Degree(2022) in Machine Learning from Stevens Institute of Technology, focusing on applications of computer vision-based deep neural networks for biomedical imaging. He is now a Ph.D. student at The University of Washington, advised by Dr. Kurt.

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Caitlin Neher

(She/Her)

neherc@uw.edu

Caitlin graduated from the University of Washington (Seattle) with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2022, with a specialization in biomechanics. In her capstone project, she worked with clinical partners and patients at Swedish Medical Center. She helped design and prototype a device that allows patients with neurological diseases, such as ALS, to independently move their blankets up and down with limited muscle function. Through this project, she competed in the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge and the Dempsey Startup competition at UW. She also worked on effort characterization in transtibial prosthetic users and dynamic modeling of running shoe midsole materials. Caitlin is now a PhD student in Kurtlab, advised by Dr. Kurt.

KurtLab Alumni: Research Associates
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Farryl Groder, M.S.
fgroder@stevens.edu

Farryl is a class 2018 alumnus who graduated with a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's and went on to pursue a Master's also in Mechanical Engineering. They were recently hired by Lockheed Martin as a reliability and maintainability engineer. 

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Gloria Fabris, Ph.D.
gfabris@stevens.edu |       @FabGling

After graduating from the University of Bonn (Germany) in Nov. 2016, she joined Kurtlab as a Postdoctoral fellow working on cellular and multiscale brain biomechanics. She is now the associate medical director at Healthcare Consultancy Group.

John Martinez, M.S.
jmarti1@stevens.edu

John is a class 2018 Stevens alumnus who graduated with a Biomedical Engineering Bachelor's. He is currently a business analyst at Weber Shandwick.

Michael Fanton, Ph.D. (co-advised)
mfanton@stanford.edu

Michael is a class of 2020 alumnus of Camarillo Lab, graduating with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering.

Thibaut Detroux, Ph.D.
tdetroux@stevens.edu

After his graduation, Thibaut held a FNRS Postdoctoral position between 2016 and 2019, including research stays at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Duke University. In October 2019, he joined Kurtlab as a Postdoctoral fellow working on nonlinear modal analysis of the brain.

Zeynep M. Suar, M.S.
zsuar@stevens.edu

Zeynep is a class 2019 alumnus who graduated with a Master's in Mechanical Engineering. 

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Daniel Nasti
dnasti@stevens.edu
Danny is a class of 2020 alumnus who graduated with a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering
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Efe Ozkaya, Ph.D.
Efe.Ozkaya@mountsinai.org |       @efe_ozkaya

Efe graduated from KurtLab at Stevens Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2021. He is now a post-doctoral fellow at BMEII at Mount Sinai Hospital 

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Vaughn Rice
vrice@stevens.edu

Vaughn is currently an undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology, pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical engineering.

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Derek Petti
dpetti@stevens.edu

Derek is currently a graduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology.

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Devlin Stein
dstein2@stevens.edu

Devlin is currently an undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology studying biomedical engineering. 

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Andrea earned his Ph.D. student at KU Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) in Biomechanical Engineering.
His research focuses on the biomechanics of traumatic brain injury. He joined KurtLab as a visiting research scholar to perform pendulum impact tests on helmeted dummy heads.