PEOPLE

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Principal Investigator
Mehmet Kurt, PhD

(He/Him)

mkurt@stevens.edu | Phone: 217-819-6200 |       @kurtlab_stevens

Prof. Mehmet Kurt graduated from Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2010. In June 2014, he received a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After his graduation, he held a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University between 2014-2016.  His awards include the Lucile Packard Children Hospital Postdoctoral Fellowship (2016), Thrasher Research Foundation Early Career Award (2015), the Independent Teaching Fellowship (2014) and the Thomas Bernard Hall Prize for the Best Paper of the Year (2011). In Spring and Summer 2014, he was recognized in the “list of teachers ranked excellent by their students” at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Postdoctoral Researchers
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Aymeric Pionteck, PhD
(He/Him)
apiontec@gmail.com |       @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)
pieces8036@gmail.com |        @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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Graduate Students
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Efe Ozkaya

(He/Him)

eozkaya@stevens.edu |       @efe_ozkaya
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Efe graduated from Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey) with a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2016, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Kurtlab, Stevens Institute of Technology; advised by Dr. Kurt. His current research focuses on the applications of MR Elastography for bio-interface characterization. 

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Javid Abderezaei
(He/Him)
jabderez@stevens.edu |       @j_eldared
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Javid graduated from the University of Tehran (Tehran, Iran) with a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2017. During his Master's project, he worked on modeling the mechanical behavior of biological cells by developing a viscoelastic shell element. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in Kurtlab, Stevens Institute of Technology; advised by Prof. Kurt. His current research focuses on modal analysis of brain and work on axonal microtubules.

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Emily (Em) Triolo

(They/Them)

etriolo@stevens.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 are currently a second-year Ph.D. student at Stevens Institute of Technology in KurtLab, advised by Dr. Kurt. They are currently researching the use of ultra-high field MRI to determine the mechanical properties of the human brain.

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Fargol Rezayaraghi (R. Araghi)

(She/Her)

frezayar@stevens.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 first-year Ph.D. student in Kurtlab, advised by Prof. Kurt.

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Andrea is currently a Ph.D. student at KU Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) in Biomechanical Engineering.
His research focuses on the biomechanics of traumatic brain injury. He is joining KurtLab as a visiting research scholar to perform pendulum impact tests on helmeted dummy heads. The goal is to assess the efficacy of bicycle helmets in protecting from cerebral contusions by coupling experimental and computational data.

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Agamdeep S. Chopra

(He/Him)

achopra4@stevens.edu

Agamdeep graduated from Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana) with a Bachelor's Degree in Physics in May of 2020. As an undergrad, He loved taking classes in Astro Physics with a special interest in cosmological structures such as the Crab Nebula. He worked as a software developer for 2 years at Reindeer Shuttle INC, which is a startup transportation company in West Lafayette. Since starting his Master's degree in Business Intelligence & Analytics at Stevens, he has developed a great interest in the application of Machine Learning in Neuro Science. He plans to continue his education in a Ph.D. program that has a focus on developing biologically inspired neural nets.

Undergraduate Students
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Derek Petti

(He/Him)

dpetti@stevens.edu

Derek is currently an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering major and a Music Tech. minor. He is interested in designing MRI compatible systems for improving and further developing Magnetic Resonance Elastography. He wants to use his education to improve people’s lives: whether it be through similar work to what he is doing at Kurtlab or through entertainment and the arts.

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Colleen Shea
(She/Her)
cshea@stevens.edu

Colleen just finished her Sophomore year at Stevens. She is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She is working on research focused on head injuries in women's lacrosse to find ways to prevent concussions and head injuries in lacrosse. She is working under the supervision of Fargol.

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Brigit Kain
(She/Her)
bkain1@stevens.edu

Brigit is an undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Her current research focuses on analyzing various cycling and sports helmets to create a comprehensive Bicycle Helmet Review Article. She is working under the supervision of Javid

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Anika Damera
(She/Her)
adamera@stevens.edu

Anika is a freshman undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering. She is on the women's basketball team and will be working on research that focuses on vibrations of the brain after different types of impacts. She is working under the supervision of Fargol.

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Julia Zatyko
(She/Her)
jzatyko@stevens.edu

Julia is a first-year Biomedical Engineering major and is also part of the field hockey team at Stevens. Julia will be working on a project to characterize the biomechanical properties of the human brain. She will be working with Em and Efe.

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Devlin Stein
(He/Him)
dstein2@stevens.edu

Devlin is currently an undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology studying biomedical engineering. He is interested in studying the biomechanics of head impacts across various sports and working to make sports safer for players. Currently, he is studying the impacts that soccer heading has on the neurocognitive function of soccer players. He is also studying various helmets used across sports to determine their effectiveness. He is working under the supervision of Javid and Fargol.

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Vaughn Rice
(He/Him)
vrice@stevens.edu

Vaughn is currently an undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology, pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical engineering. He will be working with Kurtlab once again to develop MR-compatible devices for measuring the mechanical properties of tissue. He will be working with Em and Efe.

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Alexandra Monti
(She/Her)
akm168@scarletmail.rutgers.edu

Alexandra is an undergraduate at Rutgers University New Brunswick pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering with a concentration in biomechanics. Her current research involves understanding how different head kinematics in terms of amplitude and direction could affect measured brain deformations.

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Maria Manoussakis
(She/Her)
mmanouss@stevens.edu

Maria is a rising fourth year undergraduate student at Stevens pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She has completed previous research in different areas, Maritime Security and supply chain manufacturing, and looks forward to learning more about the Biomedical applications in the field of Mechanical Engineering. She will be assisting in researching the biomechanics of myelination in brain cells through Atomic Force Microscopy. She is working under the supervision of Ya-Chen.

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. She is currently a research engineer at Tozuda LLC. 

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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.

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 class of 2020 alumnus who raduated with a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering