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Group Members

PI: Leon M. Bellan

Graduate Students:

MaggieLabPhoto Margarita (Maggie) Orlova: Maggie received her B.S.E. (2020) and M.Eng. (2022) in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Princeton University and is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt. Her research is currently focused on 3D bioprinting. Prior to Vanderbilt, Maggie worked on a variety of projects in the field of proteomics, protein engineering and metabolic engineering. Outside of the lab, Maggie likes to exercise, sing and explore fun live music events in Nashville.
Reese Reese Popkin: Reese received his BS in Biomedical Science (May, 2023) from the University of New Hampshire in 2023 and is currently enrolled in Vanderbilt’s Biomedical Engineering masters program. His research is focused on polarized cerebral organoids where he is currently developing tissue clearing systems. Outside of the lab, Reese enjoys playing ice hockey, snowboarding (when he can), and spending time with his family and dog.
Mark Mark Mc Veigh: Mark received his B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering (May, 2022) from Northeastern University and is now pursuing his Ph.D. as part of the Interdisciplinary Materials Science program at Vanderbilt. His research is focused on developing a microfluidic platform to inexpensively synthesize radiotracers used in positron emission tomography (PET). Outside of the lab, Mark enjoys playing golf, supporting all of Boston’s sports teams, and attending concerts.
RomarioLobban Romario Lobban: Romario received his BS in Mechanical Engineering (May, 2020) from Washington University in St. Louis and is currently enrolled in Vanderbilt’s Mechanical Engineering doctoral program. His research involves the use of LCST behavior in polymers to enable various cooling triggered reactions. Outside the lab, Romario enjoys hiking, eating, making electronic music, and reading science fiction.
VDV_pic_Crater Lake Victoria Vest: Victoria received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering (May, 2014) from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and is now a doctoral student in the Mechanical Engineering program at Vanderbilt. Her research involves microfabrication techniques and mechanical stimulation to direct organization of biomimetic vasculature in engineered tissue. Outside of the lab, Victoria enjoys Olympic Weightlifting, hiking, and cycling.
John Rector: John received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering (May, 2016) from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently enrolled in Vanderbilt’s Mechanical Engineering doctoral program. His research combines thermo-responsive materials, 3D fabrication techniques and tissue engineering to develop multi-scale perfusable vasculature for biomimetic models. Beyond the lab, John enjoys tabletop RPGs, cooking with friends, and swing dancing.

Undergraduate Students:

IMG_4813 Kira Grossman: Kira is biomedical engineering student at Vanderbilt University. She is creating different protocols to create microcapillary channels that more closely resemble capillaries found in humans for tissue engineering systems with embedded cells to produce thick tissue constructs. Outside of the lab, Kira enjoys hiking, baking, and orienteering.
3746FB00-0D43-478C-A8EA-8EC7C1B09631 Michael Carroll: Michael is a mechanical engineering student at Vanderbilt university. She is working with thermoresponsive polymers and how they behave under different conditions for the formation of medical devices. Outside of lab, Michael enjoys reading, listening to music, and trying new coffee shops.
IMG_4813 David Guiracocha : David is a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student at Vanderbilt University. He is exploring integrated and off-chip mechanisms for designing and automating microfluidic devices and he employs novel techniques for microfluidic device fabrication. Outside of the lab, David enjoys playing soccer, working on car projects, and learning new languages.
IsabellaSS-2337_Original Isabella Holtz : Bella is a cognitive studies and medicine, health, and society student at Vanderbilt University. She is investigating microfabrication techniques to direct organization of biomimetic vasculature in engineered tissue. Outside of lab, Bella enjoys reading, embroidering, and golfing.


Openings: We are currently recruiting highly motivated graduate students and postdocs to work on projects related to microfluidic materials for biomedical and structural applications. Please contact us for more information.


Lab Alumni:

Name Bellan Lab Position Current Position
Dr. Todd Lagus Postdoctoral Researcher ExxonMobil
Dr. Xintong Wang Postdoctoral Researcher Engineer at Informa Investment Solutions
Matthew Richardson Undergraduate Researcher Epic
Quinlan Monk Undergraduate Researcher SpaceX
Dominic Ghilardi Undergraduate Researcher Lockheed Martin
Bradly Baer Masters Student Science Teacher at Metro Nashville Public Schools
Dr. Jung Bok Lee Postdoctoral Researcher Yonsei University – Department of Medical Engineering
Jason Wang Undergraduate Researcher Graduate Student at UIUC (Bioengineering)
Callie Weber Undergraduate Researcher Graduate Student at University of Maryland (Bioengineering)
Dr. Brian O’Grady PhD Student Postdoctoral Researcher in the Lippmann Lab at Vanderbilt
Dr. Xin Zhang PhD Student Amazon
Dr. Shannon Faley Postdoctoral Researcher Research Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt
Lucas McBride Undergraduate Researcher Northrop Grumman