People

Irfan Ahmad, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Irfan Ahmad, Ph.D.

Irfan Ahmad serves as the executive director of the Health Maker Lab and is assistant dean for research for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He also is the executive director for interdisciplinary initiatives for the Grainger College of Engineering. His research interests involve bionanotechnology, nanomedicine, sensors, and precision agriculture. Irfan recently helped found Avicenna Community Health Center, a social entrepreneurial endeavor, providing high-quality, culturally-competent, integrated preventive and curative healthcare services to the uninsured residents.

Agricultural & Biological Engineering Directory
David Atkins, Art and Design Lab, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

David Atkins, Ph.D.

David Atkins is the director of art and design facilities.

School of Art + Design Profile
Rashid Bashir, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Rashid Bashir, Ph.D.

Rashid Bashir is dean of The Grainger College of Engineering, the Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering and professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research group is interested in developing new technologies for precision and personalized medicine, and 3D bio-fabrication of cellular systems.

Illinois Experts Profile
Lisa Bievenue, CU Community Fab Lab, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Lisa Bievenue

Lisa Bievenue is the director of Informatics Programs, where she manages projects and coordinates proposals for interdisciplinary research and instructional programs involving informatics. Her education research efforts have been directed toward project evaluation of education and outreach projects in computer and computational science. She is also involved in educational research on making and design activities in middle school classrooms.

Informatics Staff Directory
Paul Braun, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Paul Braun, Ph.D.

Paul Braun is the director of the Materials Research Laboratory and professor of Materials Science and Engineering. His research interests are energy storage, polymers, self-assembly, electronic materials and photonics. His lab, The Braun Group, focuses on new functional materials for energy storage and solar energy harvesting.

Illinois Experts Profile
Martin Burke, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Martin Burke, MD, Ph.D.

Martin Burke is a chemistry professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the associate dean for research at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. His research focuses on the synthesis and study of small-molecule natural products that perform protein-like functions.

Illinois Experts Profile
Alex Cabada, IDEA Lab, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Elisandro Cabada

Elisandro Cabada is an Assistant Professor and the Medical and Bioengineering Librarian in the Grainger Engineering Library where he serves the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. As faculty in the Innovation, Discovery, DEsign, and DAta  (IDEA) Lab, he provides research, instruction, and support for emerging technologies, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Illinois Experts Profile
Neal Cohen, Health Maker Lab, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Neal Cohen

Neal J. Cohen is a professor in the Department of Psychology, the Neuroscience Program, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his PhD in Neuroscience from University of California San Diego. He serves as founding director of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute.

Illinois Experts Profile
Brian Cunningham, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Brian Cunningham, Ph.D.

Brian Cunningham has authored or co-authored 173 peer-reviewed journal papers, 86 issued US patents, 137 conference talks, and has delivered 130 invited lectures. His work has won numerous awards, and he was named the Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering. His research interests include biophotonics, lab-on-a-chip, and applications in health diagnostics.

Illinois Experts Profile
Elif Ertekin, Health Maker Lab, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Elif Ertekin

Elif Ertekin is the current director and principal investigator for the Nanomanufacturing Node. She is engaged in research in computational materials design, mechanical properties at the nanoscale, electronic properties of materials for energy storage and conversion, nanoscale phase transitions, properties of interfaces between dissimilar materials, and defect-property relationships for materials.

Mechanical Science and Engineering Profile (MechSE)
Bruce Fouke, Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Bruce Fouke, Ph.D.

Bruce Fouke is a professor of geology, and serves on multiple science panels at NSF, DOE and NASA. Results from his scientific research have been reported on in National Geographic, the New York Times, and National Public Radio.

Illinois Experts Profile
Molly Goldstein, Product Design Lab, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Molly Goldstein, Ph.D.

Molly Goldstein serves as the director of the Product Design Lab. While obtaining her Ph.D., Molly was awarded the College of Engineering Outstanding Research Award and was a Bilsland Fellow. Her research focuses on student designer trade-off decisions through the study of their design actions and thinking.

Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering (ISE) Profile
Lisa Goodpaster, Health Maker Lab, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Lisa Goodpaster MHA, MSTD

Lisa Goodpaster is the Associate Director for Project Management at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. She is also a member of the Health Maker Lab Executive Team. Lisa has worked in healthcare for over 29 years, 27 of those years with Carle Foundation Hospital before coming to Carle Illinois. Her background and education includes, but is not limited to, Community Health, Health Administration, and Training and Development.

Elizabeth Hsiao Wecksler, Rapid Prototyping and Innovation Lab, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Hsiao Wecksler is a professor of mechanical science & engineering at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She directs the Human Dynamics and Controls Laboratory (HDCL) in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. She was awarded the Distinguished Engineering Educator Awardee – Society of Women Engineers.

Illinois Experts Profile
Mark Johnson, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Mark Johnson, MD

Mark Johnson is a clinical instructor for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He is a physician with The Carle Foundation.

Illinois Experts Profile
Kesh Kesavades, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Kesh Kesavadas, Ph.D.

Kesh Kesavadas works at the forefront of virtual reality and its application to medicine. He developed the world’s first stand-alone virtual reality robotic surgical simulator (RoSS) and also co-founded two start-up companies. He serves as the director of Healthcare Engineering Systems Center.

Illinois Experts Profile
King Li, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

King Li, MD, MBA

King Li, M.D., MBA, is the inaugural dean and chief academic officer of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He completed his medical training and radiology residency at the University of Toronto and a MRI Fellowship at the University of Michigan. He is a clinician, researcher, educator, and inventor in molecular imaging and radiology. His experience includes leadership, research, clinical, educational and entrepreneurial roles at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and Stanford University, as well as Wake Forest and Houston Methodist Hospital. He has authored or co-authored over 140 journal articles and also holds 18 patents, with another six pending.

Illinois Experts Profile
Xiuling Li, Health Maker Lab, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Xiuling Li, Ph.D.

Xiuling Li is interim director for the Holonyak Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory.  Her research interests involve nanowires, nanoelectronics, and nanophotonics.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Profile (ECE)
Ruby Mendenhall, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Ruby Mendenhall, Ph.D.

Ruby Mendenhall serves as the assistant dean for diversity and democratization of health innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. Her research examines how living in racially segregated neighborhoods with high levels of violence affects black mothers’ mental and physical health.

Illinois Experts Profile
Alan Mette, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Alan Mette

Alan Mette is the director of the School of Art + Design. Mette serves as the chair of the Foundations Program and Studio Arts Division as well as co-chair of the Metals Program. While serving as interim associate dean of academic affairs, he’s also an active member in several committees.

School of Art + Design Profile
Antonios Michalos, Health Care Engineering Systems Center, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Antonios Michalos, MD

Antonios Michalos is a clinical assistant professor of medicine. He is the former director of medical research at ISS Inc., a world leader in biomedical instrumentation research and development and in translation and commercialization of biomedical optical technologies.

Illinois Physics Directory
Lowell Miller, Architecture Fabrication Studio, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Lowell Miller

Lowell Miller is the fabrication supervisor for the Illinois School of Architecture (ISoA) Fabrication Shops. Lowell oversees operations in the ISoA woodshop, laser cutter lab, digital fabrication shop and print/3D print lab. He also developed the Root to Roof program, which minimizes urban wood and tree waste by turning that material into usable lumber for design build projects.

Illinois Campus Directory
William Mischo, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

William Mischo

William Mischo is head of the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center and the Berthold Family Professor in Information Access and Discovery at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has received numerous awards and published over 70 article and conference papers. He also served as acting dean and university librarian at Illinois from February 2017 to January 2018.

Illinois Experts Profile
Ralf Moller, Rapid Prototyping and Innovation Lab, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Ralf Moller

Ralf Moller is Director of Technical Services at the Rapid Prototyping Lab at the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering.

MechSE Illinois Profile
Jeffrey Moore, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Jeffrey Moore, Ph.D.

Jeffrey Moore serves as the director of Beckman Institute. He has published over 300 articles in journals such as Macromolecules, the Journal of Chemical Education, Advanced Materials and the Journal of Materials Chemistry. He has received awards for both teaching and research, and was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.

Illinois Experts Profile
Michael Oelze, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Michael Oelze, Ph.D.

Michael Oelze is a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He is a part of a company, Tissue Differentiation Intelligence, LLC, that develops small probes that can automatically detect nerve and other structures using ultrasound. His research interests include monitoring therapy response and many others.

Illinois Experts Profile
Jeffery Poss, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Jeffery Poss

Jeffery S. Poss is a professor in the school of Architecture. He currently serving as interim director of the school. His studio teachings focus on the development of concept, materials, and detail into architectural design. His firm has designed and completed numerous award-winning proposals.

Illinois Experts Profile
Aric Rindfleisch, Illinois Maker Lab, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Aric Rindfleisch, Ph.D.

Aric Rindfleisch is a John M. Jones Professor of Marketing and Executive Director of the Illinois MakerLab. His 3D printing-focused research has been published in several leading academic journals and has won numerous awards. Aric also teaches at all levels and was named one of the Best 300 Professors in America by Princeton Review.

Illinois Experts Profile
Gene Robinson, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Gene Robinson, Ph.D.

Gene Robinson pioneered the application of genomics to the study of social behavior, led the effort to sequence the honeybee genome, and authored or co-authored over 300 publications. He has many honors and awards, and has trained 29 postdoctoral associates and 23 doctoral students, over half with faculty positions in academia.

Illinois Experts Profile
Vishal Sachdev, Illinois Maker Lab, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Vishal Sachdev, Ph.D.

Vishal Sachdev is the director and co-founder of the Illinois MakerLab. He has taught IT strategy, analytics, visualization, artificial intelligence in business, digital marketing, digital fabrication, design thinking, fintech, system development, data modeling and SQL. He is researching the role of technology in enabling new approaches to teaching and learning.

Illinois Experts Profile
Mauro Sardela, BioMaker Lab, University of Illinois, Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Mauro Sardela, Ph.D.

Mauro Sardela serves as the director of research facilities for the Materials Research Lab. His research experience covers several fields of materials fabrication and characterization. He’s been involved in the growth and characterization of various thin film and multilayer systems including epitaxial heterostructures and metals by various growth techniques.

Materials Research Lab Profile
Janet Sinn Hanlon, Design Group at Vet Med, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Janet Sinn-Hanlon

Janet Sinn-Hanlon is a medical illustrator with the DesignGroup@VetMed. She specializes in creating 3D models from scientific data, such as CT and MRI, for 3D prints, implant and prosthetic prototypes, and interactive 3D educational tools in AR and VR. She also does 2D and 3D illustrations and animations for presentations and publications.

VetMed Directory
Casey Smith, Electronic Design Lab, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Casey Smith

Casey Smith is the senior instructional lab coordinator in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He manages 20 instructional labs spanning the ECE department curriculum including the ECE Open Lab, a creative makerspace for students across campus. Prior to joining the department in 2014 he was the Senior Design Engineer at Opal Kelly Inc. and a Research Engineer at the University of Chicago Engineering Center.

Electrical & Computer Engineering Profile
Rachel Switzky, Siebel Center for Art + Design, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Rachel Switzky

Rachel Switzky is the Director of the Siebel Center for Design. Prior to her current appointment, she has been a global design leader working with Fortune 100 companies over the past 20 years. Most recently, she served as an Executive Director at IDEO, the company who pioneered the concept of design thinking. For the last decade in this role, she helped teams imagine futures and then put them into action, focusing on digital design, emergent technologies and impact at-scale.

Siebel Center for Design Profile
Jed Taylor, Health Maker Lab, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jed Taylor

Jed Taylor is the Executive Director of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering’s Technology Entrepreneur Center and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University’s EnterpriseWorks incubator.  He is responsible for directing the Illinois Innovation Corps programs and other entrepreneurship programs run out of the TEC.

Technology Entrepreneur Center
Huimin Zhao, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Huimin Zhao, Ph.D.

Huimin Zhao is a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. He has won numerous research and teaching awards, authored and co-authored over 290 research articles and over 20 issued and pending patent applications. His primary research interests are in the development and applications of synthetic biology tools to address society’s most daunting challenges in health.

Illinois Experts Profile

Judges

Stephen Boppart, Health Maker Lab, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Stephen Boppart

Stephen Boppart is the Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His Biophotonics Imaging Laboratory and Center for Optical Molecular Imaging are focused on developing novel optical biomedical diagnostic and imaging technologies and translating these into clinical applications. Prof. Boppart received his Ph.D. in Medical and Electrical Engineering from MIT, his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and specialty training in Internal Medicine. He has published over 400 invited and contributed publications and over 50 patents related to optical biomedical imaging technology. He has co-founded four start-up companies, is a Fellow of AAAS, IEEE, OSA, SPIE, AIMBE, and BMES, and was recently elected to the National Academy of Inventors. Prof. Boppart has been a strong advocate for the integration of engineering and medicine to advance human health and our healthcare systems, and has been involved in visioning, establishing, and developing our engineering-based Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He currently serves as the Executive Associate Dean and Chief Diversity Officer, and is dedicated to integrating innovation, technology, and engineering into the medical curriculum to educate and train the next generation of physician-innovators.

Experts Profile
Mukund S Chorghade

Mukund S. Chorghade

Dr. Mukund Chorghade is Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer, THINQ Pharma / MVRC Research and Ayurvidya Healthcare Innovations. He is the CSO, Chicago Discovery Solutions and APINOVO. He holds / has had Adjunct Research Professor / Visiting Fellow / Visiting Scientist appointments at Caltech, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Northwestern, Princeton, Rutgers, Univ. of Chicago (USA), University of British Columbia (Canada), Cambridge, Strathclyde, (UK), College de France, Universite Louis Pasteur (France), ICT, CSIR, KHRC (India), and others. He provides synthetic chemistry and pharmaceutical development expertise to academic laboratories, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies. His research interests are in drug discovery and development process chemistry derived medicinal chemistry, traditional medicine derived new chemical entities. His discovery of sterically protected and electronically activated metalloporphyrin catalysts called ‘chemosynthetic livers’ finds utility in drug metabolism, valorization of biomass and environmental remediation. He is also qualified as an expert in patent trials.
He earned his B. Sc. and M. Sc. degrees from the University of Poona, and a Ph. D. in organic chemistry from Georgetown University. He completed postdoctoral appointments at the University of Virginia and Harvard University, and directed research groups at Dow Chemicals, Abbott Laboratories, CytoMed and Genzyme. He has been a recipient of three ‘Scientist of the Year’ Awards and is on the Scientific Advisory Board of several corporations / foundations. He has been honored by election as a Fellow of the Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana Academies of Sciences.  He has been a featured speaker in several national and international symposia. He is a Certified CGLP / cGMP professional.
He was privileged to become an American Chemical Society member in 1982, was Section Chair of Brazoria (1990), Northeastern Section (2007) and Princeton (2019), and serves on the Board of Directors of Princeton He is an active participant in ACS Career Services / Professional Development / Entrepreneurship and the Small Chemicals Businesses Division.  He was the Secretary of the Division on Chemistry and Human Health of IUPAC and served on the Commissions on Biotechnology, Medicinal Chemistry, and the US National Committee for PAC.  He was the Chair of the RSC Committee on Process Chemistry and Technology (2018-20).

Paul L. Epner

Paul L. Epner, MBA, MEd is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM). He is Chair of the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis, a collaborative of more than 60 professional societies, health systems, patient organizations, and organizations focused on improving quality. He is a member of the National Steering Committee for Patient Safety, a joint initiative of AHRQ and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Paul is a Past President of the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA). He was recently a member of the CDC’s ‘Clinical Laboratory Integration into Healthcare Collaborative’ and a consultant to their Laboratory Medicine Best Practices program (an evidence-based practice initiative). Paul is an Associate Editor for the peer-reviewed journal, DIAGNOSIS.

Previously, he spent 31 years in the Diagnostics Division of Abbott Laboratories in a variety of leadership positions in the US, China, and Japan. Paul also serves on the Board of Directors of XIP Diagnostics, an early-stage start-up and has invested in and provided advice to other early stage companies.

John Flygare

John has over 25 years of experience in the biotech industry in South San Francisco, California. He spent 5 years at Tularik prior to its acquisition by Amgen and 17 years at Genentech before moving to Merck in 2016 at the inception of their SSF presence. John is an accomplished leader of project teams with responsibilities for chemistry, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and biology for the program. These projects include antibody-drug conjugates, neurodegeneration, and multiple targets in apoptosis for the treatment of cancer including Bcl- 2 family proteins (Bcl-2, BclxL, and Mcl-1) and Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) proteins. Seven compounds from these programs have entered into clinical development, three of which are currently in human clinical trials, and one is approved (Venclexta, 2016). John has designed and taught 39 organic and medicinal chemistry courses at Stanford University with a combined total enrollment of > 5,000 students. He is an author or co-inventor of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and issued patents.

Ernest Recarlos Harvey

Ernest Recarlos Harvey

Ernest Recarlos Harvey was born in Urbana Illinois. He has been an aspiring barber for 33 years starting at the age of 13. Ernest has been in the barbering industry, owner/operator for 18 years. His education includes: Concept College of Cosmetology, Peoria Barber College, Lakeland Community College, National Baptist Christian Education, and Bloomington Barber College. He is President of Usher Ministry and a Life Coach in Boyz2men Youth Mentoring Program.

In the Champaign-Urbana Community, Ernest is working on a project that will provide the community a positive, professional atmosphere for barber training, career development, client servicing, and mentoring ,to better provide another alternative for at risk youth, and those who’ve loss jobs due to the Covid 19. Ernest wants to create a safe space of peace and tranquillity, helping foster in Health wellness, providing a service called ‘Therapy.’ ‘Therapy’ would be a therapeutic service for facials, with added benefits from the ingredients of the facial mask and oils.

Pamela_Jolly

Pamela Jolly

Dr. Pamela C.V. Jolly is the Founder and CEO of Torch Enterprises Inc, a strategic investment firm of 17 years committed to minority business growth and development. Torch Enterprises has assisted over 1000 entrepreneurs, national non-profits, trade organizations, the Federal Government, foundations, and financial institutions.
Her focus is to pursue business opportunities that pass the torch from one generation to the next, building wealth through ownership and equity. As a FEMA contractor, Dr. Jolly co-authored the strategic assessment to rebuild the Greater New Orleans area post-Hurricane Katrina. She underwrote over $200 Million in support of the rebuilding efforts in Mississippi during that time. In 2018, Dr. Jolly launched the Legacy Wealth Initiative (LWI), comprised of various cohorts of Men, Women, Business Owners, Pastors, and Young Professionals. The initiative began with The Black Male Equity Initiative in Detroit, the Omaha Legacy Wealth Initiative in Omaha, Nebraska, and the Women and Wealth Initiative in Philadelphia. In 2014 Dr. Jolly became a best-selling author with the NarrowRoad: A Guide to Legacy Wealth. In 2020 she released the NarrowRoad: The Journey to Wealth Your Way, furthering her culturally relevant approach to wealth as a legacy in the black community.

JonesHMT

Lynn Jones

Lynn B. Hassan Jones MD is a diagnostic radiologist physician. She spent 24 years in private practice in the state of Minnesota and is a member of multiple professional organizations including the American College of Radiology/ACR, Radiologic Society of North America/RSNA, the Illinois State Medical Society/ISMS, and Champaign County Medical Society/CCMS. She has recently served on the Board of Directors of Minnesota Community Measurements/MNCM and currently serves on the Board of Avicenna Community Health Center, a free clinic in Urbana-Champaign serving the under and uninsured local residents.

King Li, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

King Li

King Li, M.D., MBA, is the inaugural dean and chief academic officer of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He completed his medical training and radiology residency at the University of Toronto and a MRI Fellowship at the University of Michigan. He is a clinician, researcher, educator, and inventor in molecular imaging and radiology. His experience includes leadership, research, clinical, educational and entrepreneurial roles at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and Stanford University, as well as Wake Forest and Houston Methodist Hospital. He has authored or co-authored over 140 journal articles and also holds 18 patents, with another six pending.

Illinois Experts Profile

Laura Arriola Miller

Laura Miller has served as Account Executive in the Marketing and Communications department at Health Alliance Medicare Plans since 2015. Prior she worked in the College of Engineering as Director of Online Programs and most recently as Program Manager for an NSF and NIH research grant in the area of nanotechnology.

Issam Moussa

Issam Moussa

Issam Moussa is an interventional cardiologist currently serving as medical director of the Carle Heart & Vascular Institute and Head of the Department of clinical sciences at Carle Illinois College of Medicine.
His area of expertise is in implantable and wearable cardiovascular devices.

Chirag Patel

Dr. Chirag Patel is a Core Strategy Specialist Senior in Deloitte’s GPS practice with 6+ of relevant scientific and regulatory public health experience. At Deloitte, Chirag supports clinical and scientific evidence evaluation for the Project Renewal Initiative in the Oncology Center of Excellence at Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He has extensive regulatory and project management experience, as an ORISE fellow at the FDA, in generic medication regulation and policy involving drug product quality issues, USP monographs and general chapters and in lung cancer clinical trial issues. He has extensive experience in research at various leading institution such as John Hopkins School of Medicine and National Institute of Cancer. He worked in R&D at a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with experience focused on biologic therapeutics. Chirag received his Doctor of Medicine from American University of the Caribbean, Master of Health Science from Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University and Bachelor of Science as a Meyerhoff Scholar at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Bertha Purnell

Bertha Purnell

Bertha Purnell is the mother of five, including a multiple birth. She is a nurse by education, working faithfully for over 40 years. In June of 2017 her life changed when her youngest son was killed by senseless gun violence. She now runs an organization Mothers On a Mission. They support and advocate for and with survivors. With the understanding that trauma is experienced differently by different people, the group tries to meet each person where they are listen to their needs to assist as they can.

Blair Rowitz

Blair Rowitz, MD, serves as associate medical officer for specialty institutes, Surgical Services and Graduate Medical Education at Carle Foundation Hospital. Additionally, he supports the Carle Illinois College of Medicine as a clinical professor and associate dean of clinical affairs. He holds additional faculty appointments in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and the Graduate College at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a fellow of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
Since 1993, he has been in a clinical practice experience and specializes in the field of minimally invasive bariatric and foregut surgery.
Dr. Rowitz completed his residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburg, PA, his medical degree at Rush Medical College, and his bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Lakita_Scott

Lakita Scott

Lakita Scott has served as vice president of Quality since 2021. She provides leadership for Quality, overseeing patient safety, regulatory reporting, accreditation functions, quality data analysis, and continuous improvement efforts for Carle Health.
Scott has a diverse background of healthcare experiences and champions system-wide improvements in efficiency and quality and fosters a Just Culture to encourage no-fault reporting.
Prior to her time at Carle, she served at the Joint Commission as well as several Illinois health systems and hospitals, where she has held a variety of leadership positions. Scott is a nationally certified Nurse Executive and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.
She holds a master’s degree in Nursing from University of St. Francis and a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Northern Illinois University. She serves as Chair of Carle’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee.

Khan M. Siddiqui

Khan M. Siddiqui

Khan Siddiqui is a physician-innovator and entrepreneur. He is currently the Chief Medical and Chief Strategy Officer at Hyperfine. He founded higi and HOPPR and worked as a visiting associate professor at Johns Hopkins University.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Karen Simms

Karen C. Simms is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and presenter. She has insight and understanding in several very important areas: trauma, trauma informed care, building resiliency, addressing the root causes of community violence, positive youth justice, coalition building, cultural & gender-responsive practices, integrated care and wellness. She has been recognized by the NAACP of Champaign County, MLK Doris Hoskins Prestigious Community Service Award and the founding director of the Trauma & Resilience Initiative, Inc.
Rachel Switzky, Siebel Center for Art + Design, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Rachel Switzky

Rachel Switzky is the Director of the Siebel Center for Design. Prior to her current appointment, she has been a global design leader working with Fortune 100 companies over the past 20 years. Most recently, she served as an Executive Director at IDEO, the company who pioneered the concept of design thinking. For the last decade in this role, she helped teams imagine futures and then put them into action, focusing on digital design, emergent technologies and impact at-scale.

Siebel Center for Design Profile
John_Thode

John Thode

John Thode is a successful intra/entrepreneur. He has built profitable businesses ranging from startups to multi-billion dollar companies in the mobility, computing, security, and imaging sectors. John has joined TEC as Clinical Professor for Innovation, Leadership and Engineering Entrepreneurship, and is also Founder & Chairman of Thode Residential Rental Properties, LLC.

Carrington_Thornton

Carrington Thornton

Carrington Thornton is in the sixth grade and attends Betty Shabazz International Charter School. She is 12 years old. The reason Carrington wanted to be part of this make- a-thon is that it is interesting and Carrington wanted to hear the new Ideas to fix this world. Carrington wants to make a statement as a 12-year-old judge that younger people do have good ideas and can make good judgments.

Mentors

Irfan Ahmad, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Irfan Ahmad, Ph.D.

Irfan Ahmad serves as the executive director of the Health Maker Lab. His research interests involve bionanotechnology, nanomedicine, sensors, and precision agriculture. Irfan recently helped found Avicenna Community Health Center, a social entrepreneurial endeavor, providing high-quality, culturally-competent, integrated, preventive, and curative healthcare services to the uninsured residents.

Agricultural & Biological Engineering Directory
Aadeel Akhtar, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Health Maker Lab

Aadeel Akhtar, Ph.D.

Aadeel Akhtar is CEO and Founder of PSYONIC, a company whose mission is to develop advanced prostheses that are affordable for everyone. Dr. Akhtar received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience and M.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016. He received a B.S. in Biology in 2007 and M.S. in Computer Science in 2008 at Loyola University Chicago.

Jenny Amos, Health Maker Lab, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jennifer Amos, Ph.D.

Jennifer Amos is Director of Student Assessment and Evaluation, Quality Officer, Carle Illinois College of Medicine. She is teaching associate professor at the Department of Bioengineering. She is engaged in global health initiatives.

Richard Berlin, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Richard Berlin, MD, MBA

Richard Berlin is a clinical associate professor for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He is a surgeon with The Carle Foundation.

Illinois Experts Profile
Lisa Bievenue, CU Community Fab Lab, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Lisa Bievenue

Lisa Bievenue is the director of Informatics Programs, where she manages projects and coordinates proposals for interdisciplinary research and instructional programs involving informatics. Her education research efforts have been directed toward project evaluation of education and outreach projects in computer and computational science. She is also involved in educational research on making and design activities in middle school classrooms.

Informatics Staff Directory
Paul Braun, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Paul Braun, Ph.D.

Paul Braun is the director of the Materials Research Laboratory and professor of Materials Science and Engineering. His research interests are energy storage, polymers, self-assembly, electronic materials and photonics. His lab, The Braun Group, focuses on new functional materials for energy storage and solar energy harvesting.

Illinois Experts Profile

Mukund Chorghade, Ph.D.

Dr. Mukund Chorghade is Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer, THINQ Pharma / MVRC Research and Ayurvidya Healthcare Innovations. He is the CSO, Chicago Discovery Solutions and APINOVO. He holds / has had Adjunct Research Professor / Visiting Fellow / Visiting Scientist appointments at Caltech, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Northwestern, Princeton, Rutgers, Univ. of Chicago (USA), University of British Columbia (Canada), Cambridge, Strathclyde, (UK), College de France, Universite’ Louis Pasteur (France), ICT, CSIR, KHRC (India), and others. He provides synthetic chemistry and pharmaceutical development expertise to academic laboratories, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies. His research interests are in Drug Discovery and Development Process Chemistry Derived Medicinal Chemistry, Traditional Medicine derived New Chemical Entities. His discovery of sterically protected and electronically activated metalloporphyrin catalysts called “chemosynthetic livers” finds utility in drug metabolism, valorization of biomass and environmental remediation. He is also qualified as an expert in patent trials. He earned his B. Sc. and M. Sc. degrees from the University of Poona, and a Ph. D. in organic chemistry from Georgetown University.

Brian Cunningham, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Brian Cunningham, PH.D.

Brian Cunningham has authored or co-authored 173 peer-reviewed journal papers, 86 issued US patents, 137 conference talks, and has delivered 130 invited lectures. His work has won numerous awards, and he was named the Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering. His research interests include biophotonics, lab-on-a-chip, and applications in health diagnostics.

Illinois Experts Profile
Lisa Davis, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Lisa Davis, MSN, NNP-BC

Lisa Davis is a neonatology nurse at the Carle Foundation.

Carle
Gary Durack, Health Maker Lab, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Gary Durack

Gary Durack joined SIMnext as CEO in 2016. He leads a dynamic team of engineers, clinical experts, and commercial professionals in the delivery to clinicians of novel simulation-based training, education, and certification products that are improving patient care and reducing healthcare costs around the world. In 2015 he founded the TEKMILL, a fast-growing contract design and fabrication business located at the University of Illinois Research Park.

Health Care Engineering Systems Center
Laura Frerichs, Health Maker Lab, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Laura Frerichs

Laura Frerichs is director of the University of Illinois Research Park and EnterpriseWorks business incubator.  She is responsible for managing startup company oversight and supporting the University’s economic development efforts.

Research Park Profile

Rajul Gandhi, Pharm.D., M.B.A.

Rajul Gandhi, Pharm.D., M.B.A. has over 25 years of experience in healthcare serving as a clinician, leader, and researcher.   He is the Clinical Director of Population Health for Carle Health and is currently participating in two research trials and serves as one of the clinical leads for the Population Health Innovation Committee.

Jeff Ginger, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Jeff Ginger, Ph.D.

Jeff Ginger serves as the director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab. He is also the program coordinator at the Illinois Informatics Institute and is an adjunct lecturer at the iSchool at Illinois.

iSchool Faculty Page
Molly Goldstein, Product Design Lab, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Molly Goldstein, Ph.D.

Molly Goldstein serves as the director of the Product Design Lab. While obtaining her Ph.D., Molly was awarded the College of Engineering Outstanding Research Award and was a Bilsland Fellow. Her research focuses on student designer trade-off decisions through the study of their design actions and thinking.

Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering (ISE) Profile

Holly Golecki, Ph.D.

Holly Golecki is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Bioengineering Department and Carle Illinois College of Medicine. She holds degrees in Materials Science and Bioengineering. Her research experience focuses on mechanics of biomaterials and their applications in devices. She works to increase access to engineering and robotics for students of all ages.

Viktor Gruev, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Viktor Gruev

Viktor Gruev is an associate professor at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. His specialty lies in ECE.

Illinois Experts Profile

Aiguo Han, Ph.D.

Aiguo Han is a research assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. His research interests include acoustics, biomedical ultrasound, and machine learning applications in medical imaging.

Haitham Hassnieh, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Haitham Hassnieh, Ph.D.

Haitham Hassanieh is an assistant professor in the ECE and CS departments at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He won the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2016, a 2018 Google Faculty Research Award, and a 2019 Alfred Sloan Foundation Fellowship.

Illinois Experts Profile
Wendy Heller, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Wendy Heller, Ph.D.

Wendy Heller serves as the head of the Psychology Department and is a professor at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. She researches the neural mechanisms associated with emotion-cognition interactions and their implications for psychopathology.

Illinois Experts Profile
Laura Hickenbottom, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Laura Hickenbottom, NP

Laura Hickenbottom is a nurse practitioner in the neonatology department at the Carle Foundation.

Carle
Mark Johnson, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Mark Johnson, MD

Mark Johnson is a clinical instructor for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He is a physician with The Carle Foundation.

Illinois Experts Profile
Kesh Kesavades, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Kesh Kesavadas, Ph.D.

Kesh Kesavadas works at the forefront of virtual reality and its application to medicine. He developed the world’s first stand-alone virtual reality robotic surgical simulator (RoSS) and also co-founded two start-up companies. He serves as the director of Healthcare Engineering Systems Center.

Illinois Experts Profile
Cecilia Leal, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Cecilia Leal

Cecilia Leal is an assistant professor in Materials Science and Engineering. She also researches biomaterials.

Illinois Experts Profile
King Li, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

King Li, MD, MBA

King Li, M.D., MBA, is the inaugural dean and chief academic officer of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He completed his medical training and radiology residency at the University of Toronto and a MRI Fellowship at the University of Michigan. He is a clinician, researcher, educator, and inventor in molecular imaging and radiology. His experience includes leadership, research, clinical, educational and entrepreneurial roles at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and Stanford University, as well as Wake Forest and Houston Methodist Hospital. He has authored or co-authored over 140 journal articles and also holds 18 patents, with another six pending.

Illinois Experts Profile
Citlali Lopez-Ortiz, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Citlali Lopez-Ortiz, Ph.D., MA

Citlali Lopez-Ortiz is an assistant professor in Kinesiology and Community Health. She holds a Ph.D. in Kinesiology and an MA in biomechanics. 

Illinois Experts Profile
Deana McDonagh, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Deana McDonagh

Deana McDonagh is a professor in Industrial Design and faculty at Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology. Her research involves emotional user-product relationships and how empathy plays a role in that relationship. 

Illinois Experts Profile
Pramod Mallipaddi, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Pramod Mallipaddi, MD

Pramod Mallipaddi is a clinical associate professor at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He is also a physician in the neonatology department at the Carle Foundation.

Carle
Naisruddin Mansury, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Nasiruddin Mansury, MD

Nasiruddin Mansury is a neonatologist at the Carle Foundation.

Carle
Noelle Morey, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Noelle Morey, MD

Noelle Morey is a neonatologist at the Carle Foundation.

Carle
Issam Moussa, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Issam Moussa, MD, MBA

Issam Moussa is an interventional cardiologist currently serving as medical director of the Carle Heart & Vascular Institute and Head of the Department of clinical sciences at Carle Illinois College of Medicine.
His area of expertise is in implantable and wearable cardiovascular devices.

Carle
Michael Oelze, Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Michael Oelze, Ph.D.

Michael Oelze is a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He is a part of a company, Tissue Differentiation Intelligence, LLC, that develops small probes that can automatically detect nerve and other structures using ultrasound. His research interests include monitoring therapy response and many others.

Illinois Experts Profile
Mehmood Rasheed, Health Maker Lab, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mehmood Rasheed, MD, FACR

He is a rheumatologist at Carle Clinic.  His medical interests include- connective tissue diseases, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Judith Rowen, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Judith Rowen, MD

Judith Rowen serves as the associate dean for academic affairs at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. She has over 20 years of medical education experience.

Mauro Sardela, BioMaker Lab, University of Illinois, Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Mauro Sardela, Ph.D.

Mauro Sardela serves as the director of research facilities for the Materials Research Lab. His research experience covers several fields of materials fabrication and characterization. He’s been involved in the growth and characterization of various thin film and multilayer systems including epitaxial heterostructures and metals by various growth techniques.

Materials Research Lab Profile
Temitope Shodunke, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Temitope Shodunke, MD

Temitope Shodunke works as a physician in the critical care and nephrology departments at the Carle Foundation.

Carle
Khan Siddiqui, Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Khan Siddiqui, MD

Khan Siddiqui is a physician-innovator and entrepreneur. He is currently the Chief Medical and Chief Strategy Officer at Hyperfine. He founded higi and HOPPR and worked as a visiting associate professor at Johns Hopkins University.

higi
Casey Smith, Electronic Design Lab, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Casey Smith

Casey Smith is the senior instructional lab coordinator in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He manages 20 instructional labs spanning the ECE department curriculum including the ECE Open Lab, a creative makerspace for students across campus. Prior to joining the department in 2014 he was the Senior Design Engineer at Opal Kelly Inc. and a Research Engineer at the University of Chicago Engineering Center.

Electrical & Computer Engineering Profile

Nahil Sobh

Nahil Sobh is a data scientist, affiliated with the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  His expertise includes deep learning, machine learning, and high performance computing.

Beckman Institute Directory
Rachel Switzky, Siebel Center for Art + Design, part of the Health Maker Lab at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Rachel Switzky

Rachel Switzky holds two degrees in industrial design from Illinois and has worked with a broad range of professions as an executive at the global design firm IDEO in San Francisco. She most recently served on the leadership team of IDEO’s 150-person studio managing a multimillion-dollar design portfolio.

Siebel Center for Design Profile

Shengchang Tang, Ph.D.

Shengchang Tang is an assistant professor in Materials Science and Engineering. He earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at MIT. Currently, his research involves using polymer science to create new biomaterials.

Now you know the people. Get to know their labs.