WE ARE from more than 10 different countries. WE highly value inclusion and enjoy diversity!

We have open positions for exceptional post-doctoral fellows and lab technicians!
Email Prof. Sheikhi for further details!


Roya Koshani

Roya holds her PhD degree in Food Chemistry from the University of Tehran (Tehran, Iran), which was accomplished via a joint research program in Chemistry Department at McGill University. She pursued her academic career by undertaking a 3-years postdoctoral fellow, focusing on colloid chemistry and micro/nanoengineering techniques at McGill University. Roya joined the B-SMaL at The Pennsylvania State University in March of 2022. Her area of expertise encompasses designing and engineering bio-soft materials to tackle challenges in nutraceutical science, biomedicine, and environment fields.

Yuanhui Xiang

Xiang received his PhD at Case Western Reserve University focusing on using silylketenes as building blocks for small molecules and polymers. He then became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Notre Dame to develop new drug delivery systems to better manage type-1 diabetes. Xiang joined Prof. Sheikhi’s lab in the June of 2023 and will devote his efforts in developing novel biomaterials.

PhD Students

Mica L. Pitcher

Mica was born and grew up in the small town of Batavia, New York. She attended the State University of New York at Geneseo, where she majored in chemistry and minored in mathematics, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 2019. During her time there, she gained experience conducting organic chemistry research on apocynin derivatives and their ability to inhibit reactive oxygen species in the body. She came to Penn State in the summer of 2019 as a graduate student in the Chemistry Department in hopes of earning her PhD. Mica joined B-SMaL in May of 2020, where she works on investigation and modification of disordered cellulose and enabling the 3D printing of hairy nanocelluloses for sustainable applications. In her free time, Mica enjoys spending time with her cats, Blue and Theo!

Shang-Lin Yeh

Shang-Lin was born and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. He got his bachelor’s degree in National Tsing Hua University and master’s degree in National Taiwan University, both in chemical engineering. He had research experience on using zwitterionic and biotinylated polymers to control the interactions between biomolecules and biomaterials. He came to Penn State in the summer of 2019 as a PhD student in chemical engineering. Shang-Lin joined the B-SMaL in May of 2021 working on micro and nano engineering of different types of soft materials to regulate ion interactions. Shang-Lin is a big fan of MLB and he loves to throw baseballs in his free time!

Zaman Ataie

Zaman is a PhD candidate at ChE department. He joined B-SMaL in June of 2020. He got his BSc in bioengineering with focus on biomaterials, and MSc also in bioengineering with focus on Tissue Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic) in Tehran, Iran. In addition to biomaterials and tissue engineering, he also has some background in additive manufacturing and bioprinting. He is working on platforms for bioprinting beyond the biofabrication window limitations. Zaman is a huge Manchester United, and of course, Penn State Nittany Lions fan!

Arian Jaberi

Arian Jaberi is a PhD student at the Pennsylvania State University. He got his MSc in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics with the major of Biomedical Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and got his BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Shiraz University, Iran. The title of his MSc thesis is “Microfluidic Systems with Embedded Cell Culture Chambers for High-Throughput Biological Assays in 3D Tissue-On-a-Chip.” He has a background in Mechanical Engineering and working with microfluidic devices in tissue engineering applications.

Sina Kheirabadi

Sina is a Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering. He got his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tehran. His MSc thesis focused on using CFD-DEM for investigating particle coating in fluidized beds to improve the flowability of activated pharmaceutical ingredients. Currently, Sina is working on a biomaterial-enabled diseases-on-a-chip for drug testing and screening.

Saman Zavari

Saman is currently a Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering. He got his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tehran in 2021 and joined the lab in the Fall of 2022. His B.Sc. project was focused on the degradation of dyes in the textile industries using photocatalysis to mitigate the adverse effects of textile wastewater on the environment. He is crazy about soccer, Spurs, and spending time with his friends. 

Angie Marie Castro

Angie Castro was born in Southern California and attended the University of California, Irvine where she received her bachelors in chemical engineering in 2022. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she was involved in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers chapter at UCI, interned for R&D Medical products, and conducted research on the characterization of mesenchymal stem cells to be used in regenerative medicine. Angie began her studies at Penn State in the fall of 2022 and joined the B-SMaL in 2023 as a PhD student, where she is working on 3D bioprinting for tissue engineering.

Angana Chaudhuri

Angana is a graduate student at ChE department from India. She got her B.Tech in Biotechnology and later MSR in Energy Science and Engineering from IIT Guwahati, India. She had her research focussed in sustainability using biopolymers, nanocellulose and biofuels. She also has extensively worked with bacteria, yeast and algal cultures. She joined B-SMaL in December 2022. She currently is working on emulsions. Angana loves to write poem in her free time and also hang out with friends. She is also an Indian classical dancer.

Master's Students

Aneesh Risbud

Aneesh is a masters candidate at Biomedical Engineering department. He joined the lab in September 2021. He got his B.Tech in biotechnology from D.Y Patil University in Mumbai, India. He has a strong  background in biopharmaceuticals and has been trained in cell culture and molecular biology in his bachelors. He is working on hydrogels and bead assembly in the lab. He is a huge soccer fan and loves watching movies. 

Alex Kedzierski

Alex is an integrated undergraduate student and masters candidate in the Biomedical Engineering major. He joined the B-SMaL in December 2020. He is currently working on advanced granular biomaterials. When he is not in lab, he spends his time playing soccer or racquetball.

Undergraduate Students

Michael Salomon

Michael is from Venice, Florida and is currently in his third year at Penn State majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in Nanotechnology. He joined the Sheikhi Lab in June 2023 with a biofellowship from the chemical engineering department. He is currently working with PhD student, Arian Jaberi, on tissue repair. A fun fact about Michael is that he plays water polo. In his free time, he likes reading, working out, and playing board games. 

Lucas Ng

Luke is a third-year chemical engineering student from Downingtown, Pennsylvania. He started working with the B-SMaL’s biomaterials team in January 2023. He is hoping to explore the biotech industry after graduating with the possibility of going back to grad school in the future. Outside of the Sheikhi Lab, Luke serves as the president of the SynBio Club and leads research for the iGEM team. In his free time, he enjoys running, cooking, and attempting to play guitar. 

Catherine Mojazza

Catherine is a third-year student at Penn State majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in nanotechnology. She is from Plano, Texas. Catherine joined the B-SMaL's biomaterials team in January 2022. She is interested in various biomaterials research for tissue engineering and other medical applications. Currently, she has been focused on granular hydrogel research. She hopes to pursue a PhD after completion of her Bachelor’s degree. Outside of lab, she loves reading, crocheting, lifting weights, and running. 

Anna Bakker

Anna Bakker is a second-year chemical engineering student in the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State. She is from Berwyn, Pennsylvania and enjoys swimming, listening to music, and spending time at the beach. Anna joined the Sheikhi Lab in January of 2023 and works on the investigation of hairy nanocellulose for sustainable applications.

Anton Hjaltason

Anton is a fourth-year student from Chadds Ford, PA majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in biomedical engineering. He joined the lab in January 2023 as part of the biomaterials team and is currently working on a handheld 3D bioprinter for the lab’s granular bioinks. As a Schreyer Scholar, he also plans to attend graduate school after he earns his degree. Anton plays the trumpet in the Penn State Blue Band and loves to run.

Tanvee Deshmukh

Tanvee Deshmukh is a second-year student from South Brunswick, New Jersey. She is studying biomedical engineering at Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College. She joined the Sheikhi Research Group in January 2023 as part of the biomaterials team. She is interested in tissue engineering and bioprinting, and hopes to attend graduate school in the future. On campus, she is involved in the Synthetic Biology Club, and in her free time, she enjoys hiking and watching tennis.

Andrew Kenneth Engleka

I am a third-year chemical engineering student from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I joined the B-SMaL in January 2023, working with the biomaterial team to study bioprinting. I am interested in the applications of bioprinting and how chemical engineering can be applied to it. In my free time, I enjoy working out, listening to music, hiking, and playing sports with friends.

Mitchell Davis

Mitchell is a third-year chemical engineering student from Irwin, Pennsylvania. He joined Sheikhi Lab in April 2022 and is a part of the bio-based materials team. He is currently researching heavy metal removal from waste. Mitchell plays the piano and likes to play frisbee with his dogs in his free time.

Marisa Williamson

Marisa Williamson is a third-year student at Penn State majoring in biomedical engineering. She is from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She is also in the Schreyer Honors College and plans to attend medical school after graduation. She joined B-SMaL in January 2022 as part of the biomaterials team. She is interested in biomaterials research and applications of chemical engineering in the medical field. In her free time she likes swimming and biking.

Min Park

Min Park is a Biology major minoring in Chemistry from Seoul, South Korea. She joined the bio-based materials group in Shekihi Lab in May 2022. Min is hoping to pursue an MD + Ph.D. track in the future. In her free time she likes reading and riding horses.

Sean LeConey

Sean is a junior chemical engineering major from North Wales, Pa, and is a member of the bio-based materials team and is currently researching drug removal from the body. Upon graduation, Sean plans to secure a position in the medical or environmental industry, with thoughts of entering graduate school. Sean has been an avid snowboarder over the years, traveling to 4 different countries and 14 mountains.

Visiting Scholars

We are accepting visiting scholars/scientists from across the globe! If you have secured funding for your stay at the B-SMaL for at least 1 year, please contact Dr. Sheikhi. 


Penn State

Patricia Wamea (MSc, CHE), currently at GSK

Joy Muthami (MSc, CHE), currently at PSU

Nawaf Alharbi (MSc, BME), currently at the University of Leeds

David Kennedy (BSc, CHE and CHEM), currently at The University of Colorado Boulder

Daksh Adhikari (BSc, CHE), currently at Advanced Cooling Technologies

Dylan Kosienski (BSc, CHE), currently at Lubrizol Corporation

Yousef Waheed Mohamed (BSc, CHE), currently at PwC Middle East

Michael Kume (BSc, CHE), currently at Material Difference Technologies

Juliana Dominick (BSc, BME), currently at Merck

Eric Schneider (BSc, CHE), currently at Merck

Jenna Zhang (BSc, MechE), currently at Boeing

Rhea Jiang (BSc, CHE), currently at Deloitte

Gerald Lester (BSc, CHE), currently at Messer Americas

Naveen Narasimhalu (BSc, CHE), currently at 3M

Luke Andreyo (BSc, CHE), currently at Air Products

Carter Petrosky (BSc, CHE), currently at Dow

Colin Gallagher (BSc, CHE), currently at Northeastern University

Sainyam Arora (BSc, CHE), currently at Johnson Matthey

Breanna Marie Huntington (BSc, Ag&Bio), currently at The University of Delaware

Christian Vollberg (BSc, BME&MechE), currently at Cook Medical

William Gileza (BSc, CHE), currently at Verista, Inc

Shambhavi Datta Chowdhury (BSc, CHE), currently at Carlisle Companies Incorporated

Dawson Alexander (BSc, CHE), currently at Ardent Mills

Caitlyn Colyer (BSc, CHE), currently at Solenis

Eric Samual Gordon (BSc, REU), currently at Penn State (BSMaL)

Zeming He (BSc, CHE), currently at UPenn

Zeyu Liu (BSc, CHE)

Yin-Jen Chang (BSc, CHE)

Jie Hou (BSc, CHE)

Said Khalifa Ahmed Al Qassabi (BSc, CHE)

Hai Doan (BSc, CHE)

Shufang Huang (BSc, CHE)

Sean LeConey (BSc, CHE)

Morgan Saxe (BSc, BME)

Before Penn State

Dr. Sheikhi has trained more than 40 students/researchers at UCLA, Harvard, MIT, and McGill. For the complete list of trainees, please contact Dr. Sheikhi directly.