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Listing of all PhD, masters, and undergraduate students in the Zorlutuna Lab.

PhD Students


Aylin Acun

I earned my BS degree in Biology and my M.Sc. in Biotechnology (BIOMATEN, METU, Turkey). Towards the end of my BS program in Biology I was fascinated by how the field of "Tissue Engineering" was progressing and I wanted to be a part of this promising field that brings the basic engineering and biology principles together for medical applications. After finishing my M.Sc. in Cornea Tissue Engineering now I am pursuing my PhD degree in Bioengineering Graduate Program at Notre Dame, combining molecular biology and tissue engineering principles to get a functional cardiac tissue construct which can be used as a disease model.

Neerajha Nagarajan

Neerajha Nagarajan

I first started my college studies with my head filled with science fiction ideas and believing the world as painted by writers like Michael Crichton and Anthony Zuiker to be true. After a bachelor’s in Biotechnology from Anna University, I did my master’s in Biomedical Engineering at UConn. Throughout my master’s studies, I have constantly been involved in various projects at the UConn Health Center, Farmington – like building a quantitative model to describe cell motility and single-particle tracking study of mRNA granules along neuronal dendrites among others. With a background in life science and engineering, I now seek to work using various techniques like modeling, micro-fabrication and in vitro experiments to understand the underlying mechanism of processes for cardiac-tissue engineering.

U. Isik Can

Isik focused on microfabrication and characterization of capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs) as an undergraduate member of Ultramems Research Group . She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Middle East Technical University in 2014. She joined the Zorlutuna Lab in Jan 2015 to research on Tissue Engineering. She is currently working on microfabrication methods for cell patterning.

Bradley EllisBradley Ellis

Bradley earned his Bachelors of Engineering in Bioengineering with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015 and is now perusing his PhD in the Bioengineering Graduate Program at Notre Dame. His undergraduate research was focused on ascertaining the role of microvascular pericytes in ascending aortic disease.  He is currently working in Dr. Zorlutuna's lab on designing and implementing microfluidic devices to study the effect of inflammation during and after heart attacks in a model that can mimic in vivo conditions.  Additionally, he will travel to the National University of Ireland, Galway to work with Dr. Abhay Pandit to study the effect of microfluidic environments on the carbohydrate profile of cardiac cells.

S. Gulberk Ozcebe

Gulberk earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey, and is pursuing her PhD in Bioengineering Graduate Program in University of Notre Dame. She joined the Zorlutuna Lab in January 2017 and is currently working with induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived cardiomyocytes. Her focus is to develop a functional cardiac tissue model to mimic in vivo cardiac disease conditions. 

Undergraduate Students

Bradley Bowles

I am a Notre Dame Senior from Indianapolis pursuing a major in biology and a minor in bioengineering. I'm interested in tissue engineering and the applications of stem cell therapies, and while I have not decided my post-graduation plans, I hope one day to work in a field related to biomedical research. I am a resident of St. Edward's hall, a member of Green ND and I enjoy both running and photography.

Jack CaseyJack Casey

I am a Senior undergraduate student studying chemical engineering and pre-medicine at the University of Notre Dame.  I am from Federal Way, WA, a city half an hour south of Seattle.  Research regarding tissue engineering, particularly stem cell and cancer treatments, fascinates me.  I volunteer at Memorial Hospital in South Bend and am a member of GlobeMed, a student organization working for global health equity.  I hope to attend medical school after graduation.  Some of my other interests include soccer, piano, and guitar.

Ethan LoCicero

I am a Junior undergraduate studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, and I am originally from Hoschton, Georgia. In the Zorlutuna Lab, I have worked on various projects for Trung Nguyen and Aylin Acun studying mechanical properties of Cardiomyocyte (CM) cells. Currently, I am developing a Video Analysis program in MatLab to quantify beating characteristics of CM cells. I am also a volunteer with Best Buddies ND and VP of the Notre Dame Climbing Club. Some of my other interests include soccer and piano.