Stanford University

Dunn Lab 2016

Dunn Group

Alex Dunn

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Alex is interested in understanding the complex relations between physical forces and cellular behavior. He enjoys making Archer references in class, drinking homebrewed beer, and managing a rambunctious toddler, David. Check out his CV.

Carlos Garzon-Coral

Postdoctoral fellow

Carlos is devising methods to study the biogenesis of adherent junctions. He is also assembling a lattice light sheet microscope together with the Prakash lab. Carlos is a 3D printer and fit-bit enthusiast, a dog lover, and an expert-level cafecito companion. When he is not pimping up his bike, you can find him reading up on science politics.

Claudia Vasquez

Postdoctoral fellow

Claudia is interested in understanding how groups of cells respond to mechanical stimuli. Claudia enjoys chasing after a disc made of plastic, but she does it competitively, so she’s one step above a dog, maybe.


Kiara Cui

Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

Kiara aims to understand how endothelial cells sense oscillatory mechanical cues (in collaboration with the Fuller Lab). She enjoys attempting to make home-cooked meals, admiring cute animals from afar, and decorating places with handmade crafts..

Andrew Price

Graduate Student, Biophysics

Andrew is looking at cell-cell and cell-substrate mechanics in cell culture. He enjoys forgetting his sunglasses, entertaining absurd, hypothetical situations, and is 40w/v% caffeine.

Leanna Owen

Graduate Student, Biophysics

Leanna is working on cell traction force generation in 3D environments. She is a scientific fangirl, an adventurer to the city, and a consumer of warm beverages.


Eva Huang

Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

Eva is interested in discovering how different environments affect stem cell behavior. She likes bringing her own pair of chopsticks to parties and keeping Steven and Vinay in line.

Vinay Surya

Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

Vinay is working to understand how endothelial cells sense fluid flows (in collaboration with the Fuller Lab). He enjoys looking at cute dogs, gracing with world with his sonorous voice and squeaky shoes, and fulfilling his role as district manager. Swag.

Steven Tan

Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

Steven works on developing new FRET-based force sensors to mimic different extracellular matrix proteins. He spends his time convincing other people to play video games, getting schooled at basketball, and running in really big circles.


Eleftheria Michalaki

Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

Eleftheria is also working to understand how endothelial cells sense fluid flows (in collaboration with the Fuller Lab). She enjoys getting really, really nice haircuts, learning arguably questionable mannerisms from Vinay, and organizing the TC room to complete perfection.

Derek Huang

Graduate Student, Biophysics

Derek is using the optical trap to determine how cooperativity between actin-binding proteins might allow cells to form and maintain cell-cell adhesions. He collects hats, entertains children through science outreach, and has been known, at times, to dance with wild abandon.

Nick Bax

Graduate Student, Biophysics

Nick is working on using the optical trap to understand the cadherin-catenin complex. Nick hangs around the Weis Lab to keep pushing our understanding on single molecule dynamics. He enjoys cycling very, very quickly, devising outlandish, yet profitable money-making schemes, and topdecking with wild success.


Cayla Miller

Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

Cayla is working with the optical trap to understand the activity of cytoskeletal proteins. Cayla is first and foremost a cat lover, but she is also a connoisseur of the morning routine (coffee and the NY-Times), and an avid biker.

Sarang Nath

Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

Sarang is working to characterize extracellular force sensors. He’ll spontaneously speak in French, just because he can.

Julieta Gomez

Master Student, Chemical Engineering

Julieta is helping Ria and Vinay in their work to understand how endothelial cells sense fluid flows (in collaboration with the Fuller Lab)


The "Dunn"-dergraduate Brigade


Min Cheol Kim

Min Cheol works closely with Leanna on deciphering the role of myosin in cell activity. He enjoys shooting arrows and giving the older students sass.

Gabi Lomeli

Gabi works with Armen and the rest of the integrins team to investigate the role of paxillin in mechanobiololgy and develop improved microscopy techniques for visualizing focal adhesion proteins.

Andy Lin

Andy worked with Steven and Amani from the Soh lab to develop new super-resolution microscopy techniques for visualizing focal adhesion proteins.



Distinguished Alumni


Michael Krieg

Postdoctoral Fellow

Now a Group leader in Barcelona. Michael was interested in understanding touch sensation in worms. He works closely with the Goodman lab . He loves to climb and enjoys being a boss at everything.

Armen Mekhdjian

Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

Now at Gilead. Armen was interested in understanding the details of focal adhesion architecture and the mechanisms of focal adhesion assembly. He also worked together with the Liphardt Lab to gain insights of the single molecule dynamics of focal adhesions. He excels at being charming, designing intricate handshakes, and observing people compete to hit a ball with a stick as far as possible.

Craig Buckley

Postdoctoral Fellow

Craig worked on elucidating the details of adherens junction proteins through optical trapping. He loves pizza, nighttime, and lasers.


Diego Ramallo

Graduate Student, Biophysics

Now a Data Scientist in the bay area. Diego was interested in examining in cellular myosin activitiy. He enjoys soccer, cracking arguably hilarious puns, and being chill.

Jack Chai

Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

Now at Facebook. Jack worked on examining zebrafish development. He is a connoisseur of foods, a lover of basketball, and the keeper of sunshine.

Masatoshi Morimatsu

Postdoctoral Fellow

Now a Staff scientist at Okayama University - Japan. Masatoshi was interested in discovering new techniques for visualization of cellular forces. He enjoys channeling the Force and mentoring his young padawan, Yuzuki.


Sheil Kee

Postdoctoral Fellow

Now a scientist at a start-up in the bay area. Sheil worked on understanding the role of cell-cell contacts in stem cells. In her free time, she likes culturing her own personal batch of stem cells affectionately named Ezel.

Alice Chang

Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

Now a scientist at Five Prime Therapeutics. Alice was working on developing fibronectin-based force sensors to learn about focal adhesions and cellular behavior. She also worked with the Mycrosystems lab engineering new ways to study focal adhesions. She is the climber of all things, a ravisher of delicious foods, and an impeccable organizer of life.


David Altman

Postdoctoral Scholar

Maria Sorokina

Graduate Student, Chemistry

Nicolas Borghi

Postdoctoral Scholar, Nelson Lab

Arjun Adhikari

PhD. Chemical Engineering

Maggie Ostrowski

PhD. Chemical Engineering


Natascha Leijnse

Postdoctoral Scholar, Goodman Lab

Austin Lewis

Chemical Engineering

Jonathan Mott

Chemical Engineering


Joyce Chai

Chemical Engineering

Diana Beyerlein

Summer Research Intern

Olga Shcherbakova

Research Associate


Not pictured:

Charlotte Poplawski