Lab Members


Principal Investigator

Macintosh HD:Users:Thurber:Documents:Michigan:CV:Greg_Thurber_image.jpgDr. Greg Thurber

gthurber AT umich.edu

Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital: T32 Traineeship in Molecular Imaging
Ph.D, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BS, Pennsylvania State University



Postdoctoral Fellows


Mukesh Mahajan (mukeshm AT umich.edu)

My research focus is on understanding the structural basis of peptide/protein interactions with membranes. The core of my expertise is in biophysical techniques (specifically solution nuclear magnetic resonance, NMR) with a combination of protein engineering, biophysics, structural biology and computational tools to study proteins.

Personal website



Graduate Students


Lydia Atangcho (atangcho AT umich.edu)

BS, University of Pennsylvania

My research focuses on the design and expression of a screenable library of novel therapeutic peptides for modulation of protein-protein interactions. Currently, therapeutic peptides are synthesized by solid phase synthesis and reverse engineered from protein targets of interest. Additionally, these peptides lack oral bioavailability. Double-click stabilization of azide-functionalized peptides has shown to be a promising way of achieving highly improved peptide stability.



Tejas Navaratna (tejasn AT umich.edu)

BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I am engineering chemically stabilized peptides for disrupting protein-protein interactions. As binding interfaces between proteins often lack well-defined pockets, precluding effective targeting by small molecules, peptides have the ability to both enter cells and disrupt large protein-protein interfaces. We are developing technology for the directed evolution of peptides to target and image proteins.




Bruna Menezes (bmenezes AT umich.edu)

BS, Prairie View A&M University

Co-advised by Prof. Jennifer Linderman

My current research focuses on studying the relationship between drug delivery and treatment effects on the vascularization of tumors using hybrid-agent based models. Treatment can induce vessel collapse, promote neovascularization, and ‘normalize’ existing vessels, all impacting the delivery of agents. Since therapeutic effects and drug delivery are interrelated and the microenvironment of tumors is very heterogeneous, this makes it challenging to capture treatment effects with deterministic models. Probabilistic models will help us to better understand the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs in these tumors and develop more effective therapies.


Ian Nessler (inessler AT umich.edu)

BS, University of Iowa

The tumor microenvironment is abnormal and complex. Unorganized and hyperpermeable tumor vasculature leads to uneven drug distribution and less effective treatment. I am investigating the use of combination therapies to modulate the tumor vasculature to increase efficacy.Understanding the temporal dependence of combination therapy potency can elucidate optimal windows of delivery to improve current and future cancer therapies.



Eshita Khera (ekhera AT umich.edu)

BE, Visvesvaraya Technological University
MS, Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan

I am engineering fluorophore-conjugated stabilized peptides to investigate use as imaging and therapeutic agents. Chemical modification can be used to tune peptide physicochemical properties to improve in vitro and in vivo properties, such as cellular permeability, pharmacokinetics, target affinity, and bioavailability.



Reginald Evans (regevans AT umich.edu)

BS, University of California Riverside

An ideal diagnostic imaging technique would be safe, inexpensive, and provide both molecular and spatial information to the physician. Current diagnostic imaging technologies such as MRI, ultrasound, and CT are expensive, time consuming and/or lack molecular information to aid in the diagnosis. Other methods, such as PET and SPECT, can provide molecular information but are costly and introduce additional radiation risks to the patient. My research focuses on developing novel, inexpensive, and convenient (for improved compliance) optical diagnostic agents to detect inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and monitor treatment response.


Marshall Case (marcase AT umich.edu)

BS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

I am working on molecular engineering of peptide and protein therapeutics.






Anna Kopp (ankopp AT umich.edu)

BS, University of Rochester

I am working with antibody drug conjugates and immunotherapy agents.






Undergraduate Students

Sophie Gable

Rahul Gopinath

Hannah Levy

Darby McKernan

Neelay Patel

Rohan Perisetla

Matt Ratanapanichkich


Dr. Cornelius Cilliers, Ph.D 2018, now at Halozyme
Dr. Sumit Bhatnagar, Ph.D 2018, now at AbbVie
Andrew Min, Undergraduate (2016-2018)
Zhongyuan Zhang, Undergraduate (2016-2017)
Nadia Auchus, Undergraduate (2015-2016)
Dr. Liang Zhang, Ph.D 2017, now at AbbVie
Daniel Tresnak, Undergraduate (2015-2017)
Victoria Eniola, High school student (2016)
Hans Guo, Undergraduate (2015-2016)
Nik Christodolu, Undergraduate (2015-2016)
Jianshan Liao, Undergraduate (2014-2016)
Liz Goulston, Undergraduate (2015-2016)
Dyanne Neoh, Undergraduate (2014-2015)
Emily Deschenes, Masters (2013-2016)
Aaron Priluck, Undergraduate (2013-2015)
Dr. Kirti Dhingra, Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-2014)
Matt Riley, Undergraduate (2013-2014)
Rachel Blaisdell, Undergraduate (2014)
Allison DuRoss, Undergraduate (2012-2014)