PhD Students

Kirstie Swingle

Kirstie graduated from University of New Mexico with a B.S. in biology in 2014. She joined School of Molecular Sciences at ASU in 2016. Her research focuses on DNA/antibody systems for diagnostic design. In her free time, Kirstie likes reading, dancing, music, and hanging out outdoors. 

Soma Chaudhary

Soma joined School of Molecular Sciences in 2016. She obtained BS-MS dual degree from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram (IISER-TVM) majoring in Chemistry. Her research focuses on reengineering nonribosomal peptide synthesis and developing novel diagnostic methods. In her spare time, she likes travel, cooking, and watching TV series. 

Griffin McCutcheon

Griffin graduated in 2014 from Johns Hopkins University in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Following work at the NASA Ames Research Center, Griffin joined the the Biological Design PhD program in 2017. His research is focused on RNA-based circuits and genetic encoding of novel materials and structures. Outside of the lab, Griffin enjoys cooking, home improvement, and woodworking, as well as mountain biking.

Zhaoqing Yan

Zhaoqing joined as Ph.D. student in 2017 and is in the BU MCBB program. He completed his B.Sc. degree in chemistry at the University of Jinan in 2016. He is interested in the programming DNA and RNA molecules that can be used for reporting or recording dynamic biological events. In his spare time, he enjoys playing badminton, dubbing, and playing flute.

Kaiyue Wu

Kaiyue attained his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at Wuhan University, China. He began his Ph.D. studies in 2017 and is in the BU MCBB program. His research focusses on developing novel DNA/RNA sensing nanodevices using biological components. When not in lab, he likes playing with his cat.

Suneet Kale

Suneet (Co-advisor: Prof. Qing Hua Wang, SEMTE) received his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University in 2013. After two years in the private sector, Suneet graduated with a Professional Science Masters in Nanoscience from ASU in 2017. Suneet studies quantum materials using ultrahigh vacuum STM. Outside of the lab, he enjoys reading and learning new languages.

Milad Babaei

Milad graduated in 2018 from BU where he obtained his Bachelors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Masters in Biotechnology. His research focus entails development of DNA nanodevices that can simultaneously amplify nucleic acid targets while providing fast readout. In his spare time, he enjoys jogging and exploring designs in silico.

Jiayi Li

Jiayi grew up in China and graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. degree in Bioengineering: Biotechnology. She joined the Ph.D. program in Biomedical Engineering at BU in 2020. She is interested in engineering RNA-based circuits for imaging and biosensing. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and reading fantasy novels.

James Robson

James earned his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Boston University in 2020 and joined the Ph.D. program in the same year. As an SB2 trainee, he is interested in engineering biological systems by designing RNA and DNA structures to modulate gene expression. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing in local orchestras, chamber ensembles, and wind ensembles, as well as baking, watching movies, and volunteering.

Rebecca Kang

Rebecca is from Singapore. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and joined the BU BME Ph.D. program in 2019. Her research focuses on nucleic acid design for synthetic biology in cell-free systems and mammalian cells. Outside of the lab, Rebecca is part of a loving spiritual family at Symphony Church. She enjoys boxing and trying out new restaurants.