About

Our team.
Present and past.

Who we are

The individuals in our lab both present and past come from a diverse and varied set of backgrounds, training, and experiences. We have hosted visiting faculty on sabbatical, and visiting scholars from industry. We have trained research scientists, postdoctoral fellows, clinicians, graduate students, medical students, and undergraduate students. We have even had some very talented high school students occasionally do research in our lab.  Our lab members have come from electrical engineering, computer science and engineering, mechanical engineering, bioengineering, physics, mathematics, materials science, neuroscience, chemistry, and clinical medicine. 

One of the things we are most proud of are the number of competitive awards our students have won over the years. It is a reflection of the caliber and potential of our students here at the University of California San Diego. 


Our current lab members

Professor Gabriel A. Silva, MSc, PhDgsilva@ucsd.edu
Prof. Silva is the lab's Principal Investigator. You can find his biography and CV here.

Marie Davidson, BSmcdavidson@ucsd.edu
Marie is the Administrative Director and Laboratory Manager and our Organizer-in-Chief. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of administration for our computational lab and CENI. 

Nirupama (Pam) Bhattacharya, MS, PhDnbhattac@eng.ucsd.edu
Pam is a Project Scientist and the lead scientist for the CENI XPRIZE team. She is responsible for the administrative aspects of the team's technical progress and for interfacing across the participating labs, engineers, and programmers. She is also the lead engineer insuring the integration of the development of our algorithms with the cognitive computing architectures they are being integrated into. Pam did both her MS and PhD in our lab before going on to do a postdoc in systems biology in the Department of Bioengineering at UCSD prior to returning as a Project Scientist. She is an expert in mathematical biology and fractional calculus.

Francesca Puppo, PhDfpuppo@ucsd.edu
Francesca is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the BioCircuits Institute and Center for Engineered Natural Intelligence. Francesca has a PhD from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Her expertise is in neural engineering, nanofabrication, and computational neuroscience. Her work is focused on investigating the relationship between the morphological geometry of neurons and how the geometry and cellular biophysics constrains dynamic signaling. In particular, she is investigating the efficiency of signaling in neurons as a function of geometric structure and the cell's refractory states. Her work involves both computation and experiments in order to understand the interplay between cellular structure and function. The theoretical foundations that Francesca is using in her work are the same as some of the neural derived algorithms the lab is developing for next generation artificial intelligence. 

Vivek Georgevgeorge@eng.ucsd.edu
Vivek is a Bioengineering PhD student. Vivek came from industry before starting his PhD and has expertise in the design and manufacturing of integrated circuitry. He also has experience in project management and in leading teams of engineers in chip manufacturing. His work has involved the development and coding of algorithms for identifying and mapping causal signaling and information flows in dynamic geometric networks, derived from canonical signaling principles from the neurophysiology of biological neural networks. He has applied these tools to predicting dynamic signaling in the connectome of C. elegans, and in the development of algorithms for a new class of neural derived artificial neural networks being developed by our lab.  

Nick Graysonintercomman14@gmail.com
Nick is an MS student in Electrical Engineering. His work is focused on the development of algorithms and code for dynamic geometric perceptrons and geometric dynamic artificial neural networks. Nick has expertise in algorithm design and coding. 

Sue Murray, PhDsumurray@ucsd.edu
Sue is a Visiting Scholar in our lab and Director of Engineering at Nanovision Biosciences. Nanovision, in collaboration with labs in Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering, and Ophthalmology at UCSD, is developing a surgically implantable optoelectronic nanoengineered retinal prosthesis to restore sight following degenerative retinal disorders. Sue is an expert in micro and nanofabrication and in taking bench research through scale up and commercialization. In particular, she has expertise in optoelectronics, solar photovoltaics, thermophotovoltaics, acoustic and chemical sensors, materials characterization, sol-gel synthesis and roll-to-roll manufacturing.

Yi Jing, PhDy5jing@ucsd.edu
Yi is a Visiting Scholar also from Nanovision Biosciences. Yi is an expert in the design and nanofabrication of optoelectronic nanowires and related materials. He is Nanovision's lead fabrication engineer and has been responsible for much of the engineering technical progress of theNanovision-UCSD retinal prosthesis. 

Brandon Boss, MSbbosse@gmail.com
Brandon is also a Visiting Scholar from Nanovision Biosciences. Brandon has expertise in animal model electrophysiology of the retina and is leading the experimental efforts to electrophysiologically characterize the operation and physiological function of the optoelectronic retinal prosthesis device. 

 


 

Who we were

Our lab alumni have gone on to do great things and great careers. They have gone to medical school, graduate school, and industry. Some are faculty or research scientists and engineers at other institutions. Others have gone into research, management, or executive positions in industry. And some are entrepreneurial and have started companies of their own. 

Our alumni
 


Our lab's awards

One of the most significant indicators of the caliber and success of our students are the number and prestige of competitive awards they have won over the years. All the listed awards on this list reflect accomplishments made by our  postdocs, graduate, medical, and undergraduate students for research conducted in our lab at the time the awards were made.

Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Mobility Fellowship (2016)
Francesca Puppo, PhD, BioCircuits Institute and Center for Engineering Natural Intelligence

iBoss Graduate Fellowship (2016)
Vivek George, Bioengineering and Center for Engineering Natural Intelligence

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (2015)
Emily Petrillo, Bioengineering

Department of Bioengineering nomination for the Chancellor's Dissertation Medal (2015)
Nirupama (Pam) Bhattacharya, Bioengineering

Seibel Scholars Award (2012)
Helen Saad, Bioengineering

Eugene Mead Memorial Best Senior Design Project Award (2012)
Samir Damle, Phuong Nguyen, Samantha Reiss, Sarika Tandon, Bioengineering

Amgen Scholarship (2012)
Nithya Kubendran, University of Southern California

Gordon Scholarship (2011)
Helen Saad, Bioengineering

Amgen Scholarship (2011)
Charlie Park, Bioengineering

Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) scholarship (2011)
Kim Macias, Bioengineering

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Gilliam Fellowship (2010)
Espoir Kyubwa, MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and Bioengineering

Jacobs MD/PhD Training Fellowship (2010)
Bruno Maranhao, MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and Bioengineering,

Seibel Scholars Award (2010)
Christopher MacDonald, Bioengineering

Gordon Conference on Neural Micro-circulation Best Poster Award (2010)
Krystal Nizar, MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and Neurosciences Graduate Program, 

Beyond Brain Machine Interface Workshop travel award (2010)
Masoud Khraiche, PhD, Bioengineering

Hughes Research Scholar (2010)
Brian Wong, Bioengineering

NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (2010)
Paul Hart, Vanderbilt University

Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) Fellowship (2010)
Carlos Salcedo, Bioengineering

Interfaces Graduate Fellowship (2009)
Helen Saad, Bioengineering

Interfaces Graduate Fellowship (2009)
Christopher MacDonald, Bioengineering

Reagents Scholar Research Initiative fellowship (2009)
Glendon MacDuff, Bioengineering,

Research Experience for Undergraduates fellowship (2009)
Ryan Cloke, Gonzaga University

Fullbright International Scholarship (2008)
Helen Saad, Bioengineering

University of California, San Diego Chancellor’s Interdisciplinary Collaboratories Fellowship (2008)
Krystal Chaio, Neurosciences Graduate Program

University of California, San Diego Chancellor’s Interdisciplinary Collaboratories Fellowship (2008)
Jay Blumling, Bioengineering

National Science Foundation (NSF) East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for U.S. Graduate Students (EAPSI) fellowship (2008)
Christopher MacDonald, Bioengineering

University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees (LEADS) Program scholarship (2008)
Michael Oliveira, University of California, Merced

Best Overall Poster Award, Undergraduate Research Day (2008)
Kim Nguyen, Bioengineering

Reagents Scholar Research Initiative fellowship (2008)
Venkatakaushik Voleti, Bioengineering

Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) fellowship (2008)
Nicolas Floresta, Bioengineering

Howard Hughes scholar (2007)
Matthew Li, Bioengineering

Reagents Scholar Research Initiative fellowship (2007)
Amul Shah, Bioengineering

Medical Student Training in Aging Research fellowship (2007)
Julie E. Nissimov, University of California, Irvine

University of California Chancellors Research fellowship (2007)
Zachary Singer, Bioengineering

Biomedical Engineering Society travel fellowship (2007)
Smita Pathak, Materials Science Graduate Program

Biomedical Engineering Society travel fellowship (2007)
Diana Yu, Bioengineering,

Biomedical Engineering Society travel fellowship (2007)
Marius Buibas, Bioengineering

Summer Training Academy for Research in the Sciences (STARS) fellowship (2007)
Rosa Tolentino, New Jersey Institute of Technology

US Grants Undergraduate Scholastic Grant (2007)
Siu Kei Chow, Bioengineering

US Grants Undergraduate Scholastic Grant (2007)
Ian Lee, Bioengineering

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Med into Grad Fellowship (2006)
Smita Pathak, Materials Science and Engineering Program

Best Undergraduate Bioengineering Researcher Award (2006)
Siu Kei Chow, Bioengineering,

University of California Chancellors Research Scholarship (2006)
Craig Sharp, Bioengineering

Pacific Rim Undergraduate Experience (PRIME) fellowship (2006)
Mahboubeh Hashemi, Bioengineering

US Grants Undergraduate Scholastic Grant (2005)
Siu Kei Chow, Bioengineering

US Grants Undergraduate Scholastic Grant (2005)
Puneet Gupta, Bioengineering

Faculty for Neuroscience/ Society for Neuroscience Travel Award (2005)
Barry Cordero, Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego

Best Undergraduate Bioengineering Researcher Award (2005)
Barry Cordero, Bioengineering

Amylin Scholarship (2005)
Barry Cordero, Bioengineering

Harvard University Herchel Smith Research Fellowship (2005)
Albert Kao, Harvard University

BIOCOM Best Poster Award, UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering Research Expo (2005)
Diana Yu, Bioengineering

Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society (2005)
Barry Cordero, Bioengineering

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (2005)
Yvette Valenzuela, Bioengineering

Next Generation of Public Servants Award, United States Department of Energy (2004)
Yvette Valenzuela, Bioengineering

US Grants Undergraduate Scholastic Grant (2004)
Elizabeth Cao, Bioengineering

University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees (LEADS) Program Scholarship (2004)
Yvette Valenzuela, Bioengineering

Chancellors Award for Excellence (2004)
Elizabeth Cao, Bioengineeirng

Bridges to the Future Program Fellowship (2004)
Barry Cordero, Bioengineering