Principle Investigator:
Dr. Joel A. Spencer – Assistant Professor

Graduate Groups:

Bioengineering (BIOE)
Quantitative and Systems Biology (QSB)
Materials and Biomaterials Science and Engineering (MBSE)

Lab Members:
Negar Tehrani – graduate student, QSB

Negar is a PhD student in Quantitative and Systems Biology. She earned her Bachelor’s in Cell and Molecular Biology and Master’s in Cancer Genetics at Azad University in Iran. She completed her second Master’s in Neuroscience and Tissue Engineering at Wichita State University. Next, she worked at UC Irvine in the Developmental Cell Biology Department and then joined the Spencer Lab in April of 2018 to study thymic seeding and regeneration.


Christian Burns – graduate student, QSB

Christian Burns is a PhD student in the Quantitative and Systems Biology program. He joined the Spencer Lab as an undergraduate research assistant in Fall 2017 before graduating from UC Merced with a Bachelor’s in Molecular and Cell Biology in Spring 2019. His work involves in vivo imaging of the thymus and bone marrow.


Nastaran Abbasizadeh – graduate student, QSB

Nastaran is a PhD student that obtained her BS degrees in Hospital management and Biotechnology from Isafahan and Kashan Universities. She also obtained a Master’s degree of Nanobiotechnology from Tehran University. Nastaran joined the Spencer lab in summer 2019 and her project focuses on the direct measurement of oxygen tension in the thymus by two-photon phosphorescence lifetime microscopy (2PLM) technique.

Emmanuel Egun – B.S., Bioengineering 2021
Ruth Verrinder – undergrad, Bioengineering
Shreya Shriram – undergrad, CSE


Lab Alumni:
Kumaran Akilan – B.S., CSE 2021
Jose Chavez – B.S., Bioengineering 2021
Valerie Barron – B.S., Bioengineering 2020
Mario Muniz – B.S., Bioengineering 2020


Iqbal Bhandal – B.S., BIOE & CSE

Iqbal Bhandal completed a dual degree in Bioengineering and Computer Science and Engineering in 2020. In the future, he would like to work with Bioinformatics, Neuroinformatics, and Biotechnology with a focus towards prosthetics. He joined the lab during Summer of 2019. Iqbal worked on writing code for the lab and assisted with intravital imaging experiments.

Anmoljot Thandi – B.S., Bioengineering

Anmoljot Thandi completed his B.S. in Bioengineering in 2019. He helped develop machine learning processes to reduce image processing time for intravital imaging experiments while also assisting other projects in the Spencer Lab. Anmoljot is continuing to expand his abilities from within the Biomedical Industry.

Maria Mesina – B.S., Bioengineering

Maria (Mars) Mesina completed her B.S. in Bioengineering in 2019 and earned the only Outstanding Student Award for Bioengineering for 2019.  As an undergraduate research assistant, she worked on the creation of a smartphone-based biosensor capable of detecting salivary uric acid levels.  She also assisted with other experiments in the Spencer Lab and is continuing to expand her research skills beyond graduation.

Christine Pedersen – B.S., Bioengineering 2018
Molly Lincoln – B.S., Biology 2018
Asa Gardner – M.S., QSB 2018