Our Team

Principal Investigator

Deva Chan
Assistant Professor
Pronouns: she/her
A native of foggy San Francisco in otherwise sunny California, Deva Chan graduated from UC Berkeley in Bioengineering and from UC Davis with an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. She received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University and conducted postdoctoral studies at Rush University Medical Center (Rheumatology/Internal Medicine, Biochemistry), under an Arthritis Foundation Fellowship. She then conducted research at the NIH Clinical Center as a Research Fellow with the Henry Jackson Foundation, before starting her own research group at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Deva started as an Assistant Professor at Purdue in August 2020. She has been recognized with an NSF CAREER Award and the DARPA Young Faculty Award.
Training: Safe Zone


Aritra was born and raised in the outskirts of Kolkata, India. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIEST Shibpur, in 2016. Subsequently, he earned his Masters and PhD degrees from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore in 2021, working in the field of cell and tissue mechanics. His current research involves multiscale biomechanics – from AFM at a cellular scale to bulk mechanical characterization of tissues. Outside research, he enjoys reading fiction, watching cinema and photography.

Graduate Students

From a small town in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, Zach went on to do his undergraduate studies at the University of Rochester, majoring in biomedical engineering. He spent 2 years interning in industry before deciding to investigate the research side of the field. After working in labs at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Rochester, Zach decided to join Dr. Chan’s lab in order to investigate cartilage strain responses using imaging techniques such as MRI. His hobbies include playing basketball, music, and soccer.
Alexander Donabedian
Incoming PhD Student (Fall 2022)
Nathan Lampen
PhD Student [co-advised]
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Not ready to leave the sand dunes and snow drifts of his native West Michigan, Nate didn’t have to travel very far to attend Calvin College in Grand Rapids where he studied Sustainable Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include biomechanics, orthopaedics, quantitative imaging, and machine learning. In his spare time, Nate enjoys discovering new music, making cider, and trying new foods with his wife.
Meghan Pendyala
PhD Candidate
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Being from a much warmer climate, Meghan Pendyala hopes that she survives the winters in upstate New York. She was born in St. Louis, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and graduated high school from Austin, Texas. She went back to the midwest and graduated in 2018 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Computer Science from Saint Louis University. Her research involves understanding how mechanical loading impacts hyaluronan turnover in the joint. While not working, Meghan enjoys producing music, cooking, and laying on the couch with a good book and coffee.
Rahaf Salim
Incoming PhD Student (Fall 2022)
Rahaf joins us from her hometown in NJ, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry before she went on to obtain a master’s degree in Regenerative Medicine & Entrepreneurship from the Case Western Reserve University. Having a well-rounded academic/research background, Rahaf is interested in utilizing a bench-to-bedside approach to engineer multidisciplinary solutions based on her research discoveries. Outside of her research, Rahaf enjoys crocheting, roller skating, and indulging in anime.
Cameron Villarreal
PhD Student / Geddes Fellow, GEM Associate Fellow
Cameron is from Fort Worth, Texas. He majored in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M while competing on the Track and Cross Country Teams. After several stints of injury rehabilitation, Cameron became interested in applying engineering to the medical field. He obtained his MS in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Texas at Arlington while working as an intern with UTARI and researching cardiovascular mechanics. Outside of research, Cameron enjoys running, playing guitar, and reading a good science fiction novel.
Clarisse is from a small town in Southeast Indiana. She came to Purdue in 2018 to work on her undergraduate major in biomedical engineering and minor in biotechnology. After her undergraduate degree is completed, she is staying at Purdue to complete her MS in biomedical engineering and work towards her Professional Engineering licensure. Outside of academia, Clarisse enjoys leisurely runs, hikes, and books.

Undergraduate Students

Maya Alborn
Undergraduate Researcher / SURF Fellow
Youssef Beshay
Undergraduate Researcher - Ward and Chan Labs
Nicholas Buffo
Undergraduate Researcher
Nicholas was born and raised in Kansas City and is currently a sophomore in Biomedical Engineering here at Purdue University. Growing up, Nicholas played many sports and was always interested in sports injuries. After graduating from Purdue, Nicholas plans to attend medical school where he wishes to study Orthopedics or Cardiology. Outside of research and class, Nicholas enjoys travelling, playing sports and hiking.

Maya Federle
Undergraduate Research Assistant – Brubaker and Chan Labs
Maya Federle is a sophomore at Purdue University. She studies Biomedical Engineering and is pursuing a minor and Spanish. She hopes to attend medical school after her time at Purdue. Maya works between the Chan and Brubaker labs to investigate the role of vitamin D metabolism pathways in osteoarthritis risk and the gut-joint axis.

Jackie Fung He
Undergraduate Researcher - LSAMP
Ranya Pendyala
Undergraduate Researcher
Ranya Pendyala is a Junior from Cupertino, California studying Biomedical Engineering with minors in Chemistry, Management, and Business Economics at Purdue University. She hopes to attend medical school after graduating. Ranya works with the Chan and Ward lab to study pain sensitivity using bioelectric signals in mice. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling, working out, and spending time with friends and family.
Graham Ragland
Undergraduate Researcher
Before coming to Purdue, Graham lived in Austin, Texas his whole life. He is interested in the intersection between biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering, as well as the immersion of science and engineering in education. Outside of academics, he enjoy playing and watching baseball, music, and rock climbing.

Anisha Rath
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Moyosoreolu Shobowale
Undergraduate Researcher
Moyo Shobowale is a Junior at Purdue University. She is studying Biomedical Engineering minoring in pre medicine. Moyo hopes to attend medical school after her time at Purdue University. She is interested in Gynecology and Orthopedic Surgery. If she decides to concentrate in Orthopedics she plans to be a sports medicine doctor.
Aavya Srivastava
Undergraduate Researcher

Visiting Scholars

Alison Jeffries
IUSM-WL Medical Student / IMPRS
Ali is a rising second year medical student at IU School of Medicine. She is from Westfield, IN and graduated from Purdue University in 2020 with a degree in Neurobiology & Physiology. She is excited to participate in research this summer through the IMPRS program. In her free time, she enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Mikayla Roach
SURF Fellow / Incoming PhD Student (Spring 2023)
Mikayla is from Easton, PA and is an undergraduate student at Penn State. She will be working in the Chan Lab as a summer researcher through the SURF program. Mikayla will graduate in December 2022 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and will be joining Dr. Chan's Lab in January 2023 to begin her journey to earning her PhD. Outside of the lab, Mikayla likes to spend time with her family and friends, cook, and watch TV.
Amanda Thayer
IUSM-WL Medical Student / IMPRS
Amanda is a student attending the IU School of Medicine on West Lafayette’s campus for phase 1 of her medical education. She graduated college in 2020 from IU Bloomington where she studied exercise science. While she has a variety of clinical interests, she’s excited about how biomedical engineering can improve and influence clinical practice. In her free time, Amanda likes to travel, hike, and do gymnastics.
Alan Trinh
IMPRS Scholar - Brubaker and Chan Labs
From the across the river of Purdue University, Alan grew up in Lafayette, Indiana. He graduated Indiana University in 2019 with a degree in chemistry and is currently a rising 2nd year medical student at Indiana University School of Medicine. He worked primarily with the Brubaker Lab as a visiting scholar for the IMPRS program in which he hopes to gain valuable research experience for his future career as a physician.


Stephen Douglas
Undergraduate Researcher
While a native of the Midwest, Stephen mainly grew up further south in Houston, Texas. He moved to Kansas City at the end of high school and is currently an undergraduate student in mechanical engineering at Purdue. Interested in the cross-section of medicine and engineering, Stephen has plans to attend medical school after graduation.