Post-Doctoral Researchers

Headshot of Janak GaireJanak Gaire, Ph.D.

Dr. Gaire received his PhD from the University of Florida in 2018. During his graduate studies, he worked at the intersection of neuroscience and neural engineering disciplines, particularly focusing on brain-implanted microdevices. He studied the effect of biochemical and mechanical intervention strategies in mitigating foreign body response and improving the functional longevity of brain-implanted microdevices and developed novel tools to facilitate the evaluation of cellular response to brain injury and disease models. Currently, he is working on developing new animal models of regeneration, inspired by the African Spiny Mouse to understand the role of inflammation in mammalian regeneration.

Fun fact: Janak enjoys cooking and outdoor activities during his leisure time.

Graduate Students

HeadshotMichele Dill

Michele got her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at UF, during which she worked in Dr. Christopher Batich’s lab with a focus on the phosphate-chelation properties of chitosan for applications in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease. Michele is now pursuing a PhD in BME with a focus on biomaterials and regenerative medicine. She is investigating the behavior of fibroblasts from the regenerative mammal, the African Spiny Mouse (Acomys), that may assist in scar-free wound healing applications to humans.

Fun fact: Michele was in the UF Marching Band as an undergrad.


HeadshotJanny Piñeiro

Janny got her B.S in Materials Science and M.S in Biomedical Engineering at UF. During her master’s degree she worked on a model systems of Pancreatic Cancer. Janny enjoys working at the interstice of different fields; for this reason, she interned at NASA LaRC where she contributed to the integration of concepts commonly used in the medical diagnostic field to non-destructive evaluation of components for aerospace applications. Specifically, she studied the used of ultrasonic backscatter theory to characterize fiber reinforced composites. Janny returned to Simmons’ Lab to pursue a PhD in BME with focus on Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. Currently, she is working on engineering microenvironments for stem cell differentiation in collaboration with Pacak Lab.    

Fun Fact: Janny enjoys outdoors activities and traveling during her leisure time


Hui Zhou

Hui is working on measurement of cellular stresses using Raman spectroscopy in collaboration with Dr. Subhash and Dr. Sarntinoranont to improve modeling of biological tissues. This novel application of an engineering technique to tissue engineering is exciting, and she enjoys the challenge of designing new tools like the mini-actuator needed for micro-Raman calibration.

Fun fact: Hui enjoys Hip Hop dance workouts.


Darrice Montgomery

Darrice is supporting animal, cellular, and molecular work on Spiny Mouse projects. She also helps all of us stay organized and do our best work!