Daniel Stewart, Ph.D.

Dan successfully defended his thesis in Spring 2019 on “Characterization of Tissue Mechanics and Resulting Fibrotic Cellular Processes”. He received his B.S. in mechanical engineering in 2014 and his M.S. in biomedical engineering in 2016, also from UF.

Dan is currently working with Prof. Laurie Gower on tissue engineering of bone.


Andrés Rubiano, Ph.D.

In Spring 2018, Andrés successfully defended his thesis, “Experimental Methods for Characterization of Soft Matter and Applications in Pancreatic Cancer.” Outside the lab, Andrés taught Mechanics of Materials and was a standout teaching assistant for several semesters.

Andrés has been a Researcher in the Division of Applied Regulatory Science at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the D.C. area since July 2018.


Natalie Fredette, Ph.D.

As a Simmons Lab Postdoc, Natalie used her expertise in cellular and molecular biology to help Simmons Lab trainees apply engineering to the life sciences. Natalie earned her PhD in vascular biology at the University of New Mexico and specialized in studying the role of estrogen receptor signaling in cardiovascular disease. She secured a an NIH T32 fellowship at the UF College of Medicine as well as funding from the American Heart Association to establish a patient-derived stem cell model of vascular disease. She is now a Scientist at BioMarin Pharmaceutical in the Bay Area, developing models to discover rare disease therapeutics.

Nicolas Calvo, M.S. – Nick graduated in 2016 and is currently a Senior Mechanical Engineer at Beckman Coulter Life Sciences in Miami.

Jiapu Liang, M.S. – Jiapu finished his masters in the Simmons lab and is now a PhD student in the Stabler Lab at UF.

Abigail de la Peña, M.S. – Abby finished her masters in 2018 and now works at Brammer Bio in Alachua.

Ryosuke Yokosawa, M.S. – Ryosuke worked in the lab on cell mechanics projects in collaboration with Dr. Sarah Glover’s lab in Gastrointestinal Medicine. He is now working at the Japan Agency for Medical R&D in Washington, DC.

Former Undergrad Researchers:

Myra Kurosu Jalil (MAE, 2016-19), Tony Yin (MAE, 2017-18), Taylor Repetto (MSE, 2017-18), D. Walker Dietrich (MAE, 2016-18), ​Wisam Fares (BME, 2016-2018 – USP Awardee), J. Wesley Garrett (BME, 2016-2018), Justin Sandler (MAE, 2016-2018), Carly Galitz (Mathematics, 2016-17), Nicholas Bell (MAE, 2017), Daniel Fuenmayor (BME, 2016-17), Maria Flores (MSE, 2015-17), David Mkoji (EE, 2016 – USP Awardee), Santiago Carrasquilla (BME, 2014-2016, Science for Life Awardee, Current Carnegie Mellon PhD), Austin Jacobs (Mathematics, 2015), David Leibowitz (MAE, 2015-2016), Alexie Nilo (MAE, 2016), Brandey Andersen (ABE, 2014), Frank Rutherford (MAE, 2015), Charlie Heinke (BME, 2015), Franky Liang (2015), Yifeng Chen (EE, Purdue University, 2013-2014), Ian Rivera (MAE, 2013-2014), Kayla McCarty (MechE, Rice, 2014), Juan Renteria (MAE, 2014), Rashid Alrashid (MSE, 2014), Jonathan Batista (ChemE, 2014), Emily Huber (MAE, 2014), Gil Lobaton (Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, 2013-14)

Former Teachers and HS Students:

Erica Marsh (Teacher, Atlanta GA, 2018), Ashley Whitehead (Teacher, Littlewood Elementary, 2017), Jan Seebeck (Teacher, Littlewood Elementary, 2017), Cosette MacLaren (PK Yonge School, 2016-17), Andrea Wright (PK Yonge School, 2016-17), Codi Elliot (Sarasota High, 2016-17), Luke Ettinger (PK Yonge School, 2016), ​Emily Griffis (Eastside High School, 2016), Sanika Subash (Buchholz High School, 2015), Lev Ettinger (Gainesville High School, 2015)