Research laboratory of Tejal Desai, PhD
Therapeutic Microtechnology and Nanotechnology Laboratory




Research interests


Cellular integration and tissue engineering, biomimetic architectures for functional biomaterials, and therapeutic drug targeting and delivery

Creating and investigating nanostructured surfaces to modulate and control cell behavior; primary focus on transferring the lab’s pro-healing surface onto medical devices used in cardiovascular applications, such as angioplasty and stenting, with the ultimate goal of preventing restenosis and thrombosis

Development of micro- and nanofabricated polymeric platforms to enhance the uptake of orally administered drugs.

Development of implantable polymeric drug carriers for front and back of the eye drug delivery. Investigation of the effects of nanotopography on corneal epithelium for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications.


Understanding how nanotopographies influence epithelial barrier function and drug transport

Constructing heterotypic tissue models to reconstitute and study endocrine signaling pathways.
Biohybrid device to support cell transplantation and induce immune tolerance.
Cameron Nemeth
PhD student in UCB/UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering
Development of nanostructured materials for drug delivery and regenerative medicine applications
Karen Samy
PhD student in UCB/UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering
Developing a biomimetic cell culture model for intestinal absorption and metabolism; delivering cargo molecules and nanoparticles to the lumen of reconstituted microtissues in vitro; studying, reconstituting, and characterizing pancreatic Islet microtissues for applications in cell-based therapeutics.
Daniel Johengen
Lab Manager/Staff Research Associate
Will Lykins
Will Lykins
PhD student in UCB/UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering
Will is interested in developing material technologies to address challenges in the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases; he is especially interested in overcoming medical inequalities in low-resource settings, and other global health problems. 
Xiao Huang
Xiao Huang, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar
Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences
Investigation of the mechanism of micro-/nano- topography mediated drug permeabilization through epithelial cells, and fabrication of nano-/micro- particles and devices for cell-based therapy.
Yiqi Cao
Yiqi Cao
Ph.D Candidate
UC Berkeley - UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering

Development of nanostructured surfaces for preventing restenosis in vascular stents and grafts; characterization of the effect of nanopatterns on epithelial barrier function and drug transport.


Colin Zamecnik


Development of antibody conjugated polymeric nanowires as an injectable immunomodulatory scaffold.
Wlizabeth Levy

Elizabeth Levy

Ph.D Candidate

UC Berkeley - UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering

[email protected]

Development of nanostructure films in order to aid in the maturation of iPSC derived cardiomyocytes in vitro; characterization of the effects of nano patterns on epithelial barrier function.

Former lab members


Now at

Natalie Ciaccio, PhD

BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc.

Kim Kam, PhD

Genentech, South San Francisco

Jennifer Wade, PhD

James Pinney, PhD UCSF

Julien Schweicher, PhD

Vuk Uskokovic, PhD University of Illinois, Chicago
Jubin Ryu, PhD Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Crystal Nyitray, PhD UCSF QB3

Lalitha Muthusubramaniam, PhD

Berkeley Lights

Kelly Chavez, PhD Duke University
Phin Peng Lee, PhD Stanford University
Alec Cerchiari, PhD Cook Medical
Erica Schlesinger, PhD Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Hari Chirra, PhD Berkeley Lights
Jessica Allen, PhD Berkeley College
Kevin Lance, PhD Putnam Associates
Molly Fischer Fire Cause Analysis


Development of nanostructures to investigate their effects on transporters for oral drug delivery.