Faculty & Staff
Wilson Z. Ray, MD
Dr. Ray is the Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM). He completed his training in neurosurgery at WUSM. He then completed a peripheral nerve surgery fellowship at WUSM followed by an orthopedic/neurosurgery spine fellowship at the University of Utah. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and has active funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/Neurological Disorders & Stroke (NINDS), Department of Defense (DoD), and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). His clinical interests are in spinal cord injury, spinal oncology, minimally invasive spine surgery, and nerve transfers. His research is focused on peripheral neuroprosthetics, resorbable electronics, and axonal regeneration following spinal cord and peripheral nerve injuries.
For his full clinical bio, please see: https://neurosurgery.wustl.edu/people/wilson-zachary-ray-md/
Ying Yan, MD, PhD
After more than a decade as a clinical surgeon, Dr. Yan pursued a PhD in molecular and cellular biology. His research at WUSM focuses on developing new strategies that promote peripheral nerve regeneration, functional recovery, and bone healing after injury.
PhD Candidate, Materials Science and Engineering
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Yameng is a second year doctoral candidate in The Institute of Materials Science and Engineering. Her research focuses on therapeutic electrical stimulation for peripheral nerve regeneration with both permanent and bioresorbable nerve stimulators. She is also involved in collaborating projects including intracranial pressure monitoring, pH sensing and flap/compartment syndrome sensing. In her spare time, she enjoys origami, cooking and visiting museums.
Jingyuan Zhang, M.S.
Jingyuan received his M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and his B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. His graduate and current research focus is on testing the performance of macro-sieve electrodes in vivo.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
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Justin is a fourth-year medical student at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. His research involves the application of machine learning approaches to DTI/DBSI metrics and clinical data to prognosticate outcome in patients with spinal cord injury. Justin hopes to combine his clinical and research interests to pursue a career in academic medicine.
In his spare time, Justin enjoys getting Chinese food with his friends.
Braeden Benedict, MS
Prior to medical school at WashU, Braeden received his M.S. in bioengineering from UC Berkeley/UCSF and his B.S. in electrical engineering from Notre Dame. His graduate research focused on mm-scale ultrasonic biomedical implants, and he is currently researching peripheral nerve injury biomarkers. In his free time, Braeden enjoys biking, skiing, and exploring St. Louis.
Psychological and Brain Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis
Sabrina is a senior majoring in Psychological and Brain Sciences and minoring in Speech and Hearing Sciences on the Pre-Medical track. She is currently assisting in a transient nerve electronics project with applications in nerve blocks and nerve regeneration. Her interests outside of lab include working as a Level-One Medical Aide for dementia patients
Neuroscience, Washington University in St. Louis
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Nader is a junior undergraduate student at WashU majoring in Neuroscience and Healthcare Management on the Pre-Medical track. He is involved in research on electrical stimulation for peripheral nerve regeneration using bioresorbable nerve stimulators.
Outside of the lab Nader works as a medical scribe in an emergency department, is an avid tennis player, and loves to explore the culinary scene in St. Louis.
Manu Stephen (2014-17)
Youchun Zheng (2016-17)
Bharat Vemulapalli (2015-16)
Nathan Birenbaum, PhD
Biomedical Engineering PhD Graduate
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Nathan was a doctoral candidate in Biomedical Engineering from 2015-2023. His dissertation work focused on 1) determining the optimal time course of therapeutic electrical stimulation for enhancing peripheral nerve regeneration using wireless implantable nerve stimulators and 2) monitoring recovery from peripheral nerve injury in vivo using diffusion basis spectrum imaging. Outside of his dissertation work Nathan was involved in other projects including designing a bone stimulation device for a femoral fracture model, developing a mechanomyography sensor to measure injured nerve function, and implanting macro-sieve electrodes for motor control in a spinal cord injury model.
Outside the lab Nathan enjoys the gym, tinkering with electronics, gaming, electronic music, and hanging out with friends.
Biomedical Engineering PhD Graduate
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Dinal was a doctoral candidate in Biomedical Engineering from 2016-2022. His research involves identifying brain and spine prognostic biomarkers that can eventually be used to determine clinical outcomes for patients with cervical myelopathy.
When Dinal isn’t in lab, he enjoys swimming, biking in the park, and trying out different restaurants.
Dinal is currently a Decision Analytics Associate Consultant at ZS Associates in Chicago, IL.
Nikhil S. Chandra
Biomedical Engineering PhD graduate
Nikhil was a doctoral candidate in Biomedical Engineering from 2013-2021. His research focused on developing and testing new technologies for integrating sensory feedback with prosthetic limbs.
In his spare time, Nikhil enjoys playing ping-pong and Lego.
Nikhil is currently a Software Engineer at Plexon in Dallas, TX.
Amrita Nishtala, MS (2016-18)
Soumyajit Ray, MS (2016-17)
Juan Pardo, PhD (2011-18)
Zohny Zohny, MD (2015-16)
Rory Murphy, MD (2013-14)
MD Candidate (4th Year), The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Umang is a medical student at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He is involved with various projects in the lab such as using preregenerated nerves to expedite functional recovery after composite tissue transplantation. He is also looking at high frequency alternating current as a means of inducing complete nerve block to modulate postoperative pain.
When he’s not in the lab, Umang enjoys writing musical poetry, playing basketball, traveling, and dancing.
Jawad Khalifeh, MD, MSCI
MD & MSCI Graduate
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Jawad was a medical student and Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation candidate at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis from 2015-2020. His research focused on developing methods for transient electronic stimulation to accelerate bone healing. Jawad plans to combine his clinical and research interests by pursuing further training in academic neurosurgery.
In his spare time, Jawad enjoys traveling, watching movies, and playing soccer.
Jawad is currently a PGY3 Neurosurgery Resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD.
Priscilla Stecher (2018)
Bradley Busebee (2017)
McLean Davies (2017)
Breydan H. Wright (2017)
Weston McCarron (2016-17)
William R. Johnston (2016)
Rachel K. Greene (2016)
Michael Mathison (2016)
Paul Gamble (2014, 2016-17)
Adin Ehlrich (2021)
Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
Eric Sallinger (2020)
Luis Ruiz (2020)
Taylor Rodieck (2018)
Jack O’Malley (2018)
Peter Christiansen (2018)
Nadia Debick (2017)
Emily Jackson (2017)
Kelsey Bean (2016)
Michael Paskett (2016)
Leo Li (2012-14)
Kara Donovan (FL 2019)
Dinal Jayasekera (FL 2017)
Kaining Zhang (SP 2017)
Charles Holmes (FL 2013)