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Meet The Team


Jake Brenner


Jake spends 20% of his time attending in the ICU, and 80% developing medical technologies.

Assistant Professor & Attending Physician, Penn Pulmonary & Critical Care and Systems Pharmacology & Translational Therapeutics Department

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Laura Ferguson


Clinical Instructor & Attending Physician, Penn Pulmonary & Critical Care

Laura is a pulmonologist with a background in bioengineering.  In the lab she works on developing nanomedicine to treat interstitial lung disease, ex vivo human lung studies of nanocarriers, and next-generation RBC-hitchhiking of nanocarriers.

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Kate Rubey


Postdoc & Attending Physician, CHOP Neonatology

Kate is a neonatologist at CHOP, working in the neonatal ICU (NICU), taking care of critically ill infants.  In lab she works on nanomedicine for severe infections, especially pneumonia, and the mechanisms by which neutrophils recognize nanoparticles.


Sahiley Reyes-Esteves


Resident, Penn Neurology

Sahily is primarily doing clinical work, but is also working on developing targeted nanocarriers for treating acute ischemic stroke.

Chief Operating Officer (COO)


Jichuan Wu


Jichuan trained in China as a neonatologist (critical care for infants), then worked at Temple University for 15+ years on animal models of acute critical illnesses (ACIs), focused mostly on ARDS and traumatic brain injury.  He joined the Brenner Bioengineering Lab in the summer of 2019, and directs animal experiments on ACIs.


Jia Nong



Jia is working on the development of targeted nanomedicine for the treatment of acute illness, and to understand the interaction of nanocarriers with white blood cells to facilitate the engineering and applications of the nanomedicine.


Zhicheng Wang



Zhicheng works on the biophysics of how nanoparticles interact with the blood, and how we can use these principles to engineer better nano-scale therapeutics.

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Eno-Obong Essien


Postdoc and Fellow, Penn Pulmonary Division

Eno is working to develop nanocarriers to deliver small molecule drugs and RNA in ARDS models. 


Marco Zamora

PhD Student, Drexel Bioengineering

Marco is working on two projects.  The first is the development of a nanomedicine-based therapeutic for ARDS using RNA delivery.  The second project involves how the innate immune system interacts with nanocarriers.


Mike Zaleski

PhD Student, Penn Pharmacology

Mike leads a project in collaboration with a pharmaceutical company to create a nanomedicine-based therapeutic for ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome).

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Anush Lingamoorthy

Ph.D. Student, Drexel Electrical Engineering

Anush is the lead engineer in developing a self-driven wearable medical drug delivery device. The purpose of the device is to combat substance use disorders.


Serena Omo-Lamai

PhD Student, Penn Bioengineering

Serena is developing nano-scale drug carriers to deliver small molecule drugs and RNA to the brain, for stroke, traumatic brain injury, and hopefully more.


Liam Chase

Research Specialist 
MSE Student, Penn Bioengineering

Liam's background is in Bioengineering and Chemistry. He is developing new methods to detect infusion reactions and nanomedicine-based therapeutics for various diseases.

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Emma Ma

Research Specialist

Emma did her undergraduate in Neuroscience at the University of Michigan.  She currently works on targeted drug delivery for acute lung diseases, including acute exacerbation of IPF.


Carolann Espy

PhD Student, Penn Pharmacology

Carolann is pursuing her Ph.D. in Pharmacology. Her current project is focused on preventing nanocarriers from activating the innate immune system.

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