Jake Brenner, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor and Attending Physician


Pulmonary, Allergy, & Critical Care Division, and

Systems Pharmacology & Translational Therapeutics Department

University of Pennsylvania

I spend 20% of my time attending in the ICU, and 80% developing medical technologies.

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Laura Ferguson, MD, MSE, MSTR

Postdoc & Attending Physician, Penn Pulmonary Division

Laura is a pulmonologist with a background in bioengineering.  In lab she works on next-generation RBC-hitchhiking of nanocarriers, ex vivo human lung studies of nanocarriers, and development of nanomedicine for interstitital lung disease, her clinical sub-specialty.


Emma Ma

Lab technician / Research Specialist

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


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.

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Manny Patel

Co-op student, Drexel Chemical Engineering

Manny is an undergrad majoring in Chemical Engineering at Drexel. He is doing a 6-month co-op, working full-time in our lab.  He will then continue his undergrad research in the lab.


Sahiley Reyes-Esteves, MD, PhD

Resident, Penn Neurology

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

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Kate Rubey, MD

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.


Zhicheng Wang, PhD


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.


Jichuan Wu, MD, PhD

Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the lab

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.


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).


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.