People

IonelPopa

FLAGROMANIA Ionel Popa CV
Principal Investigator
Email: popa@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-5086
Room: KEN 3180

Ionel Popa received his B.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering from Gh. Asachi Technical University in 2005 and his Ph.D. in Physical and Analytical Chemistry from University of Geneva in 2010, under the direction of Prof. Michal Borkovec. He then joined the group of Julio M. Fernandez at Columbia University to study protein biophysics, where he held the positions of Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate Research Scientist. Since fall 2015, he joined the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he currently holds the rank of Assistant Professor.

 


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isrealflag Luai Khoury
Post-Doc
Email: khoury@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4039

Luai Khoury is a postdoctoral fellow in Popa Lab. His current research interests involve development of protein hydrogel for biomedical applications. Luai Khoury received his B.Sc. (2010) and M.Sc. (2011) and Ph.D. (2016) in Biomedical Engineering from Ben- Gurion University. His Ph.D. project focused on the development of gold nanoparticles in order to harvest, concentrate and detect low molecular weight (LMW) biomarkers for disease diagnosis in collaboration with Prof. Giora Enden. He likes to travel, and talk with people about food and science.


Flag_of_the_United_States Annie Eis
Associate Research Specialist
Email: eisal@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4020

Annie Eis received her BS degree in Urban Horticulture from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and her MS degree in Plant Pathology from The University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The research bug bit hard in graduate school, so with limited research opportunities in the plant sciences at the time, Annie accepted a Research Assistant position in Maternal/Fetal Medicine with Dr. Les Myatt at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Finding medical research to be very rewarding, upon relocating to Wisconsin with her family, she joined a Neonatology research group at the Medical College of Wisconsin as a Research Associate. Shifting gears once more, Annie  joined Dr. Ionel Popa’s research group in March 2016 and supervises the molecular biology and protein expression.


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Narayan Dahal
Graduate Student
Email: npdahal@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4020

Narayan Dahal completed his Bachelor and Master’s degree in physics from Tribhuvan University, Nepal in 2011. After having three years of experience in teaching high-school physics, he joined the Physics department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a graduate student in Fall 2014. Currently, Narayan is working on the surface chemistry and magnetic tweezer measurements.

 


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Joel Nowitzke
Graduate Student
Email: nowitzk2@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4028

I joined the physics department as a graduate student in 2014 after receiving my BS in Physics from St. Cloud State University in 2013. I am currently working on single molecule magnetic tweezer experiments along with assisting Luai with protein hydrogels. I have many interests in physics ranging from astronomy/gravitational waves down to single molecule mechanical systems. I am an avid bowler and have been bowling most of my life with a high game of 299. I enjoy movies, reading, and bonfires even if it is a sub-zero night during the Minnesota winter.


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 Sabita Sharma
Graduate Student
Email: sabita@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4028

I joined the graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Fall 2017 after I got my B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree in Physics from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. I recently joined Popa Lab, and I am working on BSA hydrogels. In my free time, I like to take a walk, watch movies or read novels.

 
 


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 Anye Ngwa
Graduate Student
Email: knanye@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4028

I received my B.S. in Biochemistry in 2016. I began my M.S. degree program in 2017, majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology. I will be working in Dr. Popa’s lab doing Protein synthesis, protein purification, and other housekeeping processes. In my free time, I like to work out, do yoga, watch movies, play soccer, and play beach volleyball.

 
 


Flag_of_the_United_States Lauren Andrews
Undergraduate Student
Email: andrew75@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4020

I am a freshman majoring in Civil engineering. I am working with Ionel Popa on testing mechanical characterizations of BSA protein hydrogels through computer simulations on the force clamp rheometer. My interests include running, hiking, and playing with my cats. I have four of them.

 


Flag_of_the_United_States Max Driftmier
Undergraduate Student
Email: Driftmi2@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4020

My name is Max Driftmier. I am from Verona Wisconsin and I am currently student at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee studying physics in my undergraduate degree. I work in professor Ionel Popa’s lab making and testing electronic equipment with Joel T Nowitzke to learn about protein hydrogels.


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Flag_of_the_United_States Nicholas De Leo
Undergraduate Student
Email: ncdeleo@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4028

Nick is a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering working with Dr.Popa to develop a tool for analyzing muscle fiber mechanics. His interests include cats, good food, physical activity, and sailing on Lake Michigan. In his free time he takes care of his son and works at Discovery World on the weekends.

 
 


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Sanjna Girdhar
Undergraduate Student
Email: sgirdhar@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4028

I am an undergraduate student majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Psychology. I am working with Annie Eis on protein purification. Anything related to Molecular Biology interests me. In my free time, I like listening to music, chit chatting, and reading novels.


Flag_of_the_United_States Olivia Gloria
Undergraduate Student
Email: ogloria@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4020

I am a Sophomore majoring in Biology and Pre-Dental. I will be working with Annie Eis on antibody columns. Anything biomedical-related interests me, and I also enjoy hiking, running, playing tennis, and reading.

 
 
 
 
 
 


 Mirko Pavlovic
Undergraduate Student
Email: pavlovi8@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4020

Mirko is a recent graduate from LakeView Technology Academy and is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee studying Mathematics and Physics. Mirko will be creating models of the protein hydrogels and running simulations mapping out their mechanical properties. This is Mirko’s first ever research project and he hopes to learn and build his professional career working with Dr. Ionel Popa.

 
 
 
 
 
 


mexico Erick Daniel Rico-Sanchez
Undergraduate Student
Email: ricosan2@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4028

I am a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering. My primary focus is to develop a prototype for a force-clamp rheometer. This instrument will be used to characterize the mechanical response of protein hydrogels. I will work on designing custom parts for this instrument using appropriate CAD software, will be responsible with producing these parts using our Physics Workshop facility, and will help assemble this instrument. My passion revolves around family, mathematics, soccer, and poetry.


ukraine Kirill Shmilovich
Undergraduate Student
Email: shmilov2@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4028

Kirill Shmilovich is a senior Physics and Mathematics double major. His work focuses on reconciling the molecular character of protein hydrogels with their mechanical properties through experiments and computer simulations. Kirill is the recipient of UWM’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Biology and Mathematics and has interned at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Dr. Alexander-Katz’s Laboratory for Theoretical Soft Materials. Kirill has presented his work at seven conferences around the nation and maintains a personal science blog (Kirills.com) where he communicates his passion for science through educational content. As a professional, Kirill aspires to use computational and mathematical tools to model and simulate biological and physical systems providing a telescope to investigate elusive nanoscale phenomena.


 Marina Slawinski
Undergraduate Student
Email: slawins6@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-2296
Room: KEN 4020

Marina is an incoming freshman who plans to major in Biomedical Engineering. Through the UR@UWM Summer Research Program, she will have the unique opportunity to learn from Dr. Popa and his team about how BSA protein hydrogels behave under an applied force as well as their potential biomedical applications.