Graduate Students

Yezihalem Mesfin


Graduated in 2008 with a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Minnesota. He is currently working full time at Starkey Hearing Technologies in Eden Prairie, Minnesota as a Research Engineer. His research in this lab focuses on applying neural beamforming (mSync) neuromodulation techniques for treating tinnitus in human subjects. Future research will explore incorporation of magnetic or ultrasound stimulation and integrative healing techniques into the mSync paradigm.


   Tianqi Li


Graduated in 2015 with a BS in Electronic Science and Technology from the University of Science and Technology of China. Her research aims to characterize cochlear membrane vibration patterns in response to ultrasound neurostimulation in a guinea pig model by using optical coherence tomography. The goal of the project is to guide the development of new stimulation strategies for ultrasound-based hearing technologies.


  Gerardo Rodriguez


Graduated in 2016 with a BS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Utah. His research is focused on characterizing the effects of ultrasonic stimulation on the auditory pathway in a guinea pig model towards developing a new type of hearing aid technology. Gerardo will also develop closed-loop methods based on Bayesian statistics, point process algorithms, and deep learning networks in order to identify optimal stimulation strategies for ultrasound-based hearing technologies.



   Martha Westman


Graduated in 2017 with a BA in Speech-Language-Hearing Science and a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. She is a first year student in the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) program.  She is currently working with Yezih on a human study testing mSync (neural beamforming neuromodulation) in tinnitus patients.


  John Basile


Graduated with a BS degree in Biomedical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University.  His research investigates novel ultrasound technologies and stimulation strategies for the treatment of hearing disorders. John's research initially focuses on safety studies in animal models in order to perform ultrasound stimulation studies directly in humans towards developing a new type of hearing aid technology.                     


  Abby Heiller


Graduated in 2016 with a BS degree in Biomedical Engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering. She worked at Medtronic as a Medical Device Reporting Specialist from 2016 to 2017 for the Drug Infusion Systems group. Her research is focused on developing autonomic and peripheral neural interfaces for neuromodulation applications. She is interested in using novel neural interfacing with miniaturized bioelectronics to help treat neurological disorders by monitoring neural responses to neuromodulation therapy.  For her PhD, she will be collaborating closely with Dr. Zhi Yang's lab.     


  Claire Kaiser

Claire Kaiser

Graduated in 2017 with a BS degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester. Her research investigates image-guided neuromodulation to treat chronic inflammation. Claire is currently working on a project targeting the spleen using ultrasound and other modulation techniques with the goal of reducing the severity of rheumatoid arthritis inflammation. She is researching in collaboration with Daniel Zachs, Medtronic, DARPA, and Dr. Bryce Binstadt's lab in the University of Minnesota's Center for Immunology.                               


 Inderbir Sondh


Graduated in 2017 with a BS degree in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh. His research involves using multimodal stimulation strategies to induce changes in neural plasticity of brain regions in the auditory pathway (primary auditory cortex and inferior colliculus). His goal is to transition this work into a novel medical technology for selective hearing enhancement and integrate into existing assistive hearing devices. He is also interested in ultrasound neuromodulation of the immune system and ultrasound-based hearing.

 Maryam Hosseini


Graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad  and a MS in Biomedical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology. Her research focuses on understanding the neural representation of an auditory stimulus along with the encoding/decoding mechanisms of the mammalian brain. Her goal is to study background noise features that are transmitted to the higher structures of the auditory system. She was a visiting graduate student and is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Sherbrooke.