Ken Webb
Current Lab Members
     Andrew DeMaria
Principal Investigator

Dr. Webb received his B. S. degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Clemson University in 1992 and completed his Ph. D. studies in Bioengineering at the W. M. Keck Center for Tissue Engineering at the University of Utah in 1999. His dissertation research examined the effects of biomaterial surface chemistry and protein adsorption/immobilization on the adhesion, growth, and migration of various mesenchymal cell types. From 1999-2003, Dr. Webb worked at the Keck Center for Tissue Engineering as a post-doctoral research associate and research assistant professor, investigating scaffolds for nerve regeneration and vocal fold mechanobiology. In 2003, Dr. Webb joined the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson University as an Assistant Professor and established the Microenvironmental Engineering Laboratory. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009 and became Associate Chair of Undergraduate Affairs in 2012. His current research interests include hybrid hydrogels for gene delivery and tissue engineering; capillary channel polymer fibers, vibratory mechanotransduction, and hydrogel sealants. Dr. Webb's extracurricular interests include family, college football, and reading about philosophy and economics.

Current Lab Members

Andrew DeMaria

Ph.D. student
Project: Drug-loaded hydrogel for therapeutic angiogenesis

Andrew DeMaria is from Ocean City, New Jersey and received his B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from The College of New Jersey in May 2015. While at TCNJ, he worked as an undergraduate researcher in the Neural Prosthetics Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Xuefeng Wei, where he created computer simulations involving deep brain stimulation. The novel work focused on an electrode's shape and its effect on activating neurons around the sub-thalamic nucleus in order to reduce power consumption and decrease tissue damage. Andrew came to Clemson in August 2015, joined the MicroEnvironmental Engineering Laboratory, and earned his M.S. degree in Bioengineering in May 2017. He is currently working on developing a drug-loaded hydrogel for therapeutic angiogenesis. In his free time, Andrew enjoys running, reading, being outdoors, and cheering on the Tigers.


Sooneon Bae, Ph.D. (2016)

Currently: Lead Associate Investigator, Drug Delivery and Formulation Development, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research

Sooneon Bae came from South Korea and joined the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson University in 2011. He received his B. S. degree in Genetic Engineering from the University of Suwon in 2007, and completed his M. S. E. degree in Bioengineering at Hanyang University, South Korea in 2009. His master's thesis project developed a new fabrication method of PLGA microspheres utilizing hydrogen peroxide as a novel porogen. From 2009-2011, he worked at Center for Biomaterials in Korea Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea as an assistant researcher under the supervision of Ph.D. Kwideok Park. He carried out the project "Development of Cell-derived Microenvironment through Decellularization for the Differentiation of Stem Cells", and he successfully fabricated a biomimetic extracellular matrix using decellularization and examined its ability to support chondrogenic, osteogenic, and adipogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. At Clemson University, his research was to understand the relationship between externally applied vibration and fibroblast-related matrix metabolism and develop novel anti-fibrotic therapeutics. In terms of extracurricular activities, he likes to play soccer, tennis, and scuba-dive, and enjoys snowboarding in winter.

HoJoon Lee, Ph.D.

HoJoon Lee is from South Korea and received his B.S. degree in Biological Engineering from Inha University, South Korea. He completed M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. For his M. S. thesis, he developed pilot scale continuous chromatography for bioseparation applications. He joined the MicroEnvironmental Engineering Laboratory as a Ph.D. candidate in 2011. His research projects were mainly developing hybrid hydrogel scaffolds for stem cell differentiation and capillary channel hydrogel fibers for various tissue engineering applications. His other academic interests are statistical experimental design and systems biology. Outside the laboratory, he enjoys cooking with new recipes and scale-model building.

Atanu Sen, Ph.D. (2015)

Atanu received his B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Sathyabama University, India in 2006 and completed his M.S in Biological Engineering at University of Missouri-Columbia in 2008. While at Mizzou, he worked towards quantification of materials, namely Diamond Like Carbon (DLC), as possible electrodes for measurement of quantal exocytosis. He then joined the MicroEnvironmental Engineering laboratory in 2009 and worked on developing fiber-based scaffolds for nerve regeneration.

Prathik Thulluri, Ph.D.

Prathik Thulluri is from Hyderabad, India and received his B.Tech in Biomedical Engineering from V.I.T. University, Vellore in 2014. While at V.I.T. he was a core committee member of the IEEE EMBS society and did volunteer work with Ayudha (a non-profit organization that helps educate orphans). As part of his final year project he developed a system to measure the center of pressure and inclination of joints to be implemented in a lower limb exoskeleton for paraplegic patients. He joined the Microenvironmental Engineering lab in 2014 as an MS student and worked on developing porous, injectable microscaffolds for cell therapy. His hobbies include reading novels, playing guitar, cricket and soccer.

Jeremy Zhang (2013)

Currently: Engineer, Abbott Molecular

Jeremy Zhang graduated with a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University in spring 2009. He joined the Microenvironmental Engineering Laboratory in fall 2009 with primary research interests in biomaterial scaffolds, tissue regeneration, and gene delivery. He graduated from Clemson University with a PhD in bioengineering in the fall of 2013. His doctoral thesis focused on non-viral gene delivery from hybrid hydrogel scaffolds for neural regeneration and the effects of tetra-functional amphiphilic block copolymers on polymer/pDNA gene delivery. After his academic career, Jeremy joined the molecular diagnostics division of Abbott Laboratories as an engineer in research and development. In addition to research and work, Jeremy enjoys reading and playing golf.

Nihar Shah, Ph.D. (2009)

Currently: Post Doctorate Scholar, University of Kentucky

Dr. Shah received his Bachelor of Engineering degree in Biomedical Engineering from Mumbai University in 2002, and completed his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at Clemson University in 2009. His Ph.D. research focused on developing spatial gradients and patterns of bioactive proteins using surface-initiated graft photopolymerization, to study their effects on neuronal growth. This technology was also applied to develop bioactive marine anti-fouling surfaces that yielded a patent application. He then worked as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, Davis from 2009-2012, where he lead the biomaterials development efforts in the lab, and in particular developed improved drug delivery techniques to enhance chronic wound healing. Dr. Shah joined the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky as a Post Doctorate Scholar in 2012. He is currently working on commercialization of novel biodegradable antioxidant polymers for biomedical, automotive and cosmetics applications. He leads these translational efforts as the scientific lead at the spinoff company, Bluegrass Advanced Materials, LLC. Outside work, Dr. Shah enjoys family, traveling, digital photography, documentaries, and keeping updated on the latest in technology.

Eunhee Cho, Ph.D. (2009)

Currently: Scientist II, St. Jude Medical

Dr. Cho has 10 years of hands-on experience in synthetic biomaterials development, application and advancement, in vitro cell techniques and assessment of cell-biomaterial interactions including biocompatibility, and background in basic genetic engineering techniques. Dr. Cho received her B.E. and M.E. in Biomedical Engineering of Inje University, South Korea and gained additional research experience in an internship at a Korean research institute of chemical technology. During her Ph.D. in Bioengineering of Clemson University, SC, Dr. Cho led a project to develop temporally-controlled, degradable poly(ethylene glycol) or Poloxamine (Tetronic®)-based hydrogels. In addition, Dr. Cho established bioactive and temporally-controlled, degradable hydrogel tissue adhesives; providing geometric stability and improved mechanical properties. Dr. Cho held a postdoctoral scholar position in Physics department of University of South Florida, FL to create a potential drug screening tool in the anti-cancer therapies through in vitro polypeptide multilayer nanofilms by varying physical and chemical properties. Dr. Cho joined the R&D Science & Technology group of St. Jude Medical Cardiovascular division as a scientist II and currently focuses on development of the vascular closure device and multi-electrode renal denervation system.

Rebecca Cribb, Ph.D. (2009)


Jaishankar Kutty, Ph.D. (2008)

Currently: Senior R&D Scientist, St. Jude Medical

Following his Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering (Mumbai University, India), Dr. Kutty came to Clemson Bioengineering in 2003 to pursue a doctoral degree focused specifically on Tissue Engineering. His dissertation research focused on the development of biodegradable polymers and vibratory culture systems for conditioning/monitoring cellular responses to mechanotransduction aimed at realizing biomimetic materials to promote scarless wound healing and vocal fold regeneration. His research achievements were recognized by Clemson University, in April 2008, with the prestigious Page Morton Hunter Bioengineering Graduate Researcher Award. He also served as the student representative on the IACUC committee during his time at Clemson. His professional career outside academia includes writing for monthly educational magazines (2001-2005, Mumbai, India), an Applications Engineer position at WiproGE Medical Systems (2002-2002, Mumbai, India), an Engineering Intern stint at Bose ElectroForce (Eden Prairie, MN), and his current role as a Senior R&D Scientist at St. Jude Medical, Inc (St. Paul, MN) focused on novel technology development for Surgical and Transcatheter heart valves. He is actively involved in the Minnesota Cricket Association as he is very passionate about the sport and attempts to popularize it in the States. His extracurricular interests include traveling with family, reading, listening to music, and playing the guitar and violin.

Sagar Joshi, M.S. (2005)

Currently: Research Scientist, Air Liquide

Sagar received his B.E. degree in Instrumentation and Control Engineering from University of Pune in 2002 and completed his M.S. degree in Bioengineering from Clemson University in 2005 in the MicroEnvironmental Engineering Laboratory. His M.S. project focused on evaluating the effect of cyclic strain on mechanical properties of fibroblast-substrate constructs (Joshi and Webb, J Orthop Res., 2008). After graduation, he decided to pursue doctoral studies. He completed a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from University of Pittsburgh in 2011 in Dr. Lance Davidson's laboratory. His doctoral dissertation research involved examining the role of cell contractility and shape change on embryonic development. Shortly after graduate school, he began working as a Research Scientist in American Air Liquide in the Delaware Research and Technology Center. His current research interests include developmental biology, toxicology and tissue and cellular engineering. His extracurricular interests include reading and chess.

Kedar Datar, M. S. (2005)

Currently: Manager of Pharmaceutical Development, Santen Inc.

Kedar completed his Bachelors of Engineering (Instrumentation & Control) from the Pune University in 2002 and after working for a year in the field process engineering in India joined the MicroEnvironmental Engineering Laboratory in October of 2003. His focus for the two years at Clemson was the research and development of PEG-based degradable gel coatings on grooved fibers, a technology development precursor for bridging a spinal cord injury using gene delivery from a degradable hydrogel to change the phenotype of the cells in the vicinity of the injury thus aiding neuronal growth. In 2006, Kedar took a position as the lead on a project to develop antibacterial coating on Catheter surfaces at Allvivo Vascular Inc in Orange County, CA. In 2009, Kedar started his MBA in finance from the Rady School of management at University of California at San Diego. In 2010, Kedar took up a position as a Project Manager at Althea Technologies where he led a cross functional team from Sales, Business process, Manufacturing, Regulatory and Quality & Engineering to execute drug manufacturing projects (early stage to commercial) for biopharmaceutical clients. In 2012, he joined Santen Inc. as Manager of Pharmaceutical Development. Kedar is an ardent traveler and has visited more than 15 countries in the past 5 years and has traveled the length and breadth of US and his home country India. He enjoys cooking, reading and playing tennis in his spare time and above all spending as much time with his wife and kid.