Curriculum Vitae


5/2018 - Present Caltech: PhD Student, Department of Bioengineering
8/2016 - Present David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM) at UCLA: Medical Student, Medical Scientist Training Program
8/2011 - 5/2015 Johns Hopkins University (JHU) BA, Global Environmental Change and Sustainability

Research Experience

Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shapiro Laboratory, Caltech

PhD Student, 5/2018-Present

  • Developing highly sensitive cell based cancer diagnostic tools by engineering immune cells that home to tumors, sense tumor-associated signals, and produce ultrasound contrast. These cells will act as ultrasound reporter cells to non-invasively detect cancer in deep parts of the body
  • Engineering heat-responsive cells that can be controlled non-invasively using focused ultrasound to selectively confine therapeutic activation to the tumor and reduce off-target effects
  • Studying circulation and clearance of nanosized ultrasound contrast agents, gas vesicles, and imaging lysosmal degradation of gas vesicle by liver macrophages to determine phagolysosomal function

Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shapiro Laboratory, Caltech

Rotation Student, 6/2017-8/2017

  • Studied mammalian cell gas vesiscle uptake and imaging in vitro
  • Used GV loaded mammalian cells for refractive index imaging by relying on the change in refractive index between the air filled gas vesicle and surrounding cytoplasm

Eli and Edyth Broad Stem Cell Research Center, Memarzadeh Laboratory, UCLA

Rotation Student, 6/2016-8/2016

  • Studied ovarian cancer drug resistance to platinum therapies
  • Investigated the cellular processes that confer drug resistance and tested various combination therapies to overcome platinum-based chemotherapy resistance

Sidney Kimmel comprehensive Cancer Center, Park Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University

Research Technician, 12/2014-5/2016

  • Tested non-invasive blood and urine-based cancer screening methods.
  • Refined droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) to screen for cancer mutations in blood plasma and urine. Studied ESR1 based drug resistant breast cancers.

Wilmer Eye Institute and Biomedical Engineering, Elisseeff Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University

Undergraduate Researcher, 6/2013-11/2014

  • Assisted the cornea decellularization project to generate Xeno-transplantable corneal tissue to treat battlefield wounds.
  • Studied alternative materials like gamma-irradiated human corneas and cellulose hydrogels for human ocular applications.

Wilmer Eye Institute, Yiu Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University

Undergraduate Researcher, 6/2012-6/2013

  • Assisted the lacrimal gland decellularization project to generate Xeno-transplantable lacrimal gland tissue to treat dry eye disease.


  1. A. Farhadi, M. Bedrossian, J. Lee, G. Ho, M. G. Shapiro, J. L. Nadeau (2020). Genetically Encoded Phase Contrast Agents for Digital Holographic Microscopy. Nano Letters.
  2. B. Ling, J. Lee, D. Maresca, A. Lee-Gosselin, D. Malounda, M. G. Shapiro (2020). Biomolecular Ultrasound Imaging of in vivo Phagolysosomal Function. ACS Nano.
  3. M. Abedi, J. Lee, D. Piraner, M. G. Shapiro (2020). Thermal Control of Engineered T-cells. ACS Synthetic Biology.
  4. S. Torquato, A Pallavajjala, A. Goldstein, P. V. Toro, J. L Silberstein, J. Lee, M Nakazawa, I. Waters, D. Chu, D. Shinn, T. Grogonshi, R. M. Hughes, B. W. Simons, H. Khan, Z. Feng, M. A. Carducci, C. J. Paller, S. R. Denmeade, B. Kressel, M. A. Eisenberger, E. S. Antonarakis, B. J. Trock, B. H. Park, P. J. Hurley (2019). Genetic Alterations Detected in Cell-free DNA are Associated with Enzalutamid and Abiraterone Resistance in Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer. JCO Precision Oncology.
  5. J. D. Lee, E. Kuo, L. Du, M. Yeh, M. Livhits (2018). Risk Factors for Readmission after Parathyroidectomy for Renal Hyperparathyroidism. World Journal of Surgery.
  6. J. J. Chae, Y, Shin, J. D. Lee, K. Seo and J. Elisseeff (2018). Nictiating Membrane Fixation Improves Stability of the Contact Lens on the Animal Corneal Surface. PLOSOne.
  7. A. Goldstein, P. V. Toro, J. Lee, J. L. Silberstein, M. Nakazawa, I. Waters, K. Cravero, D. Chu, R. L. Cochran, M. Kim, D. Shinn, S. Torquato, R. M. Hughes, M. A. Carducci, C. J. Paller, S. R. Denmeade, B. Kressel, B. Trock, E. S. Antonarakis, B. H. Park, P. J. Hurley (2017). Detection Fidelity of AR Mutations in Plasma Derived Cell-Free DNA. Oncotarget.
  8. A. S. Whale, A. S. Devonshire, G. Karlin-Neumann, J. Regan, L. Javier, S. Cowen, A. Fernandez-Gonzalez, G. M. Jones, N. Redshaw, J. Beck, A. W. Berger, V. Combaret, N. D. Kjersgaard, L. Davis, F. Fina, T. Forshew, R. F. Andersen, S. Galbiati, A. G. Hernandez, C. A. Haynes. F. Janku, R. Lacave, J. Lee, V. Mistry, A. Pender, A. Pradines, C. Proudhon, L. H. Saal, E Stieglitz, B. Ulrich, C. A. Foy, H. Parkes, S. Tzonev, J. F. Huggett (2016). An International Inter-Laboratory Digital PCR Study Demonstrating High Reproducibility for the Measurement of a Rare Sequence Variant. Analytical Chemistry. *Participating institutions listed in alphabetical order
  9. J. Lee, J. Axilbund, W. B. Dalton, D. Laheru, S. Watkins, D. Chu, K. Cravero, B. Button, K. Kyker-Snowman, I. Waters, C. Gocke, J. Lauring, B. H. Park (2016). A Polycythemia Vera JAK2 Mutations Masquerading as a Duodenal Cancer Mutation. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
  10. H. A. Parsons, J. A. Beaver, A. Cimino-Mathews, S. M. Ali, J. Axilbund, D. Chu, R. M. Connolly, R. L. Cochran, C. Croessmann, T. Clark, C. Gocke, S. Jeter, M. Kennedy, J. Lauring, J. Lee, D Lipson, V. A. Miller, G. A. Otto, G. L. Rosner, J. S. Ross, S. Slater, P. J. Stephens, D. A. VanDenBerg, A. C. Wolff, L. E. Young, D. J. Zabransky, Z. Zhang, J Zorzi, V. Stearns, B. H. Park (2016). Individualized Molecular Analyses Guide Efforts (IMAGE): A Prospective Study of Molecular Profiling of Tissue and Blood in Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Clinical Cancer Research.
  11. J. J. Chae, J. S. Choi, J. D. Lee, Q. Lu, W. J. Stark, I. C. Kuo, and J. H. Elisseeff (2015). Physical and Biological Characterization of the Gamma-Irradiated Human Cornea. Cornea.
  12. M. W. Patchan, J. J. Chae, J. D. Lee, X. Calderon-Colon, J. P. Maranchi, R. L. McCally, O.D. Schein, J. H. Elisseeff, M. M. Trexler (2014). Evaluation of the biocompatibility of regenerated cellulose hydrogels with high strength and transparency ocular applications. Journal of Biomaterials Applications.

Work Experience

Private Tutor and Academic Consultant

7/2016 - Present

  • Tutoring high school and undergraduate sutdents in STEM subjects and preparing them for SAT and MCAT testing
  • Consultant for the undergraduate and medical school application process

Medical Student Tutor, DGSOM

07/2017 - Present

  • Lead weakly review sessions for medical students to solidify pre-clinical medical school curriculum concepts and prepare students for the National Moard of Medical Examiners (NBME) STEP 1 Exam.

Anatomy Tutor, DGSOM

7/2017 - 5/2018

  • Led weekly anatomy review sessions in the anatomy lab to reinforce material.

Teaching Assistant, Organic Chemistry Lab, JHU

2/2013 - 5/2015

  • Taught laboratory techniques, led organic chemistry experiments ina small group setting, administered and graded exams and laboratory reports.

Teaching Assistant, Tissue Engineering, JHU

2/2015 - 5/2015

  • Administered and graded exams and homework sets.

Chef de Partie, Cinghiale Enoteca Ostera, Baltimore MD

6/2013 - 5/2015

  • Responsible for managing the station’s ingredient preparation for a daily changing menu. Designed creative plating styles and presentations. Tasked with picking fresh produce at the local farmer’s market. Trained in classic French techniques utilized in traditional Italian cooking.

Honors and Awards

2020 Fellow, NIH Kirschstein-NRSA F30 Fellowship
2020 Fellow, Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans
2015 Graduation with General Honors, Johns Hopkins University
2015 Graduation with Departmental Honors, Johns Hopkins University
2011 Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America
2009 Junior Olympic All-American, La Cañada Water Polo Club

Medical Entrepreneurship

Sling Health, Los Angeles

Co-President and Founder, 6/2017-Present

  • Founded a Health Technology incubator at DGSOM focusing on connecting medical professionals who face clinical problems with students to create innovative solutions. Our vision is to give students an opportunity to think critically and creatively about a relevant clinical problem and equip them to create products to solve these issues. We hope students in our incubator curriculum will supplement their academic coursework with real-world practice in entrepreneurship. Our UCLA incubator merged with Sling Health, a national non-profit health technology incubator, in August 2018 to form the Sling Health Los Angeles Chapter.

  • Established a yearlong program to pitch problems to interested students, form teams, mentor them, and provide opportunities to present their innovations. We launched an annual UCLA ‘Demo Day’ to give medical students a platform to present products to potential investors and leaders in the field