The Interfaces Program


Alumni of the HHMI/NIBIB Interfaces Program, with most recent graduates listed at the top.

**update soon**

Erin K. Englund, PhD

Advisor: Felix Wehrli, PhD

Years at Penn: 2009 – 2016

Thesis: Functional evaluation of the peripheral vasculature using magnetic resonance imaging

Awards: AHA Predoctoral Fellowship

Current Position: Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania (March 2016-present)

Alan Seifert, PhD

Advisor: Felix W. Wehrli, PhD

Years at Penn: 2009 – 2015

Thesis: A Quantitative MRI Protocol for Assessing Matrix and Mineral Densities and Degree of Mineralization of Human Cortical Bone

Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher, Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai (August 2015 – present)

Francisco Contijoch, PhD

Advisor: Robert Gorman, MD

Years at Penn: 2010 – 2015

Thesis: Load-Independent and Regional Measures of Cardiac Function Via Real-Time MRI

Awards: SCMR Regional Scholarship Recipient, February 2015; SCMR Early Career Award Finalist (Basic Translational), 2015; NIH F31 Kirschtein NRSA Pre-doctoral Fellowship Recipient

Current Position: Post-doctoral Fellow, UCSD

“I think the side-by-side training with medical students in the medical school courses allowed me to much more clearly understand their priorities, responsibility, and approach when it comes to treating patients and doing medical research.”

Shauna HeadshotShauna M. Dorsey, PhD

Advisor: Jason A. Burdick, PhD

Years at Penn: 2009 – 2015

Thesis: MRI Evaluation of Injectable Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel Therapy to Attenuate Myocardial Infarct Remodeling

Awards: University of Pennsylvania Certificate in College and University Teaching, 2013; 2016 Presidential Management Fellowship STEM Finalist, 2012-2014 National Institutes of Health Training Grant (T32)

Current Position: Research Engineer, United States Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal (January 2016 – Present); Research Engineer, Universal Technical Resource Services, Inc. (UTRS) Contractor to the United States Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal (June 2015 – December 2015); Lecturer, Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania (January 2015 – May 2015)

The unique didactic training of the Interfaces Program, combining imaging-based engineering courses and medical school basic science courses, really deepened my appreciation for collaborative research. This then carried into my dissertation research where I needed to initiate several collaborations for the sake of having a successful project. Through these collaborations, I learned the importance of effectively communicating and collaborating with clinicians when developing technologies designed for clinical application. Moving forward into my career path, I think this has helped me to more successfully work at the interface of different disciplines and interact with a variety of individuals from various backgrounds towards the goal of completing cohesive projects.

James Hui, PhD

Advisor: Andrew Tsourkas, PhD

Years at Penn: 2009 – 2015

Thesis: Engineering a Light-Activated Protein Domain for the Site-Specific Conjugation of Native IgGs

Awards: Soros Fellowship

Current Position: Finishing medical school (MD/PhD program)

“The community was great, both the students and the faculty in the program were talented and passionate scientists. Since we were not only colleagues but also in many instances close friends, we could seek honest opinions and advice from each other and from the faculty. Being able to concurrently take a wide array of medical/biomedical and engineering courses, and being able to participate in cutting-edge interdisciplinary workshops and seminars really made translational research easier to pursue.”

ruthJason Ruth, PhD

Advisor: Lewis Chodosh, PhD

Years at Penn: 2008 – 2014

Thesis: Modeling breast cancer dormancy and recurrence following oncogenic pathway inhibition

Awards: NIH F31 predoctoral fellowship                                                                                                   

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (September 2015 -present)

“Taking the complete didactic component of medical school at the Perelman School of Medicine provided me with a foundation for understanding the language of medicine and an extraordinary network of friends who motivate and inspire, both of which help me to identify and understand the trends shaping my field.”

Ajlan Al Zaki, PhD

Advisor: Andrew Tsourkas, PhD

Years at Penn: 2008 – 2014

Thesis: Gold and Iron Micelles: A multifunctional approach for combined imaging, radiotherapy and improved pharmacokinetics

Awards: UAE Presidential Scholarship Recipient, Solomon P. Pollack award (UPenn), Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute oral presentation award (Mount Sinai)

Current Position: Medical Student at George Washington University

The most valuable aspect of the Interfaces Program was, “The networking opportunities from classmates and all the faculty and mentors.”

pouchAlison Pouch, PhD

Advisor: Chandra Sehgal, PhD

Years at Penn: 2007 – 2013

Thesis: Automated Quantification of Mitral Valve Morphology and Dynamics Using Real-Time 3D Echocardiography

Awards: American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship; NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32) awarded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Current Position: Post-doctoral fellow, Gorman Cardiovascular Research Group and Penn Image Computing and Science Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania

“One of the most valuable aspects of the Interfaces Program is the mentorship and professional development opportunities it offers. The Interfaces leadership team provided outstanding guidance throughout my graduate school experience and encouraged trainees to seek mentorship in both clinical and engineering-related departments. As a result, I had an outstanding team of mentors spanning multiple disciplines, including several surgical specialties, ultrasound imaging physics, and quantitative image analysis.”

SHOT 1/19/09 Paul and Daisy Soros finalists. End.

Dania Daye, MD, PhD

Advisors: Mitchell Schnall, MD, PhD and Lewis Chodosh, MD, PhD

Years at Penn: 2007 – 2013

Thesis: Understanding the Metabolic and Genetic Regulation of Breast Cancer Recurrence Using Magnetic Resonance-Based Integrative Metabolomics

Awards: HHMI Gilliam Fellowship, Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, RSNA Medical Student Research Grant, Junior Fellow of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), Association of University Radiologists (AUR) Memorial Award, J. George Teplick, M.D. Memorial Award in Radiology, Association of American Physicians (AAP) Stanley J. Korsmeyer Young Investigator Award, American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation Leadership Award

Current Position: Radiology Resident, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Feliks Kogan, PhD

Advisor: Ravinder Reddy, PhD

Years at Penn: 2007 – 2013

Thesis: Endogenous Chemical Exchange Based Magnetic Resonance Imaging Techniques and Their Applications

Awards: ISMRM Junior Fellow

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University

“There were so many positives to the program. Obviously being able to take classes at medical school was the major draw, but being integrated into the medical school class, both professionally and socially, was what I found most unique and valuable. In addition, the help provided by the HHMI students and program leadership adds a layer of support which really helps everything run more smoothly and enjoyably.”

Raymond Acciavatti, PhD

Advisor: Andrew Maidment, PhD

Years at Penn: 2007 – 2013

Thesis: Modeling the Anisotropic Resolution and Noise Properties of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania