Prinicpal Investigator

Niren Murthy

Dr. Niren Murthy is a professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Murthy received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle in Bioengineering in 2001, and then did Postdoctoral research at U.C. Berkeley in Chemistry from 2001-2003. He started his academic career at Georgia Tech in 2003 and in 2012 moved back to U.C. Berkeley. Dr. Murthy’s laboratory is an interdisciplinary laboratory that focuses on the development of new materials for drug delivery and molecular imaging. Murthy laboratory has developed several new biomaterials and imaging agents, such as the maltodextrin based imaging agents, which are focused on improving the treatment and diagnosis of infectious diseases. In addition, Murthy laboratory has developed numerous reagents for detecting radical oxidants, such as the hydrocyanines.

Administrative Assistant

AaronAaron Montgomery

Aaron graduated from UC Berkeley in May 2013, with a B.A. in English, and a minor in French. She now works as Professor Murthy’s administrative assistant, helping the lab in various ways. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to contact Professor Murthy or the lab, please email Aaron at



 Postdoctoral Fellows

KianaKiana Aran

Dr. Kiana Aran received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University in 2012. She joined Dr. Murthy’s Lab in 2012 as a Postdoctoral Scientist. Dr. Aran’s research focuses on the development of MEMs devices for point of care clinical diagnostics and health management. Her research combines polymeric science with MEMs systems to create novel device solution for disease diagnostics and drug delivery. Dr. Aran has expertise in microfluidics, microdevice design and fabrication as well as experience in novel polymer design for development of stimuli responsive material to be incorporated in MEMs devices for biological applications.


Hyunjin KimHyunJin Kim

Dr. HyunJin Kim is a Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley, having received his Ph.D. at the University of Tokyo in 2010. He obtained his B.S. and M.S. from Seoul National University and he is now working on Protein Delivery with Murthy Lab.

carloCarlo Lo Sterzo

Dr. Carlo Lo Sterzo received his Ph.D in Biochemistry at the University of Rome, “Sapienza.” He is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley, working in the Bioengineering Department with the Murthy Lab since January 2013. Carlo is making big gains in his two current projects: the design of engineered therapeutic protein, to improve the delivery efficiency and specific targeting, and Real-Time cell imaging, with particular interest on phosphorylation pathway imaging and Therapeutic Protein delivery. Please find Carlo on LinkedIn for further information!

Santanu Maity

Dr. Santanu Maity received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University of Geneva in 2010. After his Ph.D., he joined BIOCON as a Senior Research Scientist from 2011 to 2012. He started his work with Murthy Lab in 2012 as a Postdoctoral Scientist. His research focuses on the design and synthesis of chemically triggered on-demand drug delivery vehicle and action potential imaging probes.

Xinghai Ning

Dr. Xinghai Ning received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Georgia in 2008. He joined Murthy Lab in 2009.

RafiMohammad Rafi

Dr. Mohammad Rafi received his Ph.D. in Internal Medicine from the University of Tokyo, Japan. He has been working as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Professor Murthy since 2012. Rafi’s major research interests include drug delivery and molecular imaging. He is currently working on in vivo delivery of transcription factors for the treatment of acute liver failure and imaging of bacterial infections. He has expertise in nanomedicine, oncology, preclinical research and polymeric micelles and nanoparticles for disease diagnosis and therapy.

XiojianXiaojian Wang

Dr. Xiaojian Wang obtained his B.S. in Chemistry from Nanjing University (Nanjing, China) under the supervision of Professor Huangxian Ju and Professor Lin Ding. He then received his Ph.D. under the direction of Prof. James W. Canary at New York University. His doctoral work focused on bioconjugation reactions and metallopeptide conformations. He is now a Postdoctoral Scholar with Professor Niren Murthy at the University of California, Berkeley. His current research with the lab focuses on the development of ultrasensitive split-protein sensors.



Graduate Students

Kunwoo Lee

Kunwoo Lee is a Graduate student with Murthy Lab, working toward his Ph.D. with the Department of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. He received his B.S. in Biological Sciences at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in May of 2011. Kunwoo has research interest in Drug delivery System, Tissue engineering, Cell reprogramming, and Liver cancer. For Murthy Lab, he is currently working on Nonviral direct reprogramming of cardiac fibroblasts into cardiomyocytes and Nrf2 delivery.


nitiyaNithya Lingampalli

Nithya Lingampalli is a second year, Molecular and Cell Biology major, intended Pre-Med. Having always been interested in the medical field, and planning for a future in it, Nithya wanted to learn more about the process of creating the substances that are later applied in human systems. She is working on two projects with Murthy lab. The first is cardiac reprogramming where she is attempting to deliver a substance to cardiac fibroblasts, cells damaged by heart attacks or other cardiac trauma, which will then allow the cells to be genetically reprogrammed on a cellular level into healthy, normally functioning cardiomyoctes. This project has immense potential to change the field of interventional medicine. The second project relates to the delivery of a substance, within a specialized delivery mechanism, to the liver to treat acute liver failure caused by acetaminophen overdose poisoning. This project has a significant potential for not just acute liver failure, but many other diseases that work on a very similar mechanism and affect millions of people every year.

richardRichard Tang

Richard Tang is an undergraduate majoring in Bioengineering, and Materials Science and Engineering. He joined Dr. Murthy’s Lab in 2012 as an Undergraduate Researcher. Richard’s ongoing research projects are the prevention of acetaminophen-induced liver failure by transcription factor delivery, and gene delivery for cardiac reprogramming and heart regeneration.



Jennifer Yau

Jennifer is currently a second year at UC Berkeley and is pursuing a major in Molecular and Cell Biology, with a concentration on Cell and Developmental Biology. She joined Dr. Murthy’s lab in the summer of 2013 and is working as an undergraduate research assistant to Dr. Kiana Aran. The projects she is involved in incorporate the design, synthesis, and application of stimuli responsive polymers for targeted drug delivery. In the past, she has also worked as a summer research assistant at UCSD in the Kit Pogliano lab, providing her experience in the isolation and purification of secondary metabolites and their biological applications. Jennifer hopes to pursue a career in medicine, and is thus focused on the clinical aspect of of her research.

Austin Gardner

Austin is an undergraduate at UC-Berkeley, majoring in Molecular & Cell Biology. He has worked with Murthy lab since Summer of 2012.


Name Time Position Current Position
Mike Webb 2013-2014 Postdoctoral Fellow Faculty at Montana State University
Mikhail Zibinsky 2012-2014 Postdoctoral Fellow Scientist, Flexus Biosciences
Jianping Zheng 2013 Postdoctoral Fellow Postdoctoral Fellow, Dophen Biomed
Kousik Kundu 2007-2011 Postdoctoral Fellow Senior Scientist, LI-COR Biosciences
Madhuri Dasari 2005-2011 Postdoctoral Fellow Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology
Jason Lee 2008-2011 Postdoctoral Fellow Research Scientist, Kimberly-Clark
John Perng 2008-2011 Ph.D. Student Research Scientist, Siemens
Scott Wilson 2006-2011 Ph.D. Student Postdoctoral Fellow, EPFL
Khalilah Reddie 2009-2011 Postdoctoral Fellow Lecturer, UMass-Lowell
Dongin Kim 2008-2010 Postdoctoral Fellow Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale
Jay C. Sy 2006-2010 Ph.D. Student Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT
Yash Kolambkar 2010 Postdoctoral Fellow Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgia Tech
Alex Cooper 2010 Undergraduate Georgia Tech
Chen-Yu Kao 2007-2009 Ph.D. Student Assistant Professor of BME, Taiwan National University of Engineering
Sungmun Lee 2005-2009 Postdoctoral Fellow Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Khalifa University (UAE)
Mike Heffernan 2003-2008 Ph.D. Student Postdoctoral Fellow, NIH | Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine
Dongwon Lee 2006-2008 Postdoctoral Fellow Assistant Professor of Material Science, Chonbuk University
Stephen Yang 2003-2008 Ph.D. Student Research Scientist, Merck
Siraj Khaja 2005-2007 Postdoctoral Fellow Research Scientist, Cambridge Pharmaceuticals