Professor Lisa V. Poulikakos

Principal Investigator

Email: lpoulikakos[at]

Office: EBU II 358

In November 2020, Lisa Poulikakos started her appointment as Assistant Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego. She received her PhD in Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH Zürich, where she studied with Professor David Norris. Her thesis, titled “Chiral Light–Matter Interactions in the Near and Far Field” introduced an original theoretical and experimental technique to enable the rational design of chiral nanophotonic systems. Her postdoctoral research in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University in the group of Professor Jennifer Dionne, focused on developing functional nanophotonic surfaces for all-optical, on-chip and label-free cancer tissue diagnostics. She is a recipient of the ETH Medal, awarded to outstanding doctoral theses, the L’Oréal USA For Women in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Swiss National Science Foundation Early Postdoc Mobility Fellowship. Among the leadership positions she has held, she served as Chair of the 2018 Gordon Research Seminar in Plasmonics and Nanophotonics and was the founder and first president of the student-outreach organization “LIMES” at ETH Zürich.

Group Members

PhD students

Samantha Bordy

Samantha Bordy is a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering at UC San Diego. She received her Bachelors in Science in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. Her previous research experience is in the development of microfluidic devices for modeling the lymphatic system as part of Dr. Susan Thomas’s Lab. Through that research she received the President’s Undergraduate Research Award and Grant. During her undergrad experience Sam worked as a TA and tutor for both the math and mechanical engineering departments. 

As part of the Poulikakos Lab she will be working on the design and fabrication of nanophotonic surfaces as they relate to drug screening techniques and in relation to cancer treatment methods. In her free time she likes to read, write, crochet, and spend time with friends outside.

Jiuk Byun

Jiuk Byun is a Ph.D. student in Materials Science and Engineering at UC San Diego. She received her B.A. in Chemistry with High Honor and minor in Mathematics from Mount Holyoke College in 2020. She has been awarded the Dr. Mary P. Dole Medical Fellowship. She conducted her undergraduate research with Professor Wei Chen and developed a novel procedure of spin coating polydopamine thin films with her peers. The other research was with Professor Dirk Englund’s group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a part of the simultaneous annealing and irradiating system development for nitrogen-vacancy center formation in diamonds. After graduating, she researched coatings and carbonization of nature-inspired polymer materials in Professor Haeshin Lee’s lab at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Jiuk is excited to join the Poulikakos Lab and expand her research on solving global health problems. Outside the lab, she enjoys cooking and taking photographs.

M.S. students

Zaid Haddadin

Zaid Haddadin is a master’s student in electrical engineering (medical devices & systems) at UC San Diego. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science & biological sciences from Purdue University. His previous research experience is in computational genetics – searching for common genetic mutations among autoimmune diseases. At Purdue University, Zaid co-founded the Purdue Creative Writing Club, volunteered in the local community with Alpha Phi Omega, and participated in the Purdue Running Club.

As part of the Poulikakos Lab, Zaid will be working towards designing, optimising, & fabricating nanophotonic surfaces that yield significant colour differences when examining dissimilar orientations of collagen fibres. The goal is to utilise these nanophotonic surfaces for cancer tissue diagnostics.

Jebin Joshua Moses

I am Jebin, a 2nd-year graduate student pursuing an MS in Nanoengineering. I joined UCSD with a B. Tech degree in Chemical Engineering and research experience in plant economics from Anna University (AC Tech Campus). During my undergraduate, I was juggling many extracurricular activities which gifted me the opportunity to be the President of the college’s Entrepreneurship Cell, Capitalize, and the Head of the Chemical Engineering Department’s student body while playing soccer for the college team.

In my first year of MS program, I was part of the Pokorski Lab and was working with polymers and ‘Click’ chemistry for targeted drug delivery for cancer. Now I will be working on the Nanofabrication of All-Optical Platform for Rapid, Precise and Low-Cost Cancer Tissue Diagnostics in the Poulikakos Lab. In my free time, I love to play open-world computer games (Cheers to Runescape) and soccer. Go Chelsea! KTBFFH! 

Aniket Puri

Aniket S. Puri is an M.S. student in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at UCSD who joined Poulikakos Lab in September 2020. He obtained his B.E. (Hons) degree from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani in Chemical Engineering. During his undergraduate studies, he worked in Prof. Karthik Chethan V’s lab studying the thermodynamic effects of electrospinning on the biopolymeric zein matrix and different inorganic encapsulants. He was also a part of collaborative research in haemoglobin quantification for point of care applications in Prof. Suman Kapur’s lab.

His research in Poulikakos Lab focuses on building a tissue engineering platform to model breast cancer tissue and subsequently establishing a microscopy-based diagnostic correlation between tissue morphology and disease. His research interests include tissue engineering, therapeutics and diagnostics. In his free time, he likes reading fiction, history or playing badminton.

Undergraduate Students

Trinity Pike

Trinity Pike is an undergraduate student majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Humanities at UC San Diego. She is currently a researcher for Project Lim[b]itless, an initiative that aims to make prosthetic limbs more accessible and affordable. Additionally, she is a Co-President for Engineers Without Borders at UCSD, a writer for Out in STEM at UCSD, and a member of several engineering outreach programs.

Trinity joined the Poulikakos Lab in December 2020. She is excited to assist the other team members with their research projects. Trinity is interested in exploring novel materials for medical devices using additive manufacturing and nanotechnology. In the future, she hopes to study bioengineering and become a research and development engineer.

Dhruv Parmar

Dhruv Parmar is an undergraduate student majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology at UCSD. He transferred to UCSD in Fall of 2020 from Las Positas Community College. There he did an independent research study on how different environmental conditions affected the activity of Calypte anna (Annie’s hummingbirds).

Dhruv joined the Poulikakos Lab in December 2020 and while he hasn’t been able to be incredibly active due to the pandemic, he is ready to help over the summer with the research done by the rest of the team. He is especially excited to work with Aniket on anisotropic materials and is thrilled to bring his biological expertise to the table. In the future he hopes to use his experiences here to aid him in his inevitable graduate research.

Chris Park

Chris Park is an undergraduate UC San Diego student studying Mechanical Engineering. He is expected to receive his Bachelor Degree in 2022. He is currently working in this lab as well as the Rocket Propulsion Laboratory Club at UCSD. His past research experience was working at the Bio-Inspired Robotics and Design Lab, where he focused creating a feedback control system for micro-robotic joints. He now know exploring his interest in biology applications within mechanical engineering. 

Chris joined the Poulikakos Lab in June 2021. He is eager to help and get involved in the research during the summer 2021. Chris is interested in the development of biotechnology to learn how it could be used for future medical device applications. He is interested in learning about the new topic of nanophotonics and how they can be use for structural tissue diagnosis. 

Paula Kirya

Paula Kirya is an undergraduate bioengineering student at UC San Diego. She transferred to UCSD in Fall 2020 from Pasadena City College. There under the eCURE program, she engaged in a research project studying the interdisciplinary applications of structural color in Morpho wing nanostructures to develop an educational module that can be incorporated into classrooms. Paula’s interest in biomimicry and nanotechnology prompted her to pursue a summer research internship at Penn State University in 2019, in which she aided in research developing a self-healing composite material with squid ring teeth proteins. Her previous research experiences led to her acceptance as an undergraduate representative at the 2021 Posters on the Hill Conference. 

Paula joined the Poulikakos lab in August 2021 and is excited to work on studying the applications of structural color in colorimetric metasurfaces to detect disease in biological tissue. In Paula’s free time she likes to dance, read, and watch movies with her friends. 

Dae Young (Joshua) Kim

Joshua Kim is a 3rd year undergraduate student at UC San Diego majoring in Mechanical Engineering with interest in pre med. In the past, he was involved in various clubs such as IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and JUMP (Jacobs Undergraduate Mentorship Program). Over the summer, he participated in the HardwareNxt program and learned about engineering design skills. 

Joshua joined the Poulikakos lab in August 2021. He is excited to be part of the research and apply his engineering knowledge to the medical field. He is looking forward to working with Zaid on computing the most optimal metasurface geometries. In the future, Joshua will continue to explore the medical field through volunteers and pre med classes. 

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