Using light to enlighten the brain function

PI: Maysam Chamanzar, PhD

Maysam Chamanzar joined the ECE department at Carnegie Mellon University in 2015. He was with the EECS department at UC Berkeley as a postdoc researcher and later as a research scientist from 2012 to 2015. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2012. His dissertation on developing novel hybrid plasmonic-photonic on-chip biochemical sensors received the Sigma Xi best Ph.D. thesis award. He is also the recipient of a number of awards including the SPIE research excellence award and GTRIC innovation award, and became the finalist for the OSA Emil Wolf best paper award and Edison innovation award.

Graduate Students

Jay Warren Reddy

Jay joined the team as a Ph.D. student in Fall 2016. He has completed his undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley majoring both in EECS and Mathematics. He is working to develop next generation micro opto-electrical neural interfaces for selective optogenetic stimulation and recording of neural activity. His work is focused on adding integrated optical functionalities to microECoG surface electrode arrays based on both passive and active components for high resolution multisite stimulation of neural activity.

Matteo Giuseppe Scopelliti

Matteo joined the team in Fall 2016 as a PhD student. He received his M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy in 2015. He was a visiting graduate student at UC Berkeley from February until July 2015 working on neural probe characterization. He completed his undergrad studies majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science in 2012 (full mark with honors).  His research is focused on acoustic-optic neural stimulation and imaging for deep brain stimulation focusing on devising new therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease.

Julia Tucker

Julia is an ECE student in IMB program. She joined the team as an M.Sc. student researcher in January 2016. She is working on developing a microscope system for acoustic-optic manipulation and trapping of bio-micro-organisms.

Nisha Mariam Johnson

Nisha is a first year M.Sc. student in ECE. She joined the team in September 2016. She completed her undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering, Trivandrum, India. She is working on Ultrasonic power transfer through body, in which she is looking into techniques to optimize power transfer.

Undergraduate Students

Albina Kwak

Albina joined the team as an undergrad researcher in Feb. 2016. She is working on the experimental characterization of ultrasonic transducers for acoustic-optic stimulation of neural activity. She is responsible for setting up the electronic equipment required to drive the ultrasonic system. She is also conducting experiments to calibrate the setup.

Zhengyuan (Zach) Pan


Zach is a dual major ECE, Biomedical Engineering. He joined the team as an undergrad researcher in March 2016. He is working on developing a microscope system for in-vivo imaging of malignant cells in cancerous tumors. He is also helping with the acoustic-optic project by designing mechanical and optical components as well as automating the characterization setup.