People

LEADERSHIP     


Elazer R. Edelman MD PhD - Director
A.K.A. - "The Boss"


is the Director of the MIT/IMES Clinical Research Center (CRC), is the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at MIT, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Senior Attending Physician in the coronary care unit at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He and his laboratory have pioneered basic findings in vascular biology and the development and assessment of biotechnology especially at the interface of tissues, devices and materials. Dr. Edelman also directs the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center, dedicated to applying the rigors of the physical sciences to elucidate fundamental biologic processes and mechanisms of disease. Many of his findings are now in clinical trial validation. Almost 300 students and postdoctoral fellows have passed through Dr. Edelman's laboratory enabling publications of numerous papers and patents. He is fellow of the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, Association of University Cardiologists, American Society of Clinical Investigation, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Medicine and National Academy of Engineering. As Chief Scientific Advisor of Science: Translational Medicine he has set the tone for the national debate on translational research and innovation. 

 

Kumaran Kolandaivelu MD PhD - Medical Director
A.K.A. - "Subject 0"


is the Medical Director of the MIT/IMES Clinical Research Center, Associate Director of the Harvard Catalyst / MIT Bridge, and  Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  He trained in the Harvard/MIT MD PhD program and completed his medical residency and fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he is currently a board-certified Associate Physician in the Cardiology Division. His research, funded through an American Heart Association Fellow to Faculty Transition Award, Center for Innovation in Medicine and Integrated Technology (CIMIT) Innovation Award, and several industry sponsored awards seeks to link patient subgroups to optimal therapies through integration of novel diagnostic sensors, multi-scale mathematical models, and predictive analytics. Specific applications include microfluidic approaches to optimize antiplatelet and anticoagulant drug administration, patient/scenario-specific device selection, virtual patient modeling, application-focused visualization, and networked point-of-care diagnostics. As Medical Director of the CRC, he leverages his background in engineering, device/diagnostic design, prototyping, medicine, and translational research to facilitate the preclinical to clinical transition of early stage medical innovation. 

 

Catherine Ricciardi NP DNP - Nursing Director
A.K.A. - "The Enforcer"


is the Nursing Director of the MIT/IMES Clinical Research Center, the MIT / Harvard Catalyst Research Navigator, an adjunct nursing instructor at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (MGH IHP), and is a board certified, practicing Nurse Practitioner at the MGH Clinical Research Center. She is a clinical research specialist and utilizes her extensive clinical and research experience to consult, guide, and operationalize pre-clinical and early human proof of concept studies. Dr. Ricciardi serves as a clinical research mentor to MIT undergraduate and graduate students. As the MIT / Harvard Catalyst Research Navigator, she facilitates translational research collaboration bi-directionally across MIT and the extensive network of Harvard / Partners clinical and research communities. She also works closely with the Center for Environment Health Sciences (CEHS) as a clinical research consultant, and in the clinical application and development of genetics educational modules. Dr. Ricciardi received a Doctorate in Nursing Practice form the MGH Institute of Health Professions.

 

CLINICAL STAFF 


Tatiana Urman, RN (Levkovich) - Nursing Staff

is the MIT/IMES CRC Clinical Research Coordinator and Research Assistant. She received a BA in Biology from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2008, and since has spent four years working in the MIT Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) as a lab supervisor in both research and administrative roles. Since joining the CRC, she has helped to organize its administrative structure, and brings her expertise in pre-clinical DCM studies to her clinical work on CRC research protocols. A major effort has been to help create a bridge between the MGH IHP to create a scalable research nurse infrastructure at the MIT/IMES CRC while supporting broader educational missions. She is currently enrolled in a Nurse Practitioner program at the MGH IHP. Tatiana is fluent in both English and Russian, as she was born and raised in Russia, moving to Boston 15 years ago. 

Ilene Horvitz RN BSN - Nursing Staff

is a research nurse at the MIT/IMES CRC. Her involvement with the MIT CRC dates back nearly 17 years when it was one of the original NIH GCRCs (General Clinical Research Center) under the guidance of Dr. Richard Wurtman, Dr. John Gabrielli, and Dr. Ravi Thadani. In addition to her vast experience as a Clinical Research Nurse, she provided urgent care at East Boston Medical Center. She has been instrumental in increasing the bandwidth of CRC clinical operations.

 

 

Benjamin Leiden - Project Manager

serves as the Project Manager and Systems Administrator at the MIT/IMES Clinical Research Center. Ben received his BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the College of Wooster in 2011, and has since been a member of Professor Elazer Edelman’s lab. Ben’s research in the Edelman Lab has focused on optimizing percutaneous vascular interventional outcomes, and incorporates device design, systems biology, image / signal processing, and applications of machine learning. Ben has been a member of the CRC since 2013, and his work in the CRC has involved developing both institute-wide and local infrastructure and processes to facilitate clinical operations, as well as novel research in the areas of cardiovascular modeling, data visualization, and hematology diagnostics. As Project Manager of the CRC, Ben brings his management, research, and data science experience to bear to assist investigators in realizing their device and therapeutic development aims.

 

STUDENTS / INTERNS


Enric Estruch

is a visiting graduate student from Barcelona, Spain. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2013 from UPC, where his research focused on probabilistic safety analyses of nuclear reactors. Enric’s graduate work with Dr. Kolandaivelu at the CRC is focused on the development of virtual patient models of the human heart in collaboration with DS Simulia (The Living Heart Project). Specific work includes optimization and calibration of heart models to various disease states and understanding how this process can be made more efficient by optimizing information flow between models.

 

Josep Maria Balaguer Serra

is a visiting graduate student from Barcelona, Spain. He received his BS and initiated his MS in Mechanical & Industrial Engineering specializing in management from UPC. Currently Josep Maria’s master’s thesis work with Dr. Kolandaivelu involves the development of personalized cardiovascular diagnostics for both biomarker and imaging applications.

 

 

Maria Tomàs Gràcia

is an intern researcher who divides her time between the CRC and CBSET, usually involved in shared cardiovascular projects between them. She holds a Biomecal Engineering Bachelor from UPC and she recently received her B.E. MSc from UPC/UB after carrying out the master thesis titled "Precision medicine at the interface between blood and vessel wall" at MIT under the supervision of Dr. Kolandaivelu.

 

 

Jose Sañes Iborra

is a student intern and EHS representative of Dr. Kolandaivelu Laboratory. Passionate of field work (lab), and his passage through MIT could be summarized in two words: cholesterol and blood. His thesis seeks to answer the question what the role of cholesterol in the interaction between the blood and the vessel walls is. Other important collaborations were performed in projects related to stenosis or testings anticoagulant drugs.

 

 

Marc Mitjans I Coma

is a visiting graduate student from Barcelona, Spain. He received his BS in Industrial Technology Engineering, and is currently a double MS student in Industrial Engineering and Robotics from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). At the CRC and under the supervision of Dr. Kolandaivelu, he is developing a novel system for real-time measurements of clotting dynamics for blood clotting diagnostics.

 

 

Patricia Diaz Ruata

is a visiting graduate student from Barcelona, Spain. She received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering in 2015 from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). Her master thesis involves building compliant software for collecting real-time data from hospitals, as well as extracting information from waveforms to augment healthcare decision support. 

 

 

Adrià Barja Romero

is a visiting student of Mathematics and Engineering Physics from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (through CFIS). He is performing his bachelor's final thesis in Dr. Kolandaivelu's department. He is working to better understand the concept of the electrocardiogram aplying diverse mathematical methods, and trying to find other ways to ease the medical diagnosis.

 

 

Franz Hackbarth

 

 

 

 

Duygu Aybar

 

 

 

 

 

Research Affiliates


Vijaya B. Kolachalama PhD - Draper Technical Specialist

 

 

 

 

Farhad Nazami - Post-Doctoral Candidate

 

 

 

 

Claire Conway - Post-Doctoral Candidate

 

 

 

 

Ferran Gueda Ripoll - Graduate & 'Financier'

was a visiting graduate student from Barcelona, Spain. He received his BS and MS in Mechanical & Industrial Engineering with a specialty in management from the University Polytechnic of Catalonia (UPC), and worked in the MIT/IMES CRC to build experience on how biomedical technologies are translated to industry. His master’s thesis, "Global Optimization Strategies for Cardiovascular Diagnostics", under the supervision of Dr. Kolandaivelu, involved the efficient application of model systems (both experimental and computational) to aid in the transition of research concepts to clinical applications.