Principle Investigator

Rhima Coleman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
University of Michigan
Department of Biomedical Engineering

Department of Mechanical Engineering

1101 Beal Ave.
Room 2170 LBME
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Phone: (734) 764-7740
Fax: (734) 647-4834
Email: [email protected]

Graduate Students

Biming Wu – ([email protected])

Reprogramming of mesenchymal stem cells for cartilage tissue engineering

Biming Wu is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. He received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Iowa in 2012.

In 2012, he joined the Cartilage Healing and Regeneration Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan.  His research focuses on the design of synthetic gene circuits in mammalian cells and its application in cartilage repair. He is also interested in developing a 3D in vitro testing platform for mechanistic studies of chondrogenesis and cartilage mineralization. His training as cell and molecular biologist started in 2008 in the Campbell Laboratory at the University of Iowa.

Tiana Wong – ([email protected])

Tiana received her Bachelors of Science in Bioengineering at University of Illinois at Chicago in 2016. She is currently working on her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at University of Michigan.  Her research interests include tissue engineering, MRI imaging, and computational analysis of cartilage mechanics. 


Peter Yao – ([email protected])

Peter is a Master’s student in the Mechanical Engineering department. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2015. His research involves creating 3D-printed biphasic scaffolds and studying the wear properties of PGD, a novel elastomeric polymer. His non-research interests include baseball and movies.

Yue Qin – ([email protected])

Yue Qin is a second year Master’s student in Biomedical Engineer Department. She received her Bachelor’s of Engineering in BME at Sichuan University in 2016. Her research interests include biomaterials and tissue engineering. Currently her research focuses on designing a porous PGD scaffold for cartilage regeneration.


Leora Goldbloomhelzner – ([email protected])

Leora graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering and a biomechanical concentration. She will be a Master’s student this Fall at the University of Michigan studying Biomedical Engineering with a biotechnology concentration. She intends to pursue a PhD in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In the Coleman Lab, Leora will study the chondrogenic potential of neural crest cells (NCC) and limb bud cells (LBC). In her spare time, Leora enjoys listening to musical soundtracks, attending theater performances on campus, and singing at the local retirement homes.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Kevin Miles – ([email protected])

Kevin joined the CHaR lab after graduating from Wayne State University in 2017 with a PhD in Chemical Engineering. His research interests include applying systems biology principles to study chondrogenesis in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), to evaluate how the extracellular environment regulates intracellular signaling pathways in chondrogenic MSCs. Additionally, Kevin is also interested in biotechnology business development, and how biotechnology is formed into products, and carried through regulatory processes to market. Prior to the CHaR lab, Kevin’s research focused on developing a modular bone regeneration system using osteoinductive biomaterials and stem cells to rapidly generate highly vascularized bone. His ultimate goal is to develop the optimal parameters for biomaterials to facilitate MSC differentiation towards orthopedic tissue.

Post-Baccalaureate Students

Sunny Karnan – ([email protected])

Sunny is a post-baccalaureate who graduated with a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2017. He joined CHaR lab in 2015, and works on modeling the angiogenic bone sarcoma niche in 3D hydrogels. He intends to pursue a PhD in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In his free time, Sunny enjoys screenwriting, exploring food and drink, and playing the guitar.

Undergraduate Students


Khushi Vakharia –  ([email protected])





Bita Carrion – ([email protected])
Thomas Davidson – ([email protected])
Evran Ural – ([email protected])
Xiuyuan Yang – ([email protected])
Haitham Maaieh – ([email protected])
Victor Wang – ([email protected])
Amy Blatt – ([email protected])
Chelsea Stephens – ([email protected])
Meghan Burns – ([email protected])
Sanjana Murali – ([email protected])
Emily Durisin – ([email protected])


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