Principal Investigator

nelson     Alshakim Nelson (02092016 NelsonCV_updated)




Research Associates


Abhijit Saha received his bachelor and master from University of Calcutta, India in Chemistry. After spending a year in Unilever India Ltd. as a research associate he joined IACS, Kolkata, India as a PhD scholar. In 2009, he obtained his PhD on nanoscale self-assembly of vitamins. After pursuing two successive postdocs in TU Eindhoven, Netherlands (2010-2011) and ETH Zurich (2012-2015), he joined the research group of Dr. Nelson in 2016. His research interest includes responsive functional materials and 3D printing polymeric hydrogels.

Graduate Students


Dylan Karis grew up in Wisconsin and went to college at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire where he worked with Dr. Elizabeth Glogowski for over two years on synthesizing and characterizing reversibly self-assembling stimuli responsive polymers. Outside of the lab, he enjoys climbing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, and snowboarding whenever possible. Other days he likes to read, play games, and watch movies or shows.


Trevor Johnston is from Phoenix, Arizona, and moved around the country a lot growing up, but now calls Seattle home. He went to the University of Washington for his undergraduate degree, where he majored in Biochemistry, minored in Chemistry, and researched with Charles Campbell and the Institute for Systems Biology. His research in graduate school focuses on developing biologically compatible and active materials for additive manufacturing and biocatalysis. Outside of school, he enjoys snowboarding, hockey,                                                        and golf.


Originally from Chardon, OH, Ryan Shafranek completed his B.A. in Chemistry at The College of Wooster. Following time at ABS Materials, Inc. and Advanced Testing Laboratory, he finds himself researching polymer synthesis and functionalization at the UW. Non-laboratory interests include running, Neil Gaiman and Haruki Murakami, and Lovecraft-based roleplaying games.


Amrita Basu is from West Bengal, India and went to the University of Calcutta for her undergraduate degree and attended the University of Hyderabad for her Master’s degree in Chemistry. She briefly worked at TCG Lifesciences as a synthetic organic chemist before moving to Seattle for graduate school at the University of Washington. In Dr. Nelson’s lab, she is exploring 3D printing of electrically conductive hydrogels. Outside of school, she loves traveling, enjoying music and reading.

Christopher Fellin is originally from Reading, Pennsylvania. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at the Pennsylvania State University while conducting research in polyphosphazenes under Dr. Harry Allcock. In the Nelson Lab, his research involves polymer synthesis and characterization of new 3D-printable hydrogels.  Outside of the lab, he enjoys snowboarding, playing soccer, hiking, camping, and watching football.

Patrick Smith is from Chesapeake, Virginia and completed his bachelor’s degree at the College of William and Mary. In Dr. Nelson’s lab, he is studying hydrogel-based actuating systems for 3D printing.  Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing soccer and going fishing.



 Jenn Wong was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. She received her Chemistry B.S. from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, where she worked with Dr. Neal Yakelis on modeling Diels-Alder drug delivery kinetics. In Nelson lab, she is exploring mechanical properties, diffusion behavior, and printability of nanomaterial-hydrogel composites. Outside of lab, Jenn enjoys good food, drawing, playing her hammered dulcimer, and soap shopping.


Research Engineer

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Casi Goodman grew up in the Seattle area and discovered her passion for engineering in her high school Robotics club. She is now pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Washington. In Nelson’s lab, Casi is the resident 3D printing technician. Outside of school, Casi enjoys swing dancing, drawing, and hanging out with her friends in coffee shops.


Undergraduate Researchers


Cem Millik was born in Ankara, Turkey but he was raised here in the United States. He currently attends the University of Washington as an undergraduate where he is pursuing a degree in biochemistry. Many of Cem’s scientific interests center around interfaces between biological and synthetic systems. Cem’s research in the Nelson Lab focuses on the exploration of stimuli-responsive polymeric hydrogels and their applications in cell encapsulation for potential biomedical or biotechnological devices. In addition, Cem has been working on the design, development, and testing of new hardware for pneumatic extrusion-based 3D gel-printing. Cem’s hobbies include woodworking, metalworking, skiing, and diving.

Anuradha Seshan is from Bay Area California, born and raised. She is currently pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with a minor in mathematics at UW. In Nelson’s lab, she is working with Abhijit on how to optimize 4d printing by altering factors such as design, temperature, print speed, etc. Her passion for designing 3D structures grew while taking Amath 301 and math classes, finding her love to code. In her free time she likes to paint, go on adventures with her friends and explore new foods.

Jacob Fillman is from Bothell, Washington and is currently pursuing a B.S. in biochemistry with a minor in history at the University of Washington. In Dr. Nelson’s lab, he is working with Ryan Shafranek to make hydrogels from bisurea-linked long-chain copolymers to investigate their viability for 3D printing and drug delivery. Outside of school, he enjoys video and board games, hiking, snowboarding, and meeting dogs.

Group Alumni

Nicole Bentzen was an undergraduate researcher in the lab in 2016.

Cecilia Martin was an undergraduate researcher in the lab from 2015-2017 (B.S. Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2017)

Robert Ono was a Post-Doc in the lab from 2015-2017.  He is currently at Nexgenia.