Team Members

Research Team


Zeinab Hajjarian, PhD, Instructor

Zeinab Hajjarian, received her PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2009. She joined the Nadkarni lab in January 2010, as a postdoctoral fellow and was promoted to junior faculty at the level of Instructor at Harvard Medical School in 2014. In the lab she has contributed to the design, development, and testing of laser speckle rheology (LSR). Her early postdoctoral work involved devising a compensation algorithm that corrected for the confounding effect of variations in tissue optical properties to accurately deduce the absolute viscoelastic modulus from the speckle signal. In parallel, she also actively participated in translation of laser speckle-based technologies to applications in vivo. In particular, she investigated the viability of ILSI catheter and imaging console in animal models of atherosclerosis, and considerably contributed to the development of laser speckle-based blood coagulation sensors for point-of-care (PoC) coagulation testing. Zeinab’s current research is centered on developing non-destructive optical biomechanical imaging modalities for studying biomechanical cues in disease and development. More specifically, she is focused on customizing the Laser Speckle Microrheology platform for micro-mechanical mapping of human breast lesions towards understanding the biomechanical basis of breast cancer pathogenesis and progression.



Diane Tshikudi, M.S, Research Technologist

Diane Tshikudi graduated from the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) where she received her Bachelor of Science (B.SC) in biochemistry and a master degree in biology with specialization in immunology. After completing her master degree, she worked as a research assistant toward completing her thesis project focusing in understanding the role of the cytokine “Macrophage migration inhibitor factor (MIF)” in the modulation of the adaptive immune response during early stage of malaria infection. At the Wellman Center, her current research is focused on the clinical translation of  various optical technologies towards clinical use in patients. In particular, she is involved in translational research on laser speckle technologies for clinical applications including the identification of atherosclerotic plaque with elevated risk of rupture,  blood coagulation and platelet function profiling at the point of care and the analysis of biomechanical features of cancer tissues.



Pallavi Doradla, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

Pallavi Doradla received her PhD degree in Physics from University of Massachusetts at Lowell in 2014 and has specific interest in advancing novel medical diagnostic technologies. Her doctoral dissertation research is focused on the design and development of a single-channel terahertz endoscopic system for early stage cancer detection. Her research at Wellman involves in the development of an intracoronary imaging console, combining polarization sensitive optical frequency domain imaging (PS-OFDI) with ultrasound (IVUS), to acquire the sub-surface coronary microscopy. She is also working on the biomechanical stress profiling of coronary plaques to predict the risk of plaque rupture. In addition to her fascination towards the development of endoscopic imaging technologies, she also enjoys music and cooking.



Asael Papour, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow

Prior to joining the Nadkarni Group, I worked under the mentorship of Prof. Oscar Stafsudd and Prof. Warren Grundfest at UCLA, where I received my Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. I have developed two biomedical imaging systems based on fluorescence lifetime and Raman imaging, for intraoperative cancer tumor margin detection. In my current project, I am working with the blood coagulation team to develop a point-of-care device that can detect blood coagulation deficiencies and provide platelet function tests using laser speckle sensing in real time.



Alex Wirth, B.S, Research Engineer

Alexandra is a research engineer developing point-of-care coagulation sensing technologies. Her principal focus in the lab is translating the benchtop imaging technology to a portable, low-cost system that provides blood coagulation parameters in real time. She received her mechanical engineering degree from the University of Maine and is primarily interested in medical device development within cardiology, intensive care, and neurosurgery.

Kate Kelly, MS, Research Intern


 Victoria Rottemberg, MD, PhD, Visiting Researcher

I received my MD/PhD at Duke University in Biomedical Engineering studying ultrasound-based elastography. I am currently a dermatology resident at Columbia University performing a research fellowship in collaboration with the Nadkarni laboratory and MGH. I am interested in functional quantification of skin phenomena and especially in the potential applications of mechanical imaging to dermatologic disease.


Administrative Team

Kimberli R. Bell, Administrative Assistant

Kimberli R. Bell received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Healthcare Management at Northeastern University; which has aided in the day to day operations of the research lab.  I joined the Wellman Center for Photomedicine as a Staff Assistant III in 2007 and I work for 2 Faculty members.  Outside of the lab, my passion is writing poetry and designing personalized poetic pieces for client’s thru my website.

Andrea Brissette, Staff Assistant III

Andrea L. Brissette received her Bachelor’s of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Tissue Engineering.  Her major qualifying project focused on electrospinning of polyacrylic acid to make a pH responsive drug eluding scaffold.  She joined Wellman Center for Photomedicine as a Staff Assistant III in 2007 and works for 4 faculty members.  The focus of her job includes calendar scheduling, animal protocols, IRB protocols, Education Committee, compliance, manager of the 4th floor of Wellman, travel arrangements, etc.  Outside of Wellman she enjoys spending time with her son, watching movies, and shopping.