Research Group

Current Lab Members:



Steven Mankoci – PhD Candidate

Education:B.S., Saginaw Valley State University, 2012

Research: My research involves the investigation of the polymer platforms developed within the Joy lab for real world applications. Currently, my work is focused on developing our polymers for use in antimicrobial applications.
Research Interests: Biomaterials, Biotechnology, Polymer Chemistry, Medical Microbiology, Tissue Engineering


Megan Cruz – PhD Candidate

Education: B.S., Biochemistry, California Polytechnic State University, 2015

Research: My research focuses on the synthesis of biodegradable thermoresponsive polyesters (TR-PEs) for biomedical applications. The TR‑PEs form coacervates above their LCST, which makes them attractive candidates for applications such as controlled drug release and degradable scaffolds.
Research Interests: Thermoresponsive polymers, drug release


Nicholas Nun – PhD candidate

Education: B.S. Chemistry

Research: My research focuses primarily on the synthesis and characterization of photoresponsive polymers.  Most commonly I incorporate alkoxyphenacyl or nitrobenzyl chromophores into my polymers to enhance degradation or alter mechanical properties.  I am also performing research on the functionalization of polyurethanes for use in biomedical applications.
Research Interests: Polymer synthesis, photoresponsive polymers, biomaterials, sustainable polymers


Tian Zhang – Masters Student


Education: Undergraduate, Polymer Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology 2016.

Research: My research focus on synthesis of photoresponsive polymers. Recently I’m working on synthesis of the photoactive  biodegradable alkoxy phenacyls.
Research Interests:  Polymer synthesis, polymer characterization, functional polymer.


Qianhui Liu – PhD Candidate









Education: B.S., Polymer Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, 2013

M.S., Polymer Science, University of Akron, 2015

Research: My research focuses on tunable functionalized polyesters used as biomaterials. The polyester was synthesized through carbodiimide-mediated coupling of diols and diacids and via changing various functional pendant groups as well as different length of diacid, corresponding properties of the polyester were studied systematically.
Research Interests: Polymer Chemistry, Drug Delivery


Kaushik Mishra- PhD Candidate

Education: B. Tech, Polymer Science and Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India, 2010

Research: My primary research focuses on controlled living polymerizations to yield an ideal block copolymer which can be synthesized reproducibly. Telechelic functionalizations of the same is being looked into for application in the field of drug delivery systems. Other pursuits include bottom-up synthesis of functional monomers for degradable block copolymers and synthesis of novel photo-responsive adhesives. My research interests are broad but meet at the intersection of functional organic materials, polymer chemistry and biomaterials.
Research Interests: Molecule Design, Living Polymerizations, Drug Delivery, Adhesives


Chao Peng- PhD Candidate


Education: B.S., Polymer Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Engineering, 2012

M.S., Polymer Science, University of Akron, 2013

Research: My research involves the synthesis of novel polymers with multiple functional groups for biomedical applications by a bottom-up design of monomers. With multiple functional groups in hand, the polymers possess tunable physical properties and can be further attached with bioactive small molecules for applications such as drug/protein delivery or angiogenesis modulation.
Research Interests: polymer synthesis, drug delivery, angiogenesis modulation


Xinhao Liu – Masters Student


Education: Undergraduate, Polymer Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Engineering, 2016

Research: My research aims to the synthesis the nanoparticle to enhance the sensitivity of MRI contrast agents. Based on the monomer in lab, introducing the crosslinking groups can lead to form the core of the nanoparticle. By controlling the composition of other monomers, it contributes to load of the contrast agents and shorten the relation of contrast agents.
Research Interests: Polymer synthesis


Zhuoran Li – Masters Student

Education: Undergraduate, Polymer engineering in Sichuan University, 2016

Research: My research focuses on the synthesis and modification of polyurethane. What I concentrate on currently is to enhance the molecular weight and remove the impurities to increase its physical properties, exploring the application of polyurethane in biomedical applications.
Research Interests: Polymer synthesis, polymer characterization.


Tanmay Jain- PhD Candidate

Education:B. Tech, Surface Coating Technology, Institute of Chemical Technology, 2014


Research: I am working on developing low modulus solvent and Initiator free degradable polymers for ambient temperature 3D printing. Current materials for 3D printing often use small molecules like photoinitiators, photosensitizers, monomers etc as well as processing aids like high temperatures and solvents. Such small molecules in 3D printed materials for biomedical implants pose regulatory challenges since their  leaching can cause unpredictable inflammatory  reactions. The ambient condition printing is necessary to incorporate sensitive bioactive molecules during the 3D printing process. I am trying to understand the effect of such bioactive molecules on the quality of 3D printed structures. I am also trying to correlate the bulk material properties of a polymer to its 3D printing parameters to achieve good quality 3D prints.
Research Interests: 3D Printing, Drug-polymer interaction, rheology

Amal Narayanan – PhD Candidate


Education: M. S. in Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, 2015

Research: I am presently looking at the mussel-inspired, hydrolytically-degradable wet-adhesives with unconventional cohesive and adhesive components. My research involves synthesis of innovative biomaterials and spectroscopic analysis of the decisive adhesion components both in bulk and at the surface.
Research Interests: Synthetic biomaterials, wet-adhesives, self-assembly and surfaces
Mangaldeep Kundu – PhD Candidate

Education: M.S. in Chemistry, University of Calcutta, 2015, B.S. in Chemistry, Ramakrishna Mission Residential College Narendrapur, 2013

Research: Thermoresponsive polymers synthesis and their interaction with proteins, Drug delivery
Research Interests:

Yen-Ming Tseng – PhD Candidate

Education: M. S. in Chemistry, National Tsing Hua University, 2011

Research: My research focuses on polyurethane polymers which can be further applied to 3D printing and adhesives.
Research Interests: Photoresponsive polymers

Prior Group Members/Alumni:

Xiaohong Liu – Masters, 2017 | Currently PhD candidate, Eindhovan University of Technology, Netherlands

Xinyi Wang – Masters, 2017  | Currently PhD candidate, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dr. Elaheh A. Chamsaz – PhD Candidate 2012-2017 | Currently Principal Research Scientist, METSS Corporation, Columbus

Dr. S. R. Govindarajan – PhD candidate 2011-2016 | Currently Scientist, SOMOS at DSM, Chicago

Tianyu Li – Masters, 2016 | Currently PhD candidate, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Gunnan Wang – Masters, 2016 | Currently PhD candidate, University of New South Wales, Australia

Yixuan Xie – Masters, 2016 | Currently PhD candidate, Univeristy of California, Davis

Dr. John P. Swanson – PhD Candidate 2011-2016 | Currently Senior R&D Engineer at PolyOne, Ohio

Dr. Bhadra Palakollu – Visiting PhD student, 05/2015-10/2016 | Currently Research Scientist, Pharma, India

Dr. Malgorzata Wojtczak – Postdoctoral Research, 8/2015- 2/2016 |  Currently Postdoctoral Research at University of Compiegne, France

Dr. Ying Xu – PhD candidate, 2010-2015 | Postdoctoral Researcher, Nanjing University, China

Dr. Shuangyi Sun – PhD candidate, 2010-2015 | Research Engineer, Wanhua Chemical Group Co., Ltd

Rick Keiser – Masters, 2015 | Currently PhD candidate at Northeast Ohio Medical School

Dr. Sachin Ghokale – Postdoctoral Researcher, 2010-2013 | Currently Senior Research Investigator at Syngene International Limited, India

Dr. Murthy Maddipatla – Postdoctoral Researcher, 2011-2013 | Currently Product Development Scientist & Tech Serv at Hexion Inc.

Weizheng Fan – Masters, 2013 | Currently PhD Candidate at University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

Xuegang Yuan – Masters, 2013 | Currently PhD Candidate at Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida