The Entrepreneurial Fellows (eFellows) program at the Ecosystem for Biophotonics is an integrated program of education, training, and mentorship for early-career biophotonics researchers. The eFellows will participate in product development and entrepreneurship training under the mentorship of a CBST faculty lead as well as industry partners, as listed below.

  • Product development education & training
    • CBST Faculty Lead 
    • Design course - UC Davis College of Engineering 
    • Mentorship - industry partners
    • Job shadowing/ Practicum - industry partners: JDID Product Design, COMPASS Product Design 
  • Entrepreneurship education & networking
    • Entrepreneurship Academy – Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    • Effective Communication workshops & coaching – In2Focus
    • Business Development Fellows – Graduate School of Management (optional)
    • Seminars, workshops, networking events focused on entrepreneurship – SARTA, MedStart, Partnerships for Innovation, Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Kaiqin Chu, PhD
Dr. Kaiqin Chu

Project: Super-Resolution Optical Microscopy (EBI-1) & Software Algorithms for Enhancing Super-resolution and Deconvolution Optical Microscopy (EBI-2)
Faculty project PI: Stephen Lane, PhD
Applied Precision Inc/GE Healthcare partners: Paul Goodwin, MS, Bill Dougherty, PhD, Steven Quarre, Jeff Johnson


Kaiqin Chu received her PhD in Optics in 2009, from the University of Rochester, NY. She is an Assistant Project Scientist at CBST and an eFellow, working with Dr. Stephen Lane. Dr. Chu’s projects at CBST over the past 2 years include simulation and signal processing for X-ray coherent diffraction imaging, developing new algorithms for structured illumination microscopy, and the designing and testing of a cell-phone based microscope. Her research interests include optical devices and instrumentation, particularly for photography and microscopy, with an emphasis on novel measurement strategies and sophisticated data analysis and image processing techniques. Dr. Chu is proficient in a MATLAB, including complex simulation, optimization and parallel processing, Code V, and she has in-depth knowledge of optical systems and optics bench skills including imaging setup, interferometry setup, and laser alignment.

Dr. Tingjuan GaoTingjuan Gao, Ph.D.

Project: Automated Blood Pathology System (EBI-1) & Prototype and Commercialization of an Automated Blood Pathology System (EBI-2)
Faculty project PI: Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu, PhD 
Tahoe Institute for Rural Health Research partners: Tom Hobday, Jim Hood, PhD, Larry Heifetz, MD


Tingjuan Gao received her BS degree in Chemistry from Peking University in Beijing, China. At UC Davis, she conducted research with Dr. Huser and Dr. Coleman at the CBST for three years, first as a postdoctoral fellow and then as an Assistant Project Scientist. She has been involved in characterizing nanolipoprotein particles (nanodiscs) using single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, and characterizing N. Punctiforme photosensory signal transduction using optical super resolution microscopy in combination with single molecule spectroscopy. Dr. Gao is now working with Dr. Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu as an eFellow, as well as with Dr. Steve Lane and Dr. Kit Lam. She was an intern with Vertex Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, MA and with Diffinity Genomics of Rochester, NY, and has strong interests in entrepreneurship, technology development and commercialization. Dr. Gao received her PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Rochester, NY in 2008.

Project: Ultra-short Pulse Laser Scalpel (EBI-1)
Faculty project PI: Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu, PhD
LLNL Research Partners: Chris Barty, PhD, Michael Messerly, PhD


Ruby Gill received her BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University and UC Davis, respectively. During her undergraduate studies at Boston University, she successfully developed a localized ultrasound drug delivery system with the potential to treat cardiovascular disease more effectively and with fewer side-effects compared to currently approved treatment methods. For her master's thesis at UC Davis, she worked on developing an emerging optical imaging method with the potential to serve as a low cost alternative to PET imaging and allow for low cost validation of radioimmunotherapy drugs. She is currently working on her PhD in Biomedical Engineering in Dr. Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu’s lab developing a real-time feedback control system for high precision ultra-short pulsed laser surgery of the spine. Ruby is a CBST eFellow as well as a Business Development Fellow through the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


Project: Label-free Raman Cytometry (EBI-1) & Raman Cytometry for Label-Free Monitoring of Cellular Response to Cancer Drugs (EBI-2)
Faculty project PI: James Chan, PhD
KRM Foundation partners: Teresa Hoffhenke

Lingbo Kong received his Ph.D. in Physics from Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Applied Physics, University of Bonn, Germany, and at the Biomedical Optics Lab, East Carolina University, NC. His current research focuses on the development of novel spectroscopic and analytical techniques for biomedical applications at the single-cell and single-molecule level, such as laser trapping and manipulation of single cells, identification and characterization of single cells/particles with laser tweezers Raman spectroscopy (LTRS), dynamics monitoring of single living cells with rapid confocal Raman imaging, and single molecule detection. Dr. Kong is currently an Assistant Project Scientist and an eFellow at the Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology (CBST), UC Davis under the supervision of Prof. James Chan.

Maria Navas-Moreno, PhD

Development of Novel Labels for Flow Cytomtry and Cellular Imaging (EBI-2)
Faculty project PI: James Chan, PhD
BD Biosciences partners: Ming Yan, PhD, Tom Frey, PhD

Dr. Maria Navas-Moreno is a physicist by training and a biologist at heart. Through technology, Maria aims to better understand and diagnose disease in order to improve people's quality of life. Maria holds a BS in Physics, a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a MS in Biomedical Sciences from Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia), and a PhD in Physics from the University of Utah. Although Maria's interests are diverse, her main research interests are in the development of novel imaging and spectroscopy techniques for the study of biological processes, diagnostics and therapeutics, technology translation and entrepreneurship.

Project: Automated Blood Pathology System (EBI-1) & Prototype and Commercialization of an Automated Blood Pathology System (EBI-2)
Faculty project PI: Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu, PhD
Tahoe Institute for Rural Health Research partners: Tom Hobday, Jim Hood, PhD, Larry Heifetz, MD


Zachary Smith received his B.S. in Optics with Highest Distinction, and his PhD in Optics, both from the University of Rochester, NY. His research interests include biophotonic devices and instrumentation, specifically related to Raman and elastic scattering, with an emphasis on novel measurement strategies and sophisticated data analysis techniques. Dr. Smith is an Assistant Project Scientist at CBST and eFellow working with Dr. Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu. The research he has undertaken at CBST includes developing an ultrafast optical gate for background suppression in Raman spectroscopy of living samples, developing a new spectroscopic detection system utilizing the concepts of compressive sensing and optical computing to perform high-speed sample quantification and spectral unmixing, and developing attachments which transform a cell phone into a microscope and spectrometer.  Dr. Smith is also involved extensively in educational outreach at the CBST, including as guest lecturer, teaching assistant, lab instructor, and internship mentor. He received a number of awards, including the National Merit Scholar award.

eFellows Alumni

Project: Cytometry: New Markers and Labels (EBI-1) & Development of Novel Labels for Flow Cytomtry and Cellular Imaging (EBI-2)
Faculty project PI: James Chan, PhD
BD Biosciences partners: Diether Recktenwald, PhD (now Principal, Desatoya LLC), Ming Yan, PhD, Christoph Hergersberg, PhD (now with Thermo Fisher Scientific), Tom Frey, PhD

In February 2014, Dr. Chernenko started a new position as Senior Engineer - Systems Product Development at BD Biosciences. She continues to collaborate with the UC Davis group.


Tatyana Chernenko received her B.S. degree from Hunter College of CUNY in 2006 and Ph.D. from Northeastern University in 2010 working with Professor Max Diem in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Her PhD work focused on the implementation ofnon-invasive biochemical imaging modalities in pharmaceutical and biological sciences, encompassing IR and Raman spectroscopic techniques. The projects included: establishing varying mitochondrial distributions within the aging mouse oocyte, differentiation patterns of stem cells, and imaging the distribution and dynamics of intracellular nano-drug-delivery carriers. Dr. Chernenko's postdoctoral work revolved around the comparison of targeted and non-targeted polymeric nanoparticles in their capabilities of efficient delivery of a chemotherapeutic. The research utilized non-invasive Raman micro-spectroscopic imaging as well as various fluorescence imaging techniques to extract relevant information in regard to the sub-cellular architecture as well as its responses to external stimuli. 

Florian Knorr, MS

Project: Ultrashort Pulse Laser Scalpel 
Faculty project PI: Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu, PhD
LLNL partners: Chris Barty, PhD, Michael Messerly, PhD


Florian Knorr worked at the Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology (CBST) for four years, specializing in linear and non-linear microscopy.  He has degrees in medical and biomedical engineering, and recently completed an MS in Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis.  Examples of projects he was involved with under the direction of Dr. Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu are: ultra-fast all-optical switching for fluorescence reduction in Raman microspectroscopy, and fluorescence lifetime measurements in an endoscopic manner.  Florian was a CBST eFellow, and very active participant in the educational outreach activities of CBST.