Principal Investigator

profpicOriginally from India, Dr. Kodandaramaiah obtained a Masters degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and PhD from Georgia Institute of Technology, both in Mechanical Engineering. Since 2013, he has been a Post-Doctoral Associate in the Media Lab and McGovern Institute for Brain Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research is at the intersection of robotics, precision engineering and neuroscience. During his graduate studies and post-doctoral training, Dr. Kodandaramaiah developed robotic tools for observing and analyzing neuronal circuit computations in intact living brains. In 2010, the work was awarded the R. V. Jones Memorial Award by the American Society for Precision Engineering. In 2012, Dr. Kodandaramaiah was recognized by Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 list of rising researchers in science and healthcare.


Graduate Students

Leila GhLeila Ghanbari: Leila received her Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tehran and went onto obtain her Master’s degree also in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico. Working in the Center for Emerging Energy Technologies at UNM, she developed computational heat transfer models to make buildings more energy efficient. In the lab, Leila is working on computational modeling as well as exploring the integration of optical imaging and electrical recording techniques for single cell interfacing and manipulation.



Greg Johnson:johnson_head_shot After receiving his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University, Greg began his career designing high volume consumer GPS products at Garmin. He then worked at the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory, where he engineered precision scientific instruments for space physics research. He and his team developed a pair of ion analyzers for NASA’s MAVEN mission which is currently orbiting Mars and collecting vital atmospheric data! In his free time, Greg also helped build a public art installation called Solar Beacon, which consisted of computer controlled heliostats mounted on top of the Golden Gate Bridge pylons. Greg received the College of Science and Engineering Fellowship to attend the graduate program in Mechanical Engineering starting Fall 2016.



Gabriella Shull: gshullGabi received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in computational biosystems and medical devices from SUNY Binghamton in 2016. her undergraduate research work included helping develop in vitro models of the small intestine in an organs on a chip lab to investigate nanoparticle toxicity and the role of bacteria on nutrient transport. During her final year she lead a team in collaboration with CPSI biotech to develop a thermoregulatory medical device for cardiac cryoablation applications. She received the IGERT fellowship in Neuroengineering to pursue her PhD in Biomedical Engineering here at UMN. In the lab, Gabi is interested in creating platforms to enable high density intracellular neural interfacing using a combination of software development, robotics, and biological validation. Outside of the lab, she enjoys film photography, playing the guitar/piano, and snowboarding.

Undergraduate students

Lenora Haltom: lenora_cropped_picLenora is a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering. She spent a year studying at the University of Minnesota-Duluth before transferring to the Twin Cities campus to further pursue engineering. In the lab, she is studying the neuro-inflammatory effects of novel brain implants. This will provide more insight into the long-term viability of using the implants as a method of in vivo neural interfacing. Her project is funded by the UMN Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).




Jay Hu: Jay is a senior in the Biomedicaljay_picture Engineering program and is pursuing an integrated BS/MS degree. He has previously contributed to research projects at the Medical Devices Center (MDC) and the Laser-Assisted-Bioprinting laboratory. Jay is working on precision fabrication and characterization of polymer neural interfaces.



Micheal Laroque: head-shotMichael is a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Neuroscience.  He is interested in medicine, engineering, and helping to bridge the gap between them.  Michael is currently working on building behavioral assay setups, engineering mechatronic systems for small animal procedures.

Prospective Students/Postdocs

The lab welcomes inquiries from candidates at all levels and technical background. We are currently looking for:

Post Doctoral candidates

Email Dr. Kodandaramaiah with a CV, list of references, with a statement of your previous work and future career goals.

Graduate Students

The laboratory is looking for 1-2 PhD students to start work in academic year 2015-2016.  Students will typically develop multiple skillsets through the course of these PhD projects – precision machine design and fabrication; electronic circuit design, programming, embedded control systems design, handling and working with live rodents, neurophysiology and MATLAB programming for data analysis. Students who enjoy working on hands-on robotics projects are especially suited for undertaking research in the lab. A general curiosity for understanding how the brain works is also helpful, but not necessary.

Students already in the Mechanical Engineering program at UMN can email Dr. Kodandaramaiah ( to setup a time to discuss potential projects of mutual interest. External candidates interested in working in the lab are encouraged to apply to the ME program.


Undergraduates keen on getting research experience are also welcome to contact Dr. Kodandaramaiah. In your email, use subject line “Interested in UROP project in your lab”. Include a list of courses taken, with grades obtained.


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