Multi-Disciplinary Research
The research in BIST Lab is cross disciplinary covering different fields including engineering, mathematics, computer sciences, plus biology and particularly neuroscience and genetics. Therefore, our lab members are joining the lab with diverse educational backgrounds. We always welcome new ideas and approaches to address the challenges in the study of a the brain.

Open Positions

We are seeking brilliant and self-motivated students interested in working towards their Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering or Computer Science With interests in Bio applications and in particular neuroscience and brain studies. Specific areas of interest are electronics, electromagnetics, optics and photonics, signal processing etc. If you are interested please send an e-mail with your detailed CV to Ramin Pashaie


Ramin Pashaie, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Ramin Pashaie received his Ph.D. degree in electrical and systems engineering from University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, in Dec. 2007 under supervision of Professor Nabil H. Farhat. After Ph.D., he joined Karl A. Deisseroth lab as a postdoctoral scholar in the bioengineering department at Stanford University. uring his postdoctoral training he focused on technology development for optical modulation of neural activities using the tools of photonics and molecular genetics. From September 2009 he joined the electrical engineering department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as an assistant professor and director of the Bio-Inspired Sciences and Technology Laboratory (BIST-LAB) where the research is about optical interrogation of the dynamics of large scale neural networks mostly in the brain cortical regions. In particular, he is currently interested in implementation of neuroprosthetic devices to extract details of information processing in cortical networks and the nonlinear dynamics of cortical columns. This information can be used for reverse engineering and realization of brain machine interface mechanisms.
Dr. Pashaie is the recipient of NARSAD (Brain and Behavior Research Foundation) young investigator award (2013) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award in Biophotonics (2015).

Mehdi Azimipour, PhD Student
Mehdi completed his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology and his M.Sc. from Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran, in 2005 and 2008, respectively. He is now seeking his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.

Current research:
His main research interests are optical imaging and Optogenetics. He is working on in vivo fluorescent imaging.

Farid Atry, PhD Student
-B.S.: Biomedical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, (2002).
-M.S.: Electrical Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, (2005).

Research Areas:
Currently, Farid is a PhD student in the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. His research is focused on Fluorescent Diffusion Optical Tomography and Optical Coherent Tomography. Farid has worked on EEG based brain-computer interface systems and EEG signal processing techniques in his master’s thesis. After his master he worked at a large company as a signal/image processing expert for several years. His research in the industry includes audio/image compression and time series prediction.

Mahya Sheikhzadeh, MS Student
Computer Engineering Hardware, IAU South Tehran Branch

Mahya received her B.S. from IA University in Computer hardware engineering. Currently, she is pursuing her Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering in University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She joined BIST lab in summer 2014. Her research interests include areas such as: Optical imaging, Fluorescence imaging and Optogenetics. Currently, she is working on Fluorescence Laminar Optical Tomography (FLOT) which is a new medical imaging modality for high-resolution, depth-resolved, functional imaging of superficial tissues such as rodent cortex, skin and retina.

Rex Chin-Hao Chen, PhD Student
Current Research:
Rex is developing laser speckle imaging systems to image vessels and capillaries in the brain of live animals and he develops mathematical algorithms for automated data analysis and feature extraction. Rex received his master degree in Fall 2015 from electrical engineering department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Ghazal Azarfar, PhD Student
– B.S.: Electrical Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran(2012).

– M.S.: Electrical Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran(2014).

-PhD Student: Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, WI, USA (Since Fall 2014).

Current research:

Ghazal’s research is focused on thermoregulation and heat transfer inside the brain tissue. She is trying to understand how temperature fluctuates in the brain once the tissue is exposed to laser pulses during optogenetic stimulation.

Israel Jacob De La Rosa, MS Student
Israel received the Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UW-Milwaukee in 2014. He was in industry working for Super Products LLC in 2015. He is currently working on a Master’s degree in electrical engineering. He has joined the BIST Lab where he is working on a fluorescence imaging system. His research interests include development of neuroimaging systems and biomedical instrumentation.

Fariborz Taherkhani, PhD Student
Fariborz received his B. Sc. degree in computer engineering from Shahid Beheshti University(Former national University of Iran), Tehran, Iran, and his Masters’ degree from Sharif University of Technology Tehran, in 2012 and 2014, respectively. His research interests include Machine Learning , Signal Processing ,OCT images analysis and Bio Medical Engineering. Currently, he is working on OCT image post processing and data classification.


Mohammad Habibi, Ph.D., Postdoc

Mohammad is currently an assistant professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN.

Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Habibi earned his Ph.D. in Electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Currently, he is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Habibi has more than a decade practical experience in Electrical Engineering working for several companies in several countries such as Iran, Canada and USA. He also taught a number of courses in the Electrical Engineering field at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Habibi has published several peer-reviewed papers and he is an editorial board member of the Journal of Biochips & Tissue Chips.

Research Interests:
Dr. Habibi’s research interests include: optical technology for probing neural signals, biochip for medical diagnostics, dielectric spectroscopy and impedance tomography, Medical signal/image processing (including electromyogram signal processing), Electrode design for biosensing and bioimpedance measurement.

Ryan Falk, MS Student

Ryan is currently with Prairie Technologies, Madison, WI.

Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.

Ryan Falk received the Bachelor degree in physics from the College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, where he is currently working toward the Master’s degree in the field of electrical engineering.He is a member of the Bio-Inspired Sciences and Technology Laboratory, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His current research interests are concentrated on technology development for brain research, optical neuromodulation, and neuroimaging. He is interested in following his career in the areas of biomedical imaging and instrumentation.

Alana Soeharto, MS Student

Alana is currently a PhD student at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2011.

Alana received her master’s degree in electrical engineering at UWM in December 2013. Her research at BIST Lab involved signal processing and imaging reconstruction using optical coherence tomography. Her interests include biomedical imaging, sustainability and appropriate technology. Her undergraduate research work included detection of fiber waviness in composite structures and natural fiber reinforced composites under Dr. Rani El-Hajjar, and imaging oxygen saturation using photoacoustic microscopy under Dr. Hao Zhang. She also has been involved with the student chapter of Engineers Without Borders at UWM since 2008, serving as co-chair from March 2010 through December 2011 working on implementing water distribution systems in Guatemala.

Alana is currently a PhD student at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Ryan Baumgartner, MS Student

Ryan is currently with Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, WI.

Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2012.

Ryan has finished his BS program in electrical engineering department at UW-Milwaukee and has been a member of BIST Lab for over three years. Ryan defended his Master thesis in December 2014 and he worked on the development of new optoelectronic systems for the study of the brain including our microprojection and edoscopic imaging system and combining these techniques with other brain computer interface modalities such as microfabricated electrocorticography systems.

After graduation Ryan joined the R&D engineering team at Johnson Controls.

Amy Kaczmarowski, MD, Postdoc

Amy is currently a postdoc at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Dr. Kaczmarowski earned her BA at the University of Houston in 2003, and went on to work in low-light vision research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2009. Her research experience at MCW included fMRI and stereotaxic rodent microsurgery. Dr. Kaczmarowski returned to UIUC as a post-doctoral researcher, doing cell culture, skin MRI, and biomaterial design. She was working at BIST-LAB, integrating her lab experience with her medical knowledge in the optogenetics projects.

Amy is currently a postdoc at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Seth Frye, MS Student
Physics, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee

Seth Frye earned his BS in Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and defended his master thesis in May 2014.

Seth’s research interests were focused around Optogenetics at the Biological Inspired Technology lab. Specific areas of study included; optical coherent tomography, spectroscopy, and fluorescent imaging.

Seth is currently with Dell Compters.