Urbana, Ill. The Cancer Center at Illinois is excited to announce the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign graduate students selected for the 2021 Tissue Microenvironment (TiME) Training Program.

Four Illinois students were selected for the TiME Program, focused on professional research and leadership development. Supported by a National Institutes of Health T32 grant from the National Institutes of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, TiME trainees represent cross-campus disciplines with an interest in advancing biomedical science and healthcare.

“The Cancer Center at Illinois TiME program has an excellent legacy of mentoring trainees who move on to dynamic research careers, leading exciting initiatives and research projects,” Rex Gaskins, the CCIL’s associate director of education, said. “I am excited about the leadership and energy that this new cohort will bring to the TiMe program.” 

The 2021 cohort includes:  


Opeyemi Hamid Arogundade

Opeyemi Hamid Arogundade  is a PhD candidate in bioengineering at Illinois. He is working in the lab of CCIL member Andrew Smith, professor of bioengineering, on a project titled, “3D mapping of adipose macrophage microenvironments in breast cancer using quantum dots“. He holds a BS degree in Physics from Hamline University. His research involves the application of quantum dot probes for cell and tissue imaging.

Pei-Hsuan Hsieh

Pei-Hsuan Hsieh — is a PhD candidate in bioengineering. She is working in the lab of CCIL director Rohit Bhargava, professor of bioengineering, on a project titled, “Developing 3D in vitro model for Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopic Imaging.” She holds a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from National Cheng Kung University and a MS degree from National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. Her research involves 3D cell culture on breast cancer cell lines for infrared spectroscopic imaging.

Rishyashring “Rishee” Raman Iyer

Rishyashring “Rishee” Raman Iyer is a PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering. He is working in the lab of CCIL research program leader Stephen Boppart, professor of electrical and computer engineering, on a project titled, “Developing label-free optical microscopy systems for imaging the neural activity of the retinal microenvironment.” This research focuses on using membrane deformation, ion flux, and metabolic dynamics as label-free markers of neural activity and developing microscopy systems to image the activity of the retinal neurons across several spatiotemporal scales. Rishee holds a Bachelor’s in Technology in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from NITK Surthkal, India, and a Master’s in Engineering in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, US. His research interests include label-free and multimodal imaging, multiphoton microscopy, and computational optics for applications in neuroscience and neurophysiology.

Sourya Sengupta

Sourya Sengupta is a PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering. He is working in the lab of CCIL member Mark Anastasio, professor of bioengineering, on a project titled, “Microscopy image analysis using AI and deep learning methods.” He holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Jadavpur University, India and an MS degree in dual program on Vision Science and Systems Design Engineering from University of Waterloo, Canada. His research involves microscopy and cell image analysis (especially label-free and multimodal microscopy images) using advanced deep learning and AI based techniques.

The TiME program provides PhD students with intensive mentoring and systematic activities focused on professional development, training them to become interdisciplinary leaders capable of undertaking fundamental research and enabling translational advances.

Learn more about the TiMe program. 


– Written by the CCIL Communications Team