Meet our Team


Melissa Kinney

Principal Investigator

Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute Of Technology (McDevitt Lab)

Postdoc, Boston Children's Hospital / MIT (Daley And Lauffenburger Labs)

Melissa loves solving the puzzles of stem cell biology and is intrigued by systems that appear so complex, yet function in elegantly simple and efficient ways. She runs on curiosity, coffee, and sunshine and loves spending time with her family, baking treats for lab celebrations and designing graphics to communicate science with the community.

Post Doctoral fellows

john ebben, MD/Phd

B.S. Biomedical Science / Political Science, Marquette University

M.D./Ph.D. tumor Immunology, Medical College of Wisconsin

Lab member since: 2021

Hi! My name is John. I was born and raised in Appleton, WI (near-ish to Green Bay). I did my undergraduate training at Marquette, followed by medical school and graduate school at Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee), and now Madison for residency, fellowship, and post-doctoral training! I love the concept of solving a puzzle, but also applying that knowledge to benefit patients and generate new cures. My dream is to take a basic science insight from the bench to a new medicine that can improve life for the patients that I see in clinic. I am a New York Times aficionado. I love skiing in the winter time (downhill/alpine), enjoy tennis in the summers, spending plenty of time at the Terrace and on lake(s). I have also been a life long Star Trek fan (evenly split between TNG and VOY).

research staff

james rolland

B.S. Biochemistry, Valparaiso University

Lab member since: 2021

Hello! I’m James. I am from Kentwood Michigan which is a suburb of Grand Rapids. What excites me most about science is the possibilities. Science is a road to new and exciting ideas that can change the world. The opportunity to get up every day and work in a field like that is what is most meaningful to me.In my spare time I like to read, hike, and watch sports.

Graduate students

Madeline Smerchansky

Major: Biomedical Engineering

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Lab member since: 2019

Hello! I’m Madeline. I’m from Arlington, VA, right outside of Washington DC. I love learning how to use our bodies’ tools to model and treat disease. Our cells have so much power bundled so tightly and it’s very exciting to me that as scientists and engineers, we can unlock that power and use it in novel and often unexpected ways. Outside of lab you can usually find me in the kitchen (usually making tacos or something quinoa based). Funny enough, while I love to cook, baking is usually too scientific (I left the science in lab!). I love the outdoors and am obsessed with all things water related including swimming, rowing or just floating on a hot summer day. I also enjoy going to concerts and experiencing all types of live music.

Andy Zhang

Major: Biomedical Engineering

B.S., M.Phil, Biomedical Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Lab member since: 2021


amrutha Garimella

Major: Neurobiology

Lab member since: 2021

We are looking for curious and enthusiastic graduate students and postdocs to join our team!

Melissa A. Kinney, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department Of Biomedical Engineering
University Of Wisconsin-Madison

Engineering Centers Building
Room 2148
1550 Engineering Dr
Madison, WI 53706