April 24, 2024. Lab Dinner at BonFire. From left to right: Erican, Mohanish, Nikhil, Scott, Anthony, Sangyoon, Sam, and Shaina

Principal Investigator

Sangyoon J. Han, Ph.D.

Sangyoon Han was born in London, UK but raised in Seoul, Korea. He received B.S and M.S. degree from Mechanical Engineering at Seoul National University in 2002 and 2004. He received his Ph.D. with Dr. Nathan Sniadecki from Mechanical Engineering at University of Washington and performed postdoctoral studies with Dr. Gaudenz Danuser in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He joined Michigan Tech, Biomedical Engineering from 2017. He is interested in understanding the dynamic nature in force modulation occurring across cell adhesions and cytoskeleton that regulates molecular sensing and downstream signaling response. His lab develops a minimally-perturbing experimental approaches and captures heterogeneity of dynamic mechanochemical states using live cell microscopy, computer vision and inverse dynamics to probe feedbacks between cellular structure and mechanical forces. He enjoys downhill and cross-country skiing with his family in his free time.

Graduate Students

Nikhil Mittal (Ph.D. Student)

Nikhil Mittal was born and raised in Delhi, India. He received his B.S. at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi in Biotechnology. M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. During his master's training, he developed an injectable polymeric microparticles and hydrogel-microparticle composites embedded with nitric oxide donor for sustained Nitric Oxide delivery for wound healing. Currently, he is investigating the force growth in cells during nascent adhesion formation in extracellular matrices with different stiffness. In his free time, he likes reading books, watching movies and just having fun. 

Mohanish Chandurkar (Ph.D student)

Mohanish Kishor Chandurkar was born and raised in small town of Nagpur, Maharashtra, India. He received his Bachelor of Engineering (B.E) at SGBAU Amravati University in Biomedical Engineering. Currently pursuing his M.S in Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. During his bachelor’s study, he has worked on peristaltic pump used in controlled drug delivery system. Currently, he is working on, as his Master project, in-vitro model to study the shear stresses acting on endothelial cells and changes associated with the mechanobiology of cells using Traction Force Microscopy (TFM). He spend most of his free time reading Ayurveda articles, home remedies and watching science fiction.

Shaina Royer grew up in a suburb of Chicago. She received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Michigan Tech in Fall 2021. She has been working on the fabrication of soft substrates for traction force microscopy with the additional ability of magnetic actuation. Her graduate project is to find how collagen V affects the contractility of fibroblasts. In her free time, she enjoys learning about horses, reading and occasionally writing fan-fiction, and playing Assassin’s Creed.

Sam Haarman was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received a BS in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University after Fall 2021. His research is focused on improvements to the Traction Force Microscopy process by implementing novel bead tracking and statistical algorithms. These new methods are intended to improve the tracking accuracy of large-scale deformations. Additionally, he is working to implement a novel method of force reconstruction utilizing the Finite Element Method. In his free time, he loves going to the cinema and attending indie film festivals as well as hiking and urban exploration.

Undergrad Students

Past Students




Current Position

Lucia Salinas Chastel (BS)

Spring-Summer 2019

AFM analysis of soft gels

U of Michigan

Elizabeth Kaechele (BS)

Fall 2019 - Spring 2020


Michigan Tech BS

Sue Yon Kim (BS)

Spring 2018 - Spring 2020

TFM development


Dongwoo Han (MS)

Spring 2019 - Spring 2021

Actin-adhesion interaction review


Katie Pakenas (BS)

Fall 2019 - Spring 2023

Qgel project and RMS mechanosensitivity

Stellantis and Oakland University (Master)


Nooli Jeon (SNU) - Organ-on-a-chip

Mark Ginsberg (UCSD) – Adhesion Biology

Xin Zhang (The University of Oklahoma) – Cancer Biochemist

Michell Mendoza (U Utah, Huntsman Cancer Institute) - Cancer Biologist

Ben Goult (U Kent) - Biochemist

Klaus Hahn (UNC) - Biosensor

Alex Groisman (UCSD) – Soft Substrates and Microfluidics

Assaf Zaritski (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) – Computer Scientist

Martin Schwartz (Yale) – Cell Biologist

Nathan Sniadecki (UW) – BioMEMS

Gaudenz Danuser (UTSW) – Computational Biologist

April 28, 2023. Lab Lunch at Border Grill. From left to right: Etienne,Katie, Sam, Nik, Mohanish, Sara, Sangyoon, Shaina, Alex, Scott, Laney, and Justina

April 28, 2022. Lab Dinner at La Cantina. From left to right: Sangyoon, Nikhil, Mohanish, Chris, Shaina, Sam and Kathleen

July 10, 2021 Lab Outing at Bare Bluff.

GRC Award Dinner, Apr 3, 2022

April 3, 2022. At GRC. From left, Mohanish, Nikhil, Shaina and Sangyoon

January 2021, During Zoom Lab Meeting: Names are: Nikhil, Sangyoon, Sarah, Kathleen, Mohanish, Nathan, Sam, Veer, and Shaina. (from top left in book-reading order)

June 30, 2019, BBQ party at Sangyoon's House: Shaina, Nik, Lucia, Mohanish and Sangyoon (from left to right).

April 2019 in front of Suomi

Sep 2018 in Bamboo