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Dr. Kiana Aran


Dr. Aran received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the Rutgers University in 2012. She then continued her postdoctoral studies in bio-engineering at the University of California Berkeley. She was a recipient of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral training fellowship at the Buck Institute for Age Research in 2015. She joined the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) of Applied Life Sciences in 2017 as an Assistant Professor.



Reza Hajian

Postdoctoral Scholar

Reza received his Ph.D. degree in Analytical Chemistry from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran in 2007. He was a research faculty member at Institute of Advanced Technology, University Putra Malaysia from 2014-2017 and a visiting scientist in Georgia Institute of Technology before joining to Aran Lab in Keck Graduate Institute. His main research interests include: Electrochemical sensors for detection of diseases and synthesis of nanomaterials for application in biosensors. He is currently working on development of biosensors for detection of biomarkers and diagnosis of diseases in clinical samples.

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Sarah Balderston

Research Assistant

Sarah Balderston graduated from Scripps College in 2018 with a degree in Biology and Hispanic Studies. In the Aran Lab, she works on a variety of projects geared towards developing novel diagnostic techniques more amenable to the point of care. In the future, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering.


Mandeep Sandhu

Research Assistant

Mandeep graduated Scripps College in 2018 with a dual degree in Biology and Religious Studies with a focus in Contemporary and Women’s Studies in Religion. With her passions for culturally-informed and accessible medicine, she is currently developing an oral drug delivery evaluation model and optimized biosensors for diagnostics.


Payam Amiri

Ph.D. Student

Payam graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2015 with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He earned a Masters of Business and Science while researching drug resistance in lung cancer at KGI. Payam then transitioned to the Ph.D. program at KGI where he is exploring factors pertaining to age-related degeneration.


Nafiseh Shams

Postdoctoral Scholar

Nafiseh graduated from University Putra Malaysia in 2017 with a PhD in nanotechnology with a focus in electrochemistry for application in sensors and biosensors. She is currently developing a novel method for protein separation for both clinical and research applications.


Jonalyn Herce

Master of Science

Jonalyn received a BS in Biochemistry from University of Texas at Austin in 2012. She is currently at KGI as a Master of Science candidate in applied life sciences with research interests in the challenges of drug delivery through the blood brain barrier.

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Jada Mack

Master of Science

Jada graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a minor in psychology. She is interested in researching rare genetic disorders to find the proper cure or treatment.


Joshua Littig

Master of Science

Joshua earned a BA degree in Neuroscience from the University of California Riverside in 2015. He is currently a masters student of Applied Life Science at Keck Graduate Institute with interests in biomarker discovery.


Alexy Jabbour

Post-baccalaureate Premedical Certificate

Alexy received a BA in Neuroscience from Oberlin College in May 2018. They are currently at KGI working toward a Post-baccalaureate Premedical Certificate with research interests in immunology, oral drug delivery, and microbiota.


Kristen Mason

Kristen is a freshman at Scripps College and is interested in dual majoring in Biology and Computer Science. She is currently assisting in research on developing biotechnology for micro transfusions of blood in mice.


Pranali Malewadkar

Master of Science

Pranali completed her B.Tech in Biotechnology from D Y Patil University at Mumbai in 2016. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science at KGI and is interested in translational research specifically to improve unmet needs in the healthcare industry.


Serine Torosian

Post Baccalaureate Premedical Certification program (PPC)

I received my B.S in Neuroscience from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). I am currently in the PPC program at KGI and plan to pursue a career in medicine. My interests in research are drug delivery with high efficiency and specificity to the target cells for different disorders.


Mitre Athaiya

Undergraduate Student

Mitre is a Junior at Claremont McKenna College and is pursuing Neuroscience with a Cognitive Neuroscience During his sophomore summer, Mitre had the opportunity to visit Spain and work under Dr Aran's collaborator , Dr Jacobo Paredes. There, he worked on the development of the hardware and software of a multiplexor for the enhancement of data acquisition for bio-sensing technologies. He is currently involved in projects related to development of digital diagnostic platforms.

Peichi “Peggy” Chou

Undergraduate Student

Peggy is a second year at Pitzer College and plans on majoring in Human Biology. She is currently involved with a project regarding the development of biosensors for disease detection.


Lauren Yamagami

Undergraduate Student

Lauren is a third year at Claremont McKenna College and is majoring in Biology. She spent her past summer in La Paz, Bolivia interning at a children’s hospital. She is currently involved with a project regarding the development of biosensors for disease detection.


Sophia Hubbell

Undergraduate Student

Sophia is a third year student at Pitzer College and is majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Cellular and Molecular Biology. she is currently involved with our biosensor development research and plans to pursue a career in research.


Chaerim Kang

High School Student

Chaerim is a junior at Claremont High School. She is currently involved in projects regarding the development of biomedical and microfluidic devices for research and diagnostic purposes. She hopes to study biology or chemistry in the future.



Tra Tran | NYU Graduate Student

Ritwik Keshav | Genentech