Principal Investigator: Michelle LaPlaca

Michelle C. LaPlaca, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department between Georgia Tech and Emory University. Dr. LaPlaca earned her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, in 1991 and her M.S.E. (1992) and Ph.D. (1996) in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, in the area of neuronal injury biomechanics. Following post-doctoral training in Neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s Head Injury Center from 1996-98, she joined the faculty at Georgia Tech. Dr. LaPlaca’s research interests are in neurotrauma, specifically: traumatic brain injury, injury biomechanics, cell culture modeling of traumatic injury, neural tissue engineering, and cognitive impairment associated with brain injury and aging. Her research is funded by NIH, NSF, and the Coulter Foundation. 

Current Lab Members:

Postdocs (most recent first)

  • Scott Hogan (CHEM, Ph.D. Candidate)
  • James (JT) Shoemaker, Ph.D. (Lena Biosciences)
  • Brian Rooney, Ph.D (Armstrong University)
  • Daniel Olivero, M.S. (Edwards Lifesciences)
  • Philip Kwon
  • Brock Wester, Ph.D. (Applied Physics Lab @ Johns Hopkins Univ)
  • Maxine McClain, Ph.D. (Fluidigm Corporation)
  • Varadraj Vernekar, Ph.D. (University of Connecticut)
  • Crystal Simon, Ph.D. (Axogen)
  • M. Chris Lessing, Ph.D. (Kinetic Concepts, Inc.)
  • Hillary Irons, Ph.D., M.D. (Massachusetts General Hospital)
  • Sarah Stabenfeldt, Ph.D (Arizona State Univ)
  • Mike Schumm, Ph.D.
  • D. Kacy Cullen, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Leah Moore, M.S.
  • Jeanie Miskelly, M.S.
  • Gustavo Prado, Ph.D. (Xenco Medical)
  • Roberta Murnyack, M.S. (STERIS Corporation)
  • Matt Tate, Ph.D.,M.D. (Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
  • Justin McLoughlin, M.S. (Syntact)
  • Donna Geddes-Klein, Ph.D. (Centyrex, Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Undergraduate Thesis Research Students

  • Tara Heydari (NEUR, 2021)
  • Graham Bryant (NEUR, 2021)
  • Chuyu Deng (BME)
  • Martin Park (BME, 2014)
  • John (Luke) Edwards (BME, 2014)