The Cai Lab

    Principal investigator
    Li Cai, PhD; Associate Professor
    Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University
    599 Taylor Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854
    (848) 445-6559;

    Position Available: Applicants are invited to apply for a Postdoc/Research Associate position. The research projects focus on the development and regeneration of the central nervous system (CNS), particularly the spinal cord and retina, using transgenic mouse models. The candidates will be primarily responsible for identifying the key factors and determining their roles in injury-induced proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) and elucidating the mechanism of NSC activation after injury.
    Successful applicants should possess a doctoral degree in life/biomedical sciences or related fields. Skills required include: motivation, independence, and creativity; strong analytical and problem solving skills; molecular biology and developmental biology, and proficiency in written and oral technical communication skills.
    For consideration, please submit application (preferably in one single PDF document) including cover letter, CV, one-page statement of research interests and career goals, and the contacts of three references.

    Current Lab Members


    PhD students

  • Jeremy Anderson (BME PhD candidate, 2015 - NIH Biotech fellow)
  • Misaal Patel (BME BS/MS candidate 2015; PhD Candidate 2016f -)
  • Nikita Kelkar (BME MS/PhD program 2017s -)
  • Xin Ai (BME MS/PhD program 2017F -)

    MS students

  • Nirali Patel (BME MS 17f)
  • Alexandria Pinto (BME MS candidate 2017s)
  • Rani Satya Pavitra (BME MS candidate 2017s)

    Undergraduate Students

  • Shunyao Lei (BME 2017f -)
  • Brandon Lungo (BME Slade Scholar 17f -) Computational analysis of retinal gene expression
  • Rebecca Risman (BME 17s -)
  • Mihir Shah (SOE Honors Academy 17s -)

    Senior Design Team 2017-18: | Samr B. Atieh | Mrudula M. Chakravarthy | Patrick R. Doran | Omkar A. Joshi | Vikash Patel

    Summer Students

  • Shunyao Lei (BME 2017 Aresty summer program)
  • Audrey Hao (UC Berkeley 2017 RiSE REU)

    Former Lab Members


  • Ying Li, Ph.D. (Mar 2016 - Jan 2017) - Molecular mechanism of Notch1 expression in spinal cord development and post-SCI response
  • Hailing Hao, Ph.D. (Mar 2008 - Jun 2014) Regulation of gene expression in neural stem/progenitor cells
  • Mythily Ganapathi, Ph.D. (Jul 2008 - Dec 2008)

    PhD students

  • Ying Li (BME Ph.D. Jan 2016, Jul 2010 - Mar 2016; NJCSCR Fellow 2012-14) - Molecular mechanism of Notch1 expression in spinal cord development and post-SCI response
  • Shannon Smith, Ph.D. (MBS Jul 2008 - Aug 2013; NSF IGERT fellow) Thesis: Regulation of CD44 expression in breast cancer stem cells. Current position: postdoc at CHOP, Philadelphia, PA
  • Evangeline Tzatzalos, Ph.D. (BME Sept 2008 - Nov 2012; NSF IGERT fellow; NJCSCR fellow) Thesis: Regulation of Notch1 expression in retinal development. Current position: postdoc at Stanford
  • Mohammed M. Islam, Ph.D. (Molecular Pharmacology Jul 2009 - May 2012) Thesis: Regulation of Foxn4 expression in retinal development. Current position: Assistant Professor at King Faisal University (Saudi Arabia)
  • Sungtae Doh, Ph.D. (BME Dec 2006 - May 2010) Thesis: Computational prediction and experimental verification of gene regulatory elements in neural development. Associate, Kenyon & Kenyon LLP. - Mar 2016 Goodwin Procter LLP

    MS students

  • Jingjing Shi (BME MS candidate 2016s)
  • Shivani Patel (BME BS/MS candidate 2016f)
  • Nikhil Kumar (BME MS 2017)
  • Rameshwari Rayaji (BME MS 2016) Current position: Research Associate II, SRI International
  • Jennifer Kim, MS (BME Sep 2007 - May 2010) - Law School
  • Jennifer Forino, MS (BME Dec 2009)

    BS students

  • Nirali Patel (BME Honors Academy & Slades Scholar BS/MS 16f - Aresty 16f) - Computational analysis of biologyical data
  • Quinn Wade (BME Honors Academy 15f -) - PhD program at PSU
  • Tristen Wallace 2016s
  • Nikhil Kumar (BME BS 2016)
  • Yuying Tan 2015
  • Nikhil Agarwal (BME Honors Academy 2010-2013)
  • Shivani Patel (BME Honors Academy 2014f)
  • Katherine Lau (Spring 2014)
  • Neda Kabi (BME Honors Academy 2013-2015)
  • Jordana Gilbert (BME Honors Academy 2011-2013); Johns Hopkins University
  • Dhara Zala (BME Honors Academy 2011-2013)
  • Alson Wu (BME Honors Academy 2010-2012)
  • Haim Tawil (BME Honors Academy, 2008-2010) U Penn - Dental student
  • Stephanie Loh (BME Honors Academy, Senior Design 2008-2010)
  • Tapan Patel (BME Honors Academy, 2008-2010)
  • Eric LaBouff (BME Honors Academy) 2007-2009; LifeCell; MD/Phd student Temple U.
  • Joe Maffei (BME Honors Academy) 2007-2009; Boston U
  • David Chen (Aresty) 2007-2008; New Jersey Medical School
  • Anna Pashkova (Aresty) 2007-2008; Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Abdullah Rasheed (Aresty) 2008-2009; Medical student
  • Michael Lazar (Aresty)
  • Arvin Zabalerio (Aresty)

    Senior Design Team Senior Design Team: Computation 2016-17 | Trevor J. Alston | Steven Q. Nguyen | Miguel vivar Lazo | Cori Lichter | Justin Chen

    Senior Design Team: Device 2016-17 | Aizeem Paroya | Luis Fabionar | Shashank Alladi | Vivekkumar Patel

    2015-16: Peak Finder
    | Ana Covic | Monica Chan | Talia Greenstein | Teerapad Jindachompthong | Nikhil Kumar | Monika Nandi

    2014-15: Conner Quintero | Jake Cotton | Yana Oganesova | Michael Wu | Mike Conforti | Jay Shah (Winner of 2015 Senior Design Conference)

    2013-2014 (paper): Paul Jang | Tim Holleran | Michael Burn | Kenan Gebizlioglu | Alex Governle
    2012-2013: Jordan Ash | Brian Osler | Henry Yu (Winner of 2013 Senior Design Conference)
    2011-2012: Darshan Bhatty | Timothy Keough | Dipen Patel | Alson Wu | Brian Yoo
    2010-2011: Ryan Chando | Samantha Citron | Olapeju Odusola | Scott Sivco
    2009-2010: Stephanie Loh | Alvin Chen
    2008-2009: Andy Shen (2006-2008) | Pankit Shan

    Other significant contributors including summer HS students

  • Victoria Li (2017 summer) Effect of Topoisomerase II-beta Inhibitor on Neuronal Migration in vitro
  • Daniel Wang (2016 summer) Effect of Topoisomerase II-beta Inhibitor on Neuronal Migration in vitro
  • Yanira Gonzales Rodriguez (2016 summer) Effect of Topoisomerase II-beta Inhibitor on Neuronal Migration in vitro
  • Michael D'Ecclessis NSF IGERT fellow) - (Co-advisor, Primary advisor: R. Hart)
  • Daniel Lee (Medical Student) Summer 2008; RWJ medical school
  • Xiaorong Zhu (Feb 2011 - Jan 2012) - East China Normal University, Shanghai, China (Visiting Scholar)
  • Kate Fitzgerald (BME Fall 2011) BME rotation student
  • Yandi Li (2009/12-11/12) - MBS rotaton student
  • Eduardo Gonzalez (RISE Summer 2008); Graduate student, Washington U
  • Eva Nelly Rubio-Marrero (RISE student, summer 2010); Graduate student, Rutgers
  • Dylan Richards (NSF-REU 2012 summer undergrad)
  • Nilsa La Cunza (NSF-REU 2012 summer undergrad)
  • Richard Carmona (Neuroscience)

 ©  2018 Li Cai (