Hettiaratchi Lab

Our Team

Dr. Marian Hettiaratchi

Principal Investigator

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto

Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology & Emory University

B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering with Biomedical Specialization, University of Calgary

Marian Hettiaratchi joined the Knight Campus at the University of Oregon as an assistant professor in January 2020. She also holds an affiliate appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Oregon Health & Science University. Marian’s doctoral research focused on developing heparin-based microparticles for growth factor delivery to repair large bone defects. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto under the direction of Dr. Molly Shoichet where she combined techniques in protein engineering and polymer chemistry to stabilize and control the delivery of proteins for central nervous system repair. In her spare time, Marian enjoys running and biking along the Willamette River and drinking Oregon wines.

Google Scholar Profile

Chandler Asnes

Lab Manager/Research Assistant

B.S. in Biology, John Brown University

Hello! My name is Chandler Asnes, and I am the lab manager for Dr. Marian Hettiaratchi’s lab at the Knight Campus. Prior to joining UO, I studied Biology at John Brown University and several years as a senior lab specialist providing diagnostic services for a multinational corporation. I’m excited to be able to apply that experience to my work here at the Knight Campus. In my free time, I enjoy playing sports, producing music, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.

Jonathan Dorogin

Graduate Student (Bioengineering)

B.ASc. in Nanotechnology Engineering, Waterloo University

M.ASc. in Biomedical Engineering, McMaster University

Hi! I’m Jonathan Dorogin. I’m a PhD student in the joint Biomedical Engineering program between University of Oregon and Oregon State University, working under the supervision of Dr. Marian Hettiaratchi. Prior to joining the Knight Campus and Dr. Hettiaratchi’s lab, I did a master’s in Biomedical Engineering in Dr. Todd Hoare’s lab at McMaster University, focusing on ultrasound triggered drug delivery for cancer applications which was spun out into a startup called Pharmasonica. I’ve also worked in industry and helped to develop a bio-lubricant for people suffering from osteoarthritis. In my spare time, I like to stay active by playing basketball, ultimate frisbee, and doing pilates. I also like to paint and cook. I’m a big Toronto Raptors fan, and enjoy watching cooking shows and cartoons.

John O'Hara-Smith

Graduate Student (Biology)

B.A. (Honors) in Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California, Berkeley

T32 Fellowship, Molecular Biology and Biophysics Training Program (2021-2022)

Stanley David and Lucille Borgen Adamson Memorial Scholar (2020)

I grew up in Hollister, California, which has lots of cows and no beaches, despite the highly popular facade associated with the town’s name. I studied Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley from 2016-2019, where I started a work-study job in Dr. Craig Miller’s lab in 2016. With Dr. Miller, I would go on to research the molecular bases of tooth development and regeneration in three-spine stickleback fishes. Working with sticklebacks lead me to fall in love more deeply with biology, and would also lead me to graduate studies at the University of Oregon to enrich my scientific skillset. Now joining Marian Hettiaratchi’s lab at the Knight Campus, I plan to leverage my background in biology to understand how to generate better biomaterials. In my spare time, I’m an avid basketball fan, enjoy hiking through the forests of Oregon, and enjoy collecting trading cards.

Yan Carlos Pacheco

Graduate Student (Bioengineering)

B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida

NSF Graduate Research Fellow (2021-2024)

Promising Scholar Award (2021)

Hi! I’m Yan Carlos Pacheco and I was born in Havana, Cuba. I’m a Ph.D. student in the joint Bioengineering program between the University of Oregon and Oregon State University, working in both Dr. Nick Willett’s and Dr. Marian Hettiaratchi’s laboratories at the Knight Campus. Before coming to Oregon, I did my Bachelors of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Florida in which I worked in Dr. Kyle Allen’s laboratory for four years. As an undergraduate, I got hands-on experience with designing histological experiments for knee osteoarthritis. I briefly worked on characterizing synovial fluid with magnetic particle translation; a novel technique developed in our lab. Lastly, I also worked on developing Matlab scripts to process and quantify synovial tissue changes at the joint level. In my spare time, I enjoy cuddling with my two cats, Norman Rockwell and Lisa Newcarr. Beyond my two children, I enjoy baking, cooking, hiking, puzzles, swimming, and film photography just to name a few.

Veronica Spaulding

Graduate Student (Chemistry)

M.S. in Chemistry, University of Wyoming

B.S. in Chemistry, University of Wyoming

Dean's First Year Merit Award (2020)

My name is Veronica Spaulding, and I am a second-year graduate student in the OIM chemistry program. I enjoy material synthesis and characterization with an interest in engineering biomaterials. I’m originally from North Fork, CA a small town nestled in the mountains. Anywhere out in nature feels like home and I love being in Eugene! My hobbies include rock climbing and river rafting, though pretty much anything outdoors excites me.

Henry Hochstatter

Undergraduate Research Assistant (Human Physiology)

UO Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Fellowship (2021)

B.S. in Human Physiology with a Minor in Biochemistry

Expected Graduation: June 2022

My name is Henry Hochstatter and I am a third-year student in the Clark Honors College. After finishing my undergraduate degree, I hope to attend medical school after gaining some clinical work experience and seeing more of the world. I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. In my spare time, I love to bake fun dishes/desserts and hike around Oregon!

Ireland Johnson

Undergraduate Research Assistant (Biology)

Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholar (2021)

Peter O'Day Biology Fellowship (2020)

B.S. in Biology with Minors in Chemistry and Spanish

Expected Graduation: June 2022

My name is Ireland Johnson and I am an undergraduate student in the Robert D. Clark Honors College on campus with a major in Biology and a double minor in Chemistry and Spanish. After completing my undergraduate degree, I hope to attend medical school. I have had the privilege of living in 9 different cities across the world, but my family is currently situated in Portland. When I’m not studying or working on a project, you can find me backpacking in the mountains or skiing down Mt. Bachelor.

Lily Mozipo

Undergraduate Research Assistant (Chemistry)

B.S. in Chemistry

Expected Graduation: June 2023

My name is Lily Mozipo, and I’m a third-year chemistry major here at the University of Oregon. After I graduate, I plan on going to pharmacy school where I can synthesize my love of chemistry with my passion for the medical sciences. I’m originally from Portland, OR, so I’m a big Blazers fan and in my free time I like to watch basketball, sing, and spend time with my family.

Simon Oh

Undergraduate Research Assistant (Biology)

B.S. in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry

Expected Graduation: June 2022

Hello, I’m Simon Oh, a fourth-year biology major at the University of Oregon. During my undergraduate years, I’ve grown a passion for genetics and developmental biology. I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area and currently aspire to become a genetic counselor. Outside of my academics, I enjoy traveling, music, and baseball.

Lab Alumni


Hossein Rajabzadeh - Undergraduate Research Assistant (2020-2021)

Branden Henry - Undergraduate Research Assistant (2020-2021)

Dr. Jakob Townsend - Postdoctoral Scholar (2020)