MEI Lab Team

Joe Alexander, Jr.

Director, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.C., The Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine

My background is in engineering and medicine. After graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University, I studied medicine as a fellow of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Johns Hopkins Medical School where I received both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. My Ph.D. is in Biomedical Engineering, where I specialized in cardiovascular dynamics, training with Dr. Kenji Sunagawa in the laboratory of the late Dr. Kiichi Sagawa. Immediately afterwards, I completed a fellowship in research cardiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine before additional training as a Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellow at Kyushu University. I then took academic faculty positions in Biomedical Engineering and in Medicine at Vanderbilt University while simultaneously completing a residency in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt Hospital. Also, during that time, I helped train astronauts like Dr. Chiaki Mukai for the Neurolab Spacelab Mission. I likewise collaborated with The National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center as a Visiting Researcher supported by the Science and Technology Agency of Japan. Following academia, I entered Pharma – first Merck, then Pfizer. During my 18 years at Pfizer, I worked in various capacities including Field Medical Director, R&D, Business Development, and Medical Affairs. In Pharma as in academia, my passion for modeling and simulation was evident throughout my work and extended across therapeutic areas. I am credited with creating several Pharma modeling platforms including The Lyrica Virtual Lab, The Neuropathic and Neuropathic-like Pain Virtual Lab, and The Pulmonary Vascular Disease Virtual Lab. Finally, I am a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC), and I am very interested in heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and in medical devices.

MEI Lab Research Team

Jon N. Peterson

Distinguished Scientist, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine

My interest is in the application of engineering principles to medical challenges. After obtaining a degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University, I studied the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac relaxation at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where I received a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. During postdoctoral and faculty appointments at the University of Vermont, I delved into molecular energetics in the normal and diseased heart. I then joined a small consulting group, working on biomedical projects ranging from the detection and classification of atrial fibrillation to a teleoperated surgical robotics system. For the past 15 years, my focus has been on implanted sensors, systems and simulations for diagnosis of cardiac rhythm disorders and heart failure.

Yukiko Fukuda

Research Scientist, M.D., Gunma University, Faculty of Medicine

I am a Research Scientist of the MEI Lab. My research focuses on the development of non-invasive sensors for heart and vascular monitoring, and the understanding of the cardiovascular physiology to contribute to patient health. I am interested in clinical pathophysiology. Prior to joining the MEI Lab, I completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Takasaki General Hospital in Japan. I received my M.D. from Gunma University, and have a business experience as a system engineer at IBM Japan.

Ryoma Ishii

Research Scientist, The University of Tokyo, Faculty of Chemistry

Ryoma Ishii obtained his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in chemistry from The University of Tokyo and received a dean’s award while there. Projects of note focused on a microfluidic chip for influenza diagnosis in one instance and on chemically defined iPS scaffold for mass-production in another. Later, at Harvard University as a visiting scientist, he researched organ-on-a-chip which combined a microfluidic chip and a cell analysis system. His process used neurons on the chip to recapitulate the microenvironment of schizophrenia, a potential new platform for drug discovery in that area. At the NTT Research MEI lab, Mr. Ishii works on heart-on-a-chip, collecting electrophysiological data of in vitro heart models which are essential for developing the concept of Bio Digital Twin. Further, he is screening a suitable polymer for the surface of electrodes to measure the electrophysiology of heart models. His motivating dream is to revolutionize healthcare worldwide through regenerative medicine and preventive medicine.

Yasuyuki Kataoka

Research Scientist, Master of Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology

I am Yasuyuki Kataoka, a research scientist in Medical and Health Informatics laboratories. My primary interest is the applied R&D in machine learning applications for human performance improvement. This data science work involves time series and heterogeneous data such as vision, audio, text, and IoT sensor signals in healthcare, sports, and automotive industries. My other areas of interest include nonlinear control systems such as self-driving cars and drone systems. When not doing research activities, I enjoy participating in hackathons, where I have won prizes in the healthcare and automotive industries. I hold an MS and BS in mechanical and system engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology, where I graduated valedictorian.

Iris Shelly

Research Scientist, Master of Science, Portland State University

I am Iris Shelly, a scientist in the Medical and Health Informatics laboratories. After graduating with a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, I began working in software verification of implantable cardiac devices. At the same time, I completed a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, with a focus on biological signal processing. Most recently, I worked as an Applied Research Engineer, designing and developing cardiac signal and arrhythmia detection algorithms for implantable cardiac monitors and pacemakers. My work in the MEI lab will focus on development of the cardiovascular bio digital twin, starting with supporting the model architecture and interfaces.

Tetsuhiko Teshima

Research Scientist, Ph.D., The University of Tokyo

I am a research scientist at NTT Research and a visiting postdoctoral researcher in the Munich School of Bioengineering at Technische Universität München, Germany. Previously, I was a researcher in NTT Basic Research Laboratories and Bio-Medical Informatics Research Center, Japan. I received my PhD in information science and technology, from the University of Tokyo, Japan. I am broadly interested in self-assembly of nanomaterials and soft materials with a particular focus on the bioelectronics and biointerfaces. Currently my research topics include shapeable self-assembled soft electronics that are envisioned as organs-on-chips and electrically sensing interface with tissues to accelerate biological digital twin technology.