December 2023
Congrats to Dr. Britney Washington for graduating UW-Madison December 17th, 2023. She received her PhD in Biomedical  Engineering and will be working with a local non-profit called Urban Triage and the Black Chamber of Commerce. Congrats, Britney!

October 2022
Congratulations to Dr. Randolph Ashton, Dr. Gavin Knight, and Dr. Rebecca Willett for the public website launch of Neurosetta, LLC. Also, congratulations to Dr. Nisha Iyer, her team of undergraduate students, Dr. Ashton, and the study’s associated co-authors for their recent publication in Science Advances titled “Modular derivation of diverse, regionally discrete human posterior CNS neurons enables discovery of transcriptomic patterns.”

August 2022
Congratulations to Dr. Nisha Iyer for winning the Burrough’s Young Investigator Award at BMES 2022 and for winning the Best Poster Award at the March 2022 Gordon Research Conference (theme: CNS Injury and Repair). She also reported that two of her papers were accepted recently: 1) ‘Bioengineering the Human Spinal Cord‘ at Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, and 2) ‘Modular derivation of diverse, regionally discrete human posterior CNS neurons enables discovery of transcriptomic patterns’ at Science Advances. Dr. Iyer also began a new faculty position as a Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor at Tufts University this August and has her own lab website. We look forward to seeing her future success and we are thankful for her time with the Ashton Group. Dr. Iyer has trained multiple mentees over the last five years, and she was a pleasure to work with! We wish you the best, Nisha!

July 2022
Congrats to Dr. Randolph Ashton for his recent presentation pitch showcasing the services of Neurosetta, LLC at Summerfest Tech 2022. His pitch was noted in a recent WisBusiness newsletter.

April 2022
Congrats to Undergraduate Research Assistant Jack Maher for being awarded a Hilldale Research Fellowship! The award will fund lab-specific research training and his project-associated expenses.

December 2021
Associate Professor Randolph Ashton and postdoctoral researcher Gavin Knight (PhD ’18) launched a biotechnology startup company, Neurosetta, and received a $1.7 million Small Business Technology Transfer award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

August 2021
Congrats to Lauryn Campagnoli for completing her Master’s Degree through UW-Madison’s Neuroscience Training Program! Also, congratulations to Dr. Ashton and Dr. Iskandar for receiving a NIH R21 grant award for their project “Evaluating Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Rosette Arrays as a Neural Tube Defect Risk Screening Platform (HD103111-01).”

May 2021
Congrats to Alireza Aghayeemeibody on his recent completion of his PhD! The Ashton Group also welcomes Jack Maher to the lab. He will work as an undergraduate research assistant with our MD/PhD Graduate Student Brady Lundin on various bioengineering experiments.

February 2021
Congratulations to Dr. Carlos Marti-Figueroa for starting as a Scientist in Cellular Process Development at Bluebird Bio. in Cambridge, MA!

December 2020
Congratulations to Randy, Carlos, Gavin, Nisha, Ben for winning the 2020 WARF Innovation Award for their invention disclosure titled ‘Superior Neural Tissue Models for Disease Modeling, Drug Development, and More.’ Also, congrats to Dr. Ashton and the Neural Rosette Array team for securing a WARF Accelerator Grant!

November 2020
Congratulations to Randy, Gavin, Nisha, Ben, and Carlos for being nominated for the 2020 WARF Innovation Award. They are one of six group finalists selected from hundreds of applicants.

September 2020
Congratulations to Dr. Randolph Ashton for winning WARFs Draper TIF Award and Fall Competition Award earlier this year!

August 2020
Congratulations to Lauryn Campagnoli for winning a SCRMC Training Award this spring! Congrats to Carlos Marti-Figueroa, PhD for a successful thesis defense earlier this summer! We welcome Brady Lundin, a MD/PhD student, back to our lab to resume research activities with our labs neural rosette array team.

May 2020
Congratulations to former graduate students Carlos Marti-Figueroa (BME PhD) and Andrew Baldys (BME MS)! Congratulations to undergraduate students Ben Knudsen, Tessa Doersch, Jacky Tian, and Noah Nicol! We wish you success as you take your next steps in academia and industry!

July 2019

Congratulations to Nisha, Maria, Ethan, Randolph, and our collaborators for successfully publishing “Inferring regulatory programs governing region specificity of Neuroepithelial Stem Cells during Early Hindbrain and Spinal Cord Development” within the journal Cell Systems!!!

May 2019
Congratulations to Jason, Carlos, Frank, Joshua, Randolph, Nisha, and Ethan for authoring/co-authoring work published recently in eLife and Acta Biomaterialia alongside other notable labs! You can read this work and learn more about our collaborators from our publications page and the news story through the College of Engineering!

March 2019
Dr. Randolph Ashton meets Governor Tony Evers, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, and UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. See photos (courtesy of Jeff Miller/UW-Madison) here. Please read news story here.

January 2019
Undergraduate Research Assistants Simon Schirber, Tessa Doersch, and Noah Nicol join the Ashton Group!

December 2018
Attention Undergraduates! Check out our Summer 2019 REU opportunity to work on a CMaT-associated project titled “Analysis of Cryopreservation’s Effect on Cell Isolates and Manufactured Therapeutic Phenotypes.” Two students will be selected to work on this project. Application deadline is February 15th, 2019. Please see this document for details!

November 2018
Postdoctoral Research Associate Gavin Knight and the Ashton Group publish “Engineering induction of singular neural rosette emergence within hPSC-derived tissues” in the journal of eLife. Congrats Dr. Knight! View WIDs press release for the technology. Also, Dr. Randolph Ashton was featured in a recent Wisconsin State Journal Feature Story and was appointed to an important stem cell research post. Congrats Dr. Ashton!

October 2018
Axosim, Inc. has partnered with the Ashton Lab on a NIH grant to create micro-physiological models of peripheral nerve activity.

September 2018
The Ashton Group congratulates Nisha Iyer on her NIH-NINDS F32 Fellowship award for her work entitled “Regionalized Human Motor Neuron Therapies!” The Ashton Group also welcomes new Undergraduate Research Assistants Jacky Tian and Janavi Kotamarthi!

June & July 2018
The Ashton Group welcomes Summer Undergraduate Research Assistants’ Pranav Gadangi and Susan Okrah. They will be assisting Carlos and Nisha with various research-related projects.

May 2018
Congratulations to Alexandra Doersch and Andrew Baldys for graduating from UW-Madison with their Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering! Alexandra will continue her studies as a PhD graduate student at the University of Minnesota in the laboratory of David Odde. Andrew will continue his studies as a Master’s graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the Ashton Group.

April 2018
Congratulations to Stephanie Cuskey for being awarded a Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship for her work titled “Evaluating Engraftment Preferences of Regionalized Human Motor Neurons in the Developing Chick Embryo!” She will be honored at the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Awards Ceremony held Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 at Union South.

March 2018
Congratulations to Andrew Baldys and Alireza Aghayeemeibody for obtaining seed grant funding from the UW-Madison Material Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). This grant was awarded for their preliminary experimental work concerning the utilization of NIPAAm substrates!

February 2018
Congratulations to Dr. Nisha Iyer for being selected as a recipient of 2018 UW Madison’s Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Postdoctoral Training Grant Award.

An additional congratulations to Prof. Randolph Ashton for being selected for a UW-Madison College of Engineering Equity and Diversity Award based on his work in establishing the Biomedical Engineering Department’s Diversity Outreach Program.

Congratulations to Maria, Akshitha, Stephanie, Nikolai, Nisha, and Randy for their new publication in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods titled “Single-injection ex ovo transplantation method for broad spinal cord engraftment of human pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons.”

January 2018
The Ashton Group welcomes a new Graduate Students Britney N. Washington (BME) and Lauryn Campagnoli (NTP) as well as Undergraduate Research Assistant Ben Knudsen!

December 2017
Congratulations to Dr. Gavin Knight for successfully defending his PhD thesis entitled, “Engineering Organotypic 2D CNS Tissues from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.”

September 2017
Congratulations to Principal Investigator Randolph Ashton for receiving a NIH R33 award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for $779,184 in support of our project titled “High-throughput Modeling of ALS Using iPSC-Derived Neural Tube Microarrays.”

The Ashton Group at UW-Madison in collaboration with other intra-University research groups, the University of Georgia, and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Campus, were awarded a $20 million NSF grant to start an Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies.

The Ashton Group also welcomes a new Undergraduate Research Assistant Siddhant Jain.

August 2017
Dr. Randolph Ashton hosts the 2017 Advanced Biomanufacturing Conference at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Click here to view pictures from this years event.

July 2017
Congratulations to Dr. Nisha Iyer for her acceptance to the 2017 NextProf Fall Engineering Workshop at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (Sept. 26-29, 2017).

June 2017
Congratulations to Maria Estevez-Silva for her presentation of “Towards an In Vitro Model of the Human Posterior CNS” at ISSCR 2017 in Boston, MA. Congratulations to Alireza Aghayee and Kristen Lemke for publishing “Deriving, Regenerating, and Engineering CNS Tissues using Human Pluripotent Stem Cells” in the journal Current Opinion in Biotechnology.

May 2017
Congratulations new graduates: Gavin Knight (PhD, BME), Maria Estevez-Silva (MS, BME), Akshitha Sreeram (BS, Neurobiology), Brady Lundin (BS, BME), and Kristen Lemke (BS, Chem Engineering)!

April 2017
Congratulations to graduate students Maria Estevez Silva, Carlos Marti-Figueroa, Gavin Knight, Brett Napiwocki, and undergraduate Akshitha Sreeram for presenting their research efforts at the 2017 Stem Cell Symposium and the 2017 UW Madison Undergraduate Research Symposium (see pics here at bottom of Group Activities page).

March 2017
Congratulations to Carlos Marti-Figueroa for his research efforts and recent publication titled “The Case for Applying Tissue Engineering Methodologies to Instruct Human Organoid Morphogenesis” in the Journal Acta Biomaterialia.

February 2017
Randolph Ashton was awarded a NSF CAREER Award February 23rd, 2017. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research (click here to view Proposal Summary details).

September – December 2016
The Ashton Group welcomes Nikolai Fedorchak (Lab Manager/Research Specialist), Nisha Iyer (Postdoctoral Research Associate, from Prof. Sakiyama-Elbert lab at Washington University in St. Louis), and Andrew Baldys, Frank Seipel, Alexandra Doersch, and Stephanie Cuskey as new Undergraduate Research Assistants.

Randolph Ashton is awarded a “Creative Community Innovation Grant” from UW Madison’s Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement to help further advance the Biomedical Engineering Department’s Diversity Outreach Program.

Congratulations to Gavin Knight and Carlos Marti-Figueroa for successful research talks at the Biomedical Engineering Society’s 2016 Annual Meeting.

Congratulations to Brady Lundin for a successful poster presentation at the Biomedical Engineering Society’s 2016 Annual Meeting.

Brady Lundin & Akshitha  Sreeram begin their research projects as 2016 Hilldale Undergraduate Research Scholars!

August – November 2015

The Ashton lab publishes a detailed HOX patterning protocol on Nature’s Protocol Exchange.

Gavin Knight delivers a talk on “Micropatterned Substrates for Spatiotemporal Control of Neural Tissue Morphogenesis” at the 2015 Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting (October)

Randolph Ashton delivers a talk on “Region-specific Cells and Tissue Models for Hindbrain & Spinal Cord Regenerative Medicine” at the Waisman Center and Allen Institute Neuroscience Symposium (16 October)

Randolph Ashton delivers a webinar on “Brain Models for Analysis of Pathways (BRAIN MAPS)” at the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Center for Computational Toxicology, Virtual Tissue Models Meeting  (14 October)

Randolph Ashton delivers a talk on “Engineering Hindbrain and Spinal Cord Tissues for Toxicology and Regenerative Medicine” at Hampton University’s 2nd Annual Engineering Alumni Research Symposium (October)

The Ashton Group welcomes Katherine Jeffris and Maria Estevez-Silva as new graduate students to the SCBRM lab.

The Ashton Group welcomes Kristen Lemke to the group as a new undergraduate research assistant in the SCBRM lab.

June – July 2015
Congratulations to Gavin T. Knight for successfully completing his Ph.D. candidacy exam!

In collaboration with Prof. Krishanu Saha and Michael Murrell, Ty Harkness and Jason McNulty publish an article on “High-content imaging with micropatterned multiwell plates reveals influence of cell geometry and cytoskeleton on chromatin dynamics” in Biotechnology Journal.

Randolph Ashton delivers a talk on “From Niche to Tissue: Engineering Neural Stem Cell Derivation, Differentiation, and Tissue Morphogenesis” at the 2015 Gordon Research Conference on Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering in Girona, Spain.

Randolph Ashton delivers a talk on “Engineering Region-specific Cells and Organotypic Tissues of the Central Nervous System” at the International Society for Stem Cell Research’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden.

March – April 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awards a team of research labs, lead by Prof. William Murphy and including the Ashton lab, $6 million to establish the Human Models for Analysis of Pathways (H-MAPs) Center at UW-Madison. The Ashton lab will use $1.18 million of that funding to develop novel in vitro models of the human central nervous system. ( UW–Madison announcementWisconsin Institute for Discovery announcement)

Ethan Lippmann publishes an article on “Deterministic HOX patterning in human pluripotent stem cell-derived neuroectoderm” in Stem Cell Reports.

Congratulations to Ethan Lippmann for his acceptance of an Assistant Professorship in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at Vanderbilt University!

Congratulations to Ethan Lippmann for presenting a winning poster at the 10th Annual Wisconsin Stem Cell Symposium (Madison, WI)!

The Ashton Group welcomes Sayeed Alrieza Aghayee Meibody, a student in UW–Madison’s Material Science Program, to the SCBRM lab.

Congratulations to Alireza Aghayee Meibody for being selected as a ‘2015 Honored Instructor’ by the UW-Madison Housing Academic Initiatives: his students nominated him for making a meaningful impact on their education!

Congratulations to Jason McNulty for successfully completing his Ph.D. candidacy exam!

February 2015

Randolph Ashton named a 2015 Emerging Investigator by Chemical Communications, an RSC Journal.

Gavin Knight and Jin Sha publish an article on “Micropatterned, clickable culture substrates enable in situspatiotemporal control of human PSC-derived neural tissue morphology” in Chemical Communications.

January 2015

Gavin Knight and Randolph Ashton collaborate with the Gong Lab to co-author an article on “Multifunctional drug nano carriers formed by cRGD-conjugated βCD-PAMAM-PEG for targeted cancer therapy” in Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces.

Randolph Ashton selected as a faculty member of UW–Madison’s Material Science Program and Neuroscience Training Program.

The Ashton Group welcomes graduate students Brett Napiwocki and Julio Cesar Diaz to the SCBRM lab!

December 2014

Randolph Ashton delivers a talk on “Regional Specification of Hindbrain and Spinal Cord Neural Stem Cells derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells” at the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society’s 2014 Annual Conference and Exposition (TERMIS-Americas).

November 2014

Dr. Ethan Lippmann delivers a talk on “Precision HOX Patterning in a Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Model of Posterior Neural Development” at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ 2014 Annual Meeting.

October 2014

Gavin Knight and Tyler Klann publish an article on “Fabricating Complex Culture Substrates Using Robotic Microcontact Printing (R-µCP) and Sequential Nucleophilic Substitution” in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE).

Dr. Ethan Lippmann presents a poster on “Deterministic HOX Patterning in Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived Posterior Neuroectoderm” at the Biomedical Engineering Society’s 2014 Annual Meeting.

Jason McNulty delivers a talk on “Robotic Microcontact Printing (R-µCP)” at the Biomedical Engineering Society’s 2014 Annual Meeting.

Randolph Ashton delivers an invited lecture entitled, “Engineering Next Generation CNS Tissue Models” at the American Chemical Society’s River Rock Regional Section Meeting at Rockford University (Rockford, IL).

September 2014

Congratulations to Gavin Knight for winning a $1000 travel grant for his winning poster, “Spatiotemporal control of neural stem cell adhesion and migration on RGD-modified PEG brushes”, at the 2014 UW Madison SCRMC Fall Conference.

Congratulations to Jason McNulty for successfully completing his PhD Qualifier examinations.

The Ashton lab would like to welcome Akshitha Sreeram, Brady Lundin, and Joshua Plantz to the group as new undergraduate research assistants.

August 2014
Congratulation to Professor Gordon Mitchell (co-PI) and Assistant Professor Randolph Ashton (co-PI) for receiving an ICTR Basic and Clinical Research Award on “Phrenic Motor Neuron Derivation and Transplantation” for $50,000. See announcement in the latest ICTR Newsletter.

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Randolph Ashton (PI) and Professor David Beebe (Co-I) for receiving a NIH R21 award from the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for $348,422.
Randolph Ashton selected to present a seminar entitled, “Engineering next-generation CNS tissue models” at UW Madison’s Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center’s Fall Conference on September 12th, 2014 in the WID-Deluca Forum.
Ethan Lippmann and Jason McNulty selected to present talks at the Biomedical Engineering Society’s 2014 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX on October 22-25, 2014.
Congratulations to Assistant Professors Randolph Ashton (PI) and Krishanu Saha (Co-I) for receiving a Burroughs Welcome Fund Innovation in Regulatory Sciences Award for $500,000.”