Welcome to the
Tadesse Lab

Our Research

Diagnostics Anywhere

Rapid, accurate disease diagnosis, and real-time monitoring is essential for effective treatments, halting the rise of drug resistance, and achieving personalized health and precision medicine goals. The Tadesse Lab develops next generation point-of-care diagnostic devices using optical, spectroscopy and nanoscience-based tools with machine learning based data analysis for application in resource limited clinical settings including developing nations, extraterrestrial exploration, and military sites. We aim to establish a leading research program for translational medicine integrating sensing technologies, artificial intelligence tools and needs-based design thinking for translation to targeted clinical and research settings.

Our Publications

More than magnetic isolation: Dynabeads as strong Raman reporters toward simultaneous capture and identification of targets

Dynabeads are superparamagnetic particles used for immunomagnetic purification of cells and biomolecules. Post-capture, however, target identification relies on tedious culturing, fluorescence staining and/or target amplification. Raman spectroscopy presents a rapid detection alternative, but current implementations target cells themselves with weak Raman signals. We present antibody-coated Dynabeads as strong Raman reporter labels…

Predicting tuberculosis drug resistance with machine learning-assisted Raman spectroscopy

Tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s deadliest infectious disease, with 1.5
million annual deaths and half a million annual infections. Rapid TB diagnosis
and antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) are critical to improve patient
treatment and to reduce the rise of new drug resistance. Here, we develop a
rapid, label-free approach to identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) strains

Combining acoustic bio printing with AI-assisted Raman spectroscopy for high-throughput identification of bacteria in blood

Identifying pathogens in complex samples such as blood, urine, and wastewater is critical to detect infection and inform optimal treatment. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and machine learning (ML) can distinguish among multiple pathogen species, but processing complex fluid samples to sensitively and specifically detect pathogens emails an outstanding challenge. Here, we develop an acoustic bio printer to digitize samples into millions of droplets….

Toward rapid infectious disease diagnosis with advances in surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

In a pandemic era, rapid infectious disease diagnosis is essential. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) promises sensitive and specific diagnosis including rapid point-of-care detection and drug susceptibility testing. SERS utilizes inelastic light….

Plasmonic and Electrostatic Interactions Enable Uniformly Enhanced Liquid Bacterial Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS)

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a promising cellular identification and drug susceptibility testing platform, provided it can be performed in a controlled liquid environment that maintains cell viability. We investigate bacterial…..

Nanophotonic Platforms for Chiral Sensing and Separation

Chirality in Nature can be found across all length scales, from the subatomic to the galactic. At the molecular scale, the spatial dissymmetry in the atomic arrangements of pairs of mirror-image molecules, known as enantiomers, gives rise to fascinating and often critical differences in chemical and physical properties. With increasing….

Biotemplating pores with size and shape diversity for Li-oxygen Battery Cathodes

Synthetic porogens provide an easy way to create porous structures, but their usage is limited due to synthetic difficulties, process complexities and prohibitive costs. Here we investigate the use of bacteria, sustainable and naturally abundant materials, as a pore template. The bacteria….

Our Patents

Polymer-coated beads serving as Raman reporter for simultaneous target binding and identification

Filed, Appl. No. : 63/501,380

Label-free, real-time, whole-cell response monitoring using liquid Raman spectroscopy

Filed, Appl. No. : PCT/US2021/048668

Porus Sheets

US Patent 11,005,089B2


March 2024

Soon to be published work on our collaboration with Google has been accepted ICLR workshop. More on this soon. 

Congratulations Audrey and Kaitlin!

February 2024

We are excited for you on your admissions to graduate schools. We look forward to see the amazing science you will continue to do. 

January 2024

Proud of you Lauren and look forward to great work you will do at MIT!

Welcome to the Lab Jia and Yanmin!

November 2023

We are glad to have you join us for your postdocs. 

August 2023

Excited for you to join the fun in the Tadesse Lab! 

Welcome to the Lab Jarett!

August 2023

We look forward to hosting you as our first intern. 

August 2023

Pneumonia is the leading cause of death among children worldwide, accounting for 14% of deaths among those under age five. We are working in a multi-lab collaboration to develop a non-invasive, accessible platform to diagnose pediatric pneumonia in under-resourced areas.  More on this here

MIT Research Support Council to support our work!

June 2023

Thank you MIT RSC for providing our initial funding in enabling next generation diagnostics with Raman. 

Tadesse Lab presents at ACS Fall 2023

August 2023

We are excited to participate at the ACS meeting this Fall!  More than magnetic isolation: Dynabeads as strong Raman reporters for simultaneous capture and identification of targets- Marissa McDonald, oral

Advancing label-free live-cell monitoring using intelligent Raman spectroscopy and plasmonic particles: Milestones and implications for clinical translation- Loza Tadesse, oral 

Tadesse Lab receives research funding from Google

June 2023

Thank you Google for funding our work on enabling on device portable AI systems to fuel the analysis needs for our deployable devices. Looking forward to our collaboration. 


Publication featured in MIT News

August 2023

Getting results from a blood test can take anywhere from one day to a week, depending on what a test is targeting. The same goes for tests of water pollution and food contamination. And in most cases, the wait time has to do with time-consuming steps in sample processing and analysis. 

Now, MIT engineers have identified a new optical signature in a widely used class of magnetic beads, which could be used to quickly detect contaminants in a variety of diagnostic tests. For example, the team showed the signature could be used to detect signs of the food contaminant Salmonella.

Tadesse Lab receives research funding from Draper

April 2023

Marissa wins the NSF GRFP!

April 2023

Congratulations Marissa! The NSF GRFP will support 3 years of her study and provide access to an amazing network of scholars. 

Tadesse Lab officially started at MIT MechE and Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard

January 2023

Loza chaired 2022 Gordon Research Seminar in Plasmonics and Nanophotonics

July 2022

Congratulations Alexis

June 2023

Join us in congratulating our first lab graduate Alexis who finished her Bachelors  at MIT!

Tadesse Lab welcomes...

September 2023

Postdoc candidate Jenn, PhD student Lauren, Masters students Catalina, Kaitlin and Audrey, and undergrad intern Jarett to the team

Loza named Forbes 30 under 30 Healthcare 2022. ​

December 2021

Tadesse Lab will join MIT MechE in 2023!

June 2021

Our Team


Prof. Loza Tadesse

Principal Investigator

Loza Tadesse is an assistant professor at MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering and an associate member of the Ragon Institue of MassGeneral, MIT, and Harvard. She received her PhD in bioengineering from Stanford University in 2021 and previously was a medical student at St. Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College in Ethiopia. She was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley in the Computational Imaging lab of Prof. Laura Waller. Tadesse has been listed as a 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 in healthcare, received many awards including the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Career Development Award, and the Gates Foundation $200K grant for SciFro Inc., an educational non-profit she co-founded. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, taking walks and hanging out with friends especially over delicious Ethiopian food.

Support Staff

Winn Gatewood

Administrative Assistant

I joined the Tadesse Lab in June 2023, bringing 15 years of juggling different administrative and customer service roles.  I thrive on keeping things moving smoothly, like the epoxy holding it all together.  

I am excited to be in the academic world, supporting the professors and students of MIT.   When I am not on the ball at MIT, you can find me cooking in the kitchen or pushing my limits with running, biking, and swimming.  

Postdoctoral Researchers

JeongKim LowRes

Jeong-Hee (Jenn) Kim

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am currently pursuing my PhD degree in mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University, using optical tools to study the molecular properties of biological samples. Starting this fall, I will join the Tadesse lab as a postdoctoral fellow and begin working on developing Raman spectroscopy-based platforms for rapid and accurate diagnostics. In my free time, I enjoy climbing and exploring local ice cream shops!


Yanmin Zhu

Postdoctoral Researcher

I received a B.S. degree in Electronic Engineering from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium and a B.Eng. degree in Electrical Engineering and Automation from Southwest Jiaotong University, China. I received my M.S. degree in Optics and Photonics from Imperial College London, UK. I am now pursuing my Ph.D. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Hong Kong. I’m excited to utilize my background in computational imaging to develop advanced imaging systems and artificial intelligence algorithms for intelligent diagnosis. In my free time, I enjoy traveling and spending time with lovely pets.

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Jia Dong

Postdoctoral Researcher

I received my PhD degree in Chemistry at Brown University. In Tadesse lab, I will design novel substrates and nanophotonic devices to enable Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) for diagnostic testing. In my free time, I enjoy music and reading books.

Visiting Researcher


Sujan Manna

Postdoctoral Researcher

I’m currently a visiting research scholar at MIT, pursuing my PhD from IIT Madras, India. My research pushes the boundaries of Raman spectroscopy, blending it with nanoparticles, nanoclusters, AI, and biology. Think of me as a “Jack of all trades, Master of some,” always pushing my limits. When not being a science wizard, I channel my inner Bollywood dance star, whip up gourmet delights, and embrace my quirky mix of nerdiness and enthusiasm. From cutting-edge research to cutting a rug, life’s an exciting adventure!

PhD Students


Marissa McDonald

PhD Student

I received my BS from Johns Hopkins University where I studied Biomedical Engineering and Computational Medicine. I am now pursuing my PhD in Medical Engineering & Medical Physics in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology program. I’m excited to utilize my background in immune engineering to design immune diagnostics for global health and space medicine applications. In my free time, I enjoy dancing salsa and bachata and thrift shopping.

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Lauren Futami

PhD Student

I am currently working toward my PhD in biomedical product design within mechanical engineering. I am co-advised by Loza Tadesse (Tadesse Lab) and Ellen Roche (Therapeutic Technology Design and Development) and very excited to be working on designing and iterating through methods and physical implementations for automation and biomedical devices! In my free time, I like watching everyone’s movie recommendations and watering dying plants.

Masters Students


Audrey Cui

MS Student

I am a Course 6-9 MEng student interested in a broad spectrum of engineering disciplines across CS/EE/MechE. I hope to bring together my past work on interpretable machine learning models and data augmentation for limited datasets with my interest in medical devices to make diagnostic tools more accessible during my MEng. In my free time, I’m usually in a makerspace welding firespinning props or soldering LED spinning props, or outside biking.


Catalina Romero

MS Student

I earned my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at MIT with a focus in Product Design and an Environment and Sustainability minor. I’m now pursuing my M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with the goal of designing accessible medical device diagnostics for areas in global health and space. I’m thrilled to use my previous mechanical design engineering experience from Apple and Tesla for medical device design applications. I enjoy ultramarathon running, sharing my Colombian culture, and watching soccer. 


Kaitlin Zareno

MS Student

I’m currently pursuing an MEng in course 6-9 and am broadly interested in creating technology that is used to support and enhance human ability. I’m excited to bridge my experience in personalized machine learning and robotics with healthcare to create more accessible and accurate diagnostic devices. In my free time, you can find me on the soccer field with the MIT Women’s Soccer team, exploring the local food scene, or painting. 

Undergraduate Students


Jarett Dewbury

B.A.Sc Student

 I am currently pursuing a B.A.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Waterloo with a focus in medical artificial intelligence. I am interested in the intersection of medicine and machine learning to develop transformative precision diagnostic tools in low-resource settings. I enjoy maintaining an active lifestyle and exploring the culinary world that Cambridge and Boston have to offer.


Shruthi Ravichandran

S.B. Student

I am currently an undergrad at MIT, pursuing an S.B. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a BSAD in Art and Design. I am passionate about bringing healthcare and diagnostics to low-resource environments and am excited to bring my past experience in immunology, machine learning, and optics and interest in interdisciplinary approaches to research. In my free time, you can find me building something in a maker space, training for my next marathon, or finding new napping spots on campus.

Rotating Students

headshots2 (2)

Aashini S Shah
Rotating Student

Aashini is a current rotation student in the HST MEMP program. She graduated from MIT in 2022 with a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Her research interests lie in creating new models for healthcare delivery and community-centered design. When not working in lab, Aashini can be found trying to earnestly develop her skills in watercolor and charcoal portraiture.


Nikiwe Mhlanga

Collaborator, Fullbright Research Scholar in Prof. Rohit Karnik Lab

I am a full bright scholar from Mintek in South Africa working on a collaborative project with the Tadesse Lab on bacteria detection from water. In the past, I worked on surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy based self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) towards the production of sensitive, economical, rapid and user-friendly diagnostic tool for infectious disease detection. I obtained my PhD in Materials Chemistry from the University of Johannesburg. 


Jongwan Lee

Collaborator,  Postdoctoral Researcher in Prof. Rohit Karnik Lab

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at MIT MechE in Prof. Rohit Karnik’s lab, working on a collaborative project with the Tadesse Lab on bacteria detection from water. I obtained my PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in Korea.

Daniel Kim

Collaborator,  MD-PhD candidate in Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia Lab at MIT

I received BS from Harvard in Chemical and Physical Biology in 2019 and joined the NIH MSTP program in 2020. I am interested in studying new physics and systems to advance early detection of cancer and other diseases. Additionally, I am interested in applying nanoscale tools to develop new therapeutic modalities for clinical efficacy.  

Jeon Woong Kang

Collaborator, Research Scientist at LBRC, MIT

I am a Research Scientist at the Laser Biomedical Research Center at MIT. I received my PhD in Physics (Optics) from Pohang University of Science and Technology. 

Siamak Sorooshyari

Collaborator, Postdoc at Stanford

I received BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering and worked at Bell Labs before becoming interested in biological research. I subsequently pursued these avenues at several small companies and startups – including a brain training venture – and a big pharma company. I hope to contribute computation, algorithms, and statistics to the biology while learning the biology.


Alexis Yang


Research Facilities

Our main lab is located in 5-019 in the Papallardo II lab spaces. This brand new space is equipped with a chemical synthesis room where we engineer novel substrates, an optics room where we build next generation imaging and spectroscopy systems and a biology room where we handle samples. We are also located at the Hatsopoulous Microfluidics Laboratory (HML) two floors above performing mechanical system designs for device buildouts and at the Ragon Institute for our tissue culture and BSL3 needs. Shared facilities at MIT.nano and Laser Biomedical Research Center provides shared tools access including the latest in nanofabrication with 50,000 square foot of clean room space and high class electron microscopy tools for our imaging needs. 


Additional Facilities

Laser Biomedical Research Center at MIT

Hatsopoulos Microfluidics Laboratory at MIT


Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, & Harvard


Professor Tadesse is a co-founder of the non-profit organization SciFro, working on empowering the African youth to solve local problems through scientific research and innovation. The organization is generously supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National Science Foundation, American Physical Society and others.

The Tadesse Lab, through SciFro, organizes and provides opportunities for the lab members and the broader MIT community to engage in educational outreach in Africa and underrepresented minority communities in the United States. This includes summer schools, boot camps, hosting research in the lab, online lectures, developing teaching kits, and recruiting for graduate studies. We are excited for the 2024 cycle of our school!

Lab Socials

Tadesse Lab works hard and plays hard! We plan meals and activities around the Boston area and look forward to the launch of our retreats!

Contact Us

We are seeking team members to join our vibrant lab. If you are interested in joining, please send your CV and research interests to Prof. Loza Tadesse at lozat@mit.edu.