Allyson Sgro – Principal Investigator

Allyson is an East Coast native who left high school early to attend Simon’s Rock College of Bard (now Bard College at Simon’s Rock) where she investigated carbenes with Professor David Myers and earned a B.A. in Chemistry and Pre-Medical Studies in 2005. She then moved to the University of Washington in Seattle to work in the laboratory of Professor Daniel T. Chiu developing new tools for biological analysis, obtaining a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2011. From 2011 through 2016 she was a NIH Kirschstein-NRSA Fellow and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund CASI Fellow in the laboratory of Professor Thomas Gregor at Princeton University investigating the origins of collective behavior in Dictyostelium. In January 2017 she began her appointment as an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and a member of the Biological Design Center at Boston University, and in September 2017 became a Moorman-Simon Interdisciplinary Career Development Professor.


2017 Moorman-Simon Interdisciplinary Career Development Professorship
2017 BU College of Engineering Dean’s Catalyst Award
2015 BWF Career Award at the Scientific Interface
2013 NIH National Research Service Award

Postdoctoral Researchers

Achini Opathalage

BME Postdoctoral Researcher
Postdoctoral Researcher/Assistant Director of Microfabrication Facility, Brandeis University, 2017
Ph.D. in Physics, Brandeis University, 2015
B.S. in Physics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2007

Achini is interested in investigating how single cells make decisions and communicate with each other to execute complex phenomena such as formations of secondary structures, biofilms and tissue remodeling. Her background is in soft condensed matter physics where she studied the self-assembly of proteins and the collective dynamics of cytoskeletal protein based active nematic liquid crystals with extensive use of microfluidics.

Graduate Students

Samuel Ghilardi

BME Ph.D. Student
B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 2016

2017 ASCB Meeting Travel Award

Shwan Javdan

BME Ph.D. Student
B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry, University of Utah, 2016

Undergraduate Students

Michael Fogg
Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2019
UROP and STARS Recipient

Felix Litvak
Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2021

Ambika Pachaury
Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2020
UROP Recipient

Olivia Salazar
Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2019
Healey Fellow

Bonnie Walton
Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2019
UROP Recipient

Allison Weaver
Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2019
Lutchen Fellow andĀ UROP Recipient

Man I (Maggie) Wu
Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2020
BU Presidential Scholar Research Funds Recipient

Join Us!

We are always excited to hear from people who share our research interests in collective behavior and the design principles of biological systems.

Current undergraduates interested in graduate studies in the lab should apply to Boston University’s Biomedical Engineering or Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry (MCBB) Ph.D. programs. The next application deadline for both programs will be in December 2017 for the following fall semester.

Current graduate students in the BU BME Ph.D. program, MCBB Ph.D. program, and other departments at BU who are interested in rotating in the lab or joining the lab should contact Allyson to discuss their interests and potential projects. We are interested in rotation students from a wide variety of backgrounds and do not require any previous experience in our areas of research. We have several openings for Ph.D. students.

Prospective postdocs should email Allyson a cover letter that includes a description of their past and future research interests and how these interests would fit in the lab, a current CV, and contact information for three references. Experimental bioengineers, biophysicists, synthetic biologists, neuroscientists, and quantitative biologists are highly encouraged to apply. Outstanding candidates in other fields and with theoretical backgrounds will also be considered. Any experience with microscopy, cell culture, synthetic biology, optogenetics, theoretical modeling, machine learning, or image analysis is a bonus but not required.