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Fernando Ontiveros, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Trained as an immunologist, Dr. Ontiveros is interested in a multidisciplinary approach to research that blends his expertise with concepts and tools from the fields of bioengineering, cell biology, microbiology and remote sensing. He joined the faculty at St. John Fisher College in 2012, after completing postdoctoral fellowships at the U of Massachusetts and the U of Rochester. In 2018 he received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor. During the summers of 2018 and 2019 he conducted research at the U of Notre Dame as an adjunct professor in the College of Engineering. In 2019 he founded PETL Fluidics to provide consulting services to industrial and academic research laboratories and to develop STEM education kits. 

Curriculum vitae  |  Google Scholar  |  LinkedIn  |  SJFC page

"The central point of a college education is to seek truth and to learn the skills and acquire the virtues necessary to be a lifelong truth-seeker. Open-mindedness, critical thinking, and debate are essential to discovering the truth.... Since no one wants to be, or be thought of as, a bigot or a crank, the easy, lazy way to proceed is simply by falling into line with campus orthodoxies. Don’t do that. Think for yourself.”

Professor Robert George, Princeton.

Raunak Al-Rubayie

Student, 2020

Raunak is a rising sophomore in the Biology Department and a member of the Honors Program. She is interested in the biomedical sciences, and particularly in the field of tissue engineering and transplantation. Together with Jackie Chouinard she was a awarded a Summer Program scholarship in 2020. She will be working from home writing a manuscript and building maps, using the data collected in the last 7 years for our National Geographic-sponsored project on the remote sensing of bacterial populations. 

Jackie Chouinard

Student, 2020

Jackie is a rising junior biology major planning on attending medical school. She joined the lab in January of 2020 to develop novel PETL microfluidics for cell culture experiments. In a few weeks she became an expert PETL manufacturer, and will be designing and building microfluidic devices as a Summer Scholar. A member of the Tri Beta Biology Honors Society she is also a member of Fisher's tennis team.

Erik Akselrod

Student, 2019-20

Erik is a junior biology major and a member of the Science Scholars program.  After a short stint with PETLs he is now working on micro- milling of microfluidic devices.  In the recent past he took the opportunity of joining Fisher chemistry professor A. Ignatchenko at Oak Ridge National Lab for a summer research internship. He intends to attend medical school in 2021. 

Alex Martinez

Student, 2019

Alex joined the lab in 2019 when he became a Summer Research Fellow funded by SJFC and the University Radiation Medicine foundation.  With this support he traveled to the U of Notre Dame to join Dr. Ontiveros and his collaborators in the Zartman Laboratory.  He worked in two distinct projects involving PETL microfluidics: 1. Use of microfluidics for size-based separation of microparticles, and 2. Design and fabrication of PETL microfluidics to for electrophoresis. He continues to work in the laboratory until his graduation in December of 2019, working on 3D printed adaptors for smart phone imaging and two manuscripts. He plans to attend medical school in the Fall of 2020.

Fabio Sacco

Student, 2019

Together with Alex, Fabio joined the lab as a Summer Research Fellow and also traveled to the U of Notre Dame in 2019. His project consisted in the design and fabrication of a "double compressor" device, in which D. melanogaster embryos are contained in micro channels with flexible walls. Pneumatic actuation exerts controlled pressure on the specimens while molecular events (e.g. calcium release) are imaged using confocal microscopy. Fabio expects to graduate in December of 2019 with a degree in Biology and is also looking forward to graduate school in the health care professions. 

Nicholas Warters

Student, 2019

Nick is a junior in the Biology program and is interested in attending Medical Schools after Fisher. He is part of the Bacteria Remote Sensing Project, working in collaboration with Dr. Herman in our department. His main task is to determine species identities in our library of more that 1000 bacterial isolates. He will be spending the Spring of 2020 studying abroad in Costa Rica. 

Michael Chase

Student, 2018

Mike graduated in 2019. His project consisted in 3D printing hydrogel scaffolds for the formation of human cartilage in vitro.  He used a bioprinting platform composed of a commercial (and affordable) 3D printer and a syringe pump to produce hydrogel structures housing human chondrocytes.  

Anthony Emanuel

Student, 2017-18

Coming into St. John Fisher College I was a Biology Major on the Pre-Medical path. My research journey began at St. John Fisher College with Dr. Fernando Ontiveros who coached me on how to be an independent and efficient scientist in the lab. Through grants, I also had the opportunity to do research at the University of Rochester in the Biomedical Engineering Department and travel to different conferences to present my work. Throughout my scientific experience at St. John Fisher, it is in Research and Development that I believe I can make the greatest contribution to society by utilizing my curiosity and creativity as a scientist. I graduated from St. John Fisher College in 2018, an I am now pursing my Ph.D. in Pathology at the University of Rochester in the Cell Biology of Disease program. 

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Mary Pelkowski                  

Mark VanMarter                  

Chelsea Cleveland               

Dylan Cornell                       

Amanda Wahl                       

Kelsey Moore                                    

Daniel Zimmerman                           

Ryan McDowell                                 

Alexandra Argentieri                         

John Crean                                       

Niecy Cameron                                 

Jonathan Pelc                                  

Robert Battaglia                               

Medical School, U of Buffalo

Medical School, Geisinger Commonwealth

Dental School, U of Buffalo

Medical School, U of Buffalo

Bioengineering MS, Cornell University

Pharmacology PhD, U of Rochester

Pharmacology PhD, U of South Carolina

Dental School, Boston College

Infectious Disease PhD, U of Albany

Pharmacy Doctor, U of Maine

Pharmacy Doctor, St. John Fisher College

Naturopathy Doctor, National U of Health Sciences

Pharmacy Doctor, St. John Fisher College

Molecular Biology PhD, Cornell University

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