Dayton Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Paul A. Dayton, Ph.D



Paul Dayton received his B.S. in Physics from Villanova University in 1995, his M.E. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1998, and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in 2001, also from the University of Virginia.  He pursued post-doctoral research and was later research faculty at the University of California at Davis.  Much of Dr. Dayton’s training was under the mentorship of Dr. Katherine Ferrara, where his initial studies involved high speed optical and acoustical analysis of individual contrast agent microbubbles.  In 2007, Dr. Dayton moved to the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University, Raleigh, where he is now Associate Professor and Associate Department Chair.   Dr. Dayton is currently Associate Director for Education for the Biomedical Imaging Research Center, and his research interests involve ultrasound contrast imaging, ultrasound-mediated therapies, and medical devices.  Dr. Dayton is a member of the technical program committee for IEEE UFFC, and a member of the editorial boards for the journals IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control as well as Molecular Imaging, and Bubble Science, Engineering, and Technology.

Laboratory Staff

James Tsuruta, Ph.D

Assistant Professor


Dr. Tsuruta is a faculty member in the department of pediatrics and cell and developmental biology.  His work involves the interactions of ultrasound with biological tissues.  Dr. Tsuruta also contributes his knowledge of biochemistry to histology and molecular targeting applications.











Kennita Johnson, Ph.D.

Laboratory Manager &

Research Associate


Kennita received her bachelor's degree in Physics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).  She attended University of Florida where she received a master's degree in medical physics and a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering.  She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in small animal imaging before coming to the Dayton Lab.  Besides her duties as lab manager, she conducts destruction-reperfusion ultrasound imaging on kidney disease models.

Postdoctoral Fellows


Brooks Lindsey, Ph.D.


Brooks received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University for his work in 3D transcranial ultrasound imaging for stroke diagnosis.  He currently holds an NIH fellowship to develop a minimally-invasive system for contrast-enhanced imaging of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.  In the Dayton lab, he has studied the microbubble behavior responsible for producing superharmonic echoes in order to optimize acoustic angiography imaging.  This work has been recognized in the Editor’s Selection of Articles in IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control.  He also works on projects involving preclinical molecular imaging and clinical contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging.  In collaboration with the Jiang lab (NCSU), he works on development of novel imaging and therapeutic transducers.  His research interests include minimally-invasive imaging and therapeutics, quantitative imaging, adaptive imaging, and system and device design.


Fanglue Lin, Ph.D.


Fanglue Lin received her B.S. degree and M.S. degree, both in biomedical engineering, from Southeast University in China. She received her Ph.D. degree from Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (INSA-Lyon) in France, where her research activities focused on ultrasound nonlinear propagation and ultrasound contrast imaging techniques. She joined Dayton lab in September 2015 as a post-doctoral researcher. Her current interests are ultrasound super resolution imaging and ultrasound molecular imaging.







Anush Sridharan, Ph.D.


Anush Sridharan received his PhD from Drexel University, Philadelphia while working on an array of clinical applications using microbubble-enhanced 3D ultrasound imaging. This included, characterization of breast lesions, monitoring neo-adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer and developing blood perfusion estimation tools. His current work at UNC involves the clinical evaluation of complex lesions in the kidney using microbubble destruction-reperfusion. He also collaborates with the Benhabbour Research Laboratory in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy to study the kinetics of "depot" formations using ultrasound imaging.




Virginie Papadopoulou, Ph.D.


Virginie received her PhD in Bioengineering from Imperial College London, UK, in 2016, after completing a Masters degree in Physics in the same university in 2011. Her PhD thesis focused on bubble formation, growth and circulation dynamics in vivo from hyperbaric decompression, relevant to scuba divers and astronauts to prevent decompression sickness. Concurrently as a Marie Curie fellow (2012-2014) and COST MP1106 member (2011-2014), she spent time in Belgium working on hyperbaric physiology and in Greece on hyperbaric bubble growth instrumentation. From January 2015 to March 2016 she worked as a postdoc under the supervision of Dr Tang at Imperial College London on 3D ultrasound contrast enhanced flow reconstruction from lab prototype to first human application. As a postdoc in the Dayton Lab since May 2016, her research mainly focuses on tumour oxygen microbubble therapy combinations and nanodroplet acoustic vaporisation.




Graduate Students

Sarah Shelton


Sarah Shelton received her B.S. in Environmental Science and M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering at UNC-Chapel Hill.  During her graduate work in the School of Public Health, her interests shifted to cancer research, and her thesis topic was the derivation of a multi-scale model of tumor growth using techniques developed for porous media modeling.  After entering the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2012, she joined Paul Dayton’s ultrasound research lab.  Her interests are primarily the imaging of cancer angiogenesis and quantification of vascular morphology for the detection and analysis of tumors.


Sunny Kasoji


Sunny was born in Jackson, MS, moved to Charlotte, NC at the age of seven and has lived there since. He received a BS degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012. Currently, he is enrolled in graduate school at Chapel Hill, in pursuit of a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. His projects include testing experimental in-vitro set-ups to confirm the extravasation of nanodroplet emulsions in leaky vasculature, programming custom applications on the Verasonics machine and molecular imaging studies using the SFRP2 biomarker. Other research interests include developing new instrumentation or devices for diagnostics.



Juan Rojas


Juan Rojas got a degree from UNC in biomedical engineering. He is pursuing his PhD and his projects are: using the Verasonics system for pulse inversion and Cadence contrast imaging, and collaborating with Kim Rathmell's group on DLL4 inhibition as a mechanism to overcome antiangiogenic resistance in ccRCC.








Gloria Nyankima


Gloria was born and raised in Auburn, AL. She remained in Auburn to obtain her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. Shortly after, she began working towards her doctoral degree in Biomedical Engineering, under the Pharmacoengineering track. She  joined the Dayton Lab group in the fall of 2013. Her interest includes drug delivery and the use of contrast ultrasound as a theranostic tool. Her first project involved observing bioeffects on the kidneys of rat models during the initial expansion of phase-changing microbubbles, also known as nanodroplets.







Samantha Fix


Sam received bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison where her undergraduate research focused on synthesizing fluorinated polymers for drug delivery applications. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences at UNC. In the Dayton Lab, Sam’s research interests are centered on the use of ultrasound and contrast agents to overcome physical barriers preventing efficient drug delivery. Current projects include (1) the use of phase-change ultrasound contrast agents to permeabilize cell membranes and (2) the delivery of molecular oxygen to hypoxic tumors using oxygen-filled microbubbles.





Izzie Newsome


Izzie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY in May 2016. She performed undergraduate research in the field of biophysics, focused on investigating the mechanical properties of the endothelial glycocalyx through a biomimetic system. She is pursuing her doctoral degree in Biomedical Engineering at UNC-Chapel Hill as member of the Dayton Lab. Her main research interest is adaptation of novel transducer technologies for microvascular ultrasound imaging.











Rachel White


Rachel received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Delaware. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at UNC-Chapel Hill. In the Dayton lab she is working on understanding the effect of various parameters on the acoustic response of microbubbles.


Undergraduate Students


Jodi Stone


Jodi is currently a junior Biomedical and Health Sciences Engineering major with minors in Biology and Chemistry. She is from Holly Springs, North Carolina and hopes to attend medical school after completing her undergraduate degree at UNC-CH. In the Dayton Lab, Jodi is working with Sarah Shelton to investigate the abnormal vascular morphology associated with tumor vessel networks in cancer angiogenesis.











Jordan Dix


Jordan is a senior at UNC- Chapel Hill in pursuit of a B.S. in Biomedical and Health Sciences Engineering and a minor in Physics before moving on to a graduate engineering program next year. His current project focuses on determining the change in acoustic properties of nanodroplets in different pressure systems.











Emily Hodes


Emily Hodes is an undergraduate from UNC majoring in biomedical engineering. She is currently building a portable motion stage to be used in an ultrasound study of dog tumors.

















Sagar Shetty


Sagar Shetty is an undergraduate at UNC currently pursuing a major in biomedical engineering with a minor in computer science. He is originally from Mandeville, Louisiana but now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Sagar is currently investigating how a vessel’s diameter affects both the activation pressure threshold and signal of vaporization of nanodroplets.














Hope Piercy


Hope is an undergraduate student at NC State and will be a senior this coming fall.  Currently she is working with Heath Martin to try and determine if superharmonics can be used to better contrast enhanced ultrasound.

















Thomas Winter


Thomas is a senior undergraduate at UNC and is majoring in Biomedical Engineering. He will also receive minors in mathematics and neuroscience upon graduation in the spring. Thomas is currently working on ultrasound transducer adaptation for the Verasonics system, which will be beneficial for using pulse-inversion in contrast imaging research.















Ruby Patel


Ruby is an undergraduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill and will be a junior this coming fall. She is majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry. Ruby hopes to attend medical school; she plans to use the biomedical engineering knowledge she has gained in undergrad to make her a more innovative physician. Currently, she is working with James Tsuruta to optimize the formulation of microbubbles.


















Updated 11/15/16