Meet the SabLab

Ramkumar Sabesan

Assistant Research Professor, Ophthalmology, Bioengineering (Adjunct) and Biological Structure (Adjunct)
Member, Graduate program in Neuroscience and UW Institute of Neuroengineering

Lab Photo of Ram Sabesan

Ram was born and raised in New Delhi, India. He received his Bachelor’s in Engg. Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He earned his Ph.D. at the Institute of Optics, University of Rochester developing non-invasive optical solutions for the study and treatment of corneal pathologies. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley studying the retinal basis of spatial and color vision using advanced high-resolution imaging before joining the faculty at University of Washington.

Xiaoyun (Mary) Jiang

Postdoctoral Fellow

Lab Photo of Xiaoyun (Mary) Jiang

Mary earned her Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering at Peking University, China, in 2016. She is interested in different fundus imaging technologies for both human and experimental animals. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship focusing on rodent retinal imaging via OCT angiography with the Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington. Currently, she is working in the Department of Ophthalmology at the UW Medicine as a postdoctoral researcher, focusing on adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) for experimental animals.

Vimal Pandiyan

Postdoctoral Fellow

Lab Photo of Vimal

Vimal earned his B.Tech degree in Biomedical Engineering and M. Tech in Medical Electronics from Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. He completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad Telangana, India. His research interests are in optical coherence tomography, digital holographic microscopy, coherence microscopy & quantitative phase imaging.

Sierra Schleufer

Graduate student, Neuroscience

Lab Photo of Sierra

Sierra is a student of the UW Graduate Program in Neuroscience who joined the Sabesan Lab in 2020.  She is interested in primate trichromacy as a model for how perceptual dimensions can emerge in neural systems.  Sierra received her B.S. in Neurobiology & Behavior from UW in 2015, then worked as a research scientist in the UW Buffalo Lab studying learning and memory in non-human primates until beginning graduate school in 2018, where her focus shifted toward vision.  In addition to science, Sierra enjoys making things (art, music, food, messes) and talking to her cats, Voxel and Beetle.

Emily Slezak

Postdoctoral Fellow

Emily Slezak (Carlo, not pictured)

Emily earned her PhD in Psychology, with a focus in Integrative Neuroscience, at the University of Chicago in 2021, and earned her B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of Washington in 2014. In both Seattle and Chicago, she studied human color vision in Steve Buck’s lab and Steve Shevell’s lab, respectively, and now she is back in Seattle for more as a postdoctoral scholar! She is interested in the limitations of the human visual system and how the brain overcomes those limitations for a rich perceptual world, especially in relation to color perception. She is currently working to combine her expertise in psychophysics with the precise capabilities of adaptive optics. When not in the lab, you can find her out walking her giant beast of a dog, Carlo.

Palash Bharadwaj

Research Scientist

Palash Bharadwaj headshot

Palash joined the Sabesan Lab as a research scientist in 2021 to work on ex-vivo OCT for retinal imaging.  He received Bachelors and Masters degrees in engineering from IIT Bombay, and a PhD in Physics from the University of Rochester. After a postdoctoral stint at ETH Zürich, he spent five years as an Assistant Professor at Rice University in Houston. In a past life, he performed scanning nearfield optical microscopy on single quantum emitters; accomplished energy transduction between tunneling electrons and surface plasmons, leading to the first electrically excited optical antenna device; worked on novel 2D optoelectronic devices; grew sweet peas, zinnias and sunflowers; and played the sitar. He remains in awe of the complex beauty of the natural world, enjoys playing cricket with his son, and still loves to throw tall clay pots on the wheel.

Ben Wendel

Research Scientist, Study Coordinator

Lab Photo of Ben Wendel

Ben has bounced around. Long before joining the Sabesan lab in 2021, Ben could be found in the cornfields of Iowa, counting monarch butterfly larvae, or at Haverford College studying retinal ganglion cells in frogs. In the Perkel lab at UW, Ben was last spotted recording action potentials in the songbird brain. Then, his life took an unexpected twist. For the next 15 years, you may have seen Ben in the air, performing on the trapeze with his wife in circuses and cabarets around the globe. Now, Ben is thrilled to be back in the lab, stretching his mind and learning new things. Ben loves food and adventure and is the proud parent of two wild children.

Teng Liu

Graduate Student, Bioengineering

Teng Liu headshot

Teng is a graduate student in the bioengineering program at UW. After earning a masters degree in physics from Tsinghua University, he came to UW to continue to explore his interest in adaptive optics and optical coherence tomography. Teng joined the SabLab in 2021 and is currently working on developing computational methods for adaptive optics, digital aberration correction and wavefront-aberration correction using sensor-less methods. Besides research, Teng likes to play basketball, cook, and watch BiliBili. Teng is from Hunan, China and likes spicy food like curry and he is a fan of Steph Curry.

Alejandro Striefel

Undergraduate student

Alex in his favorite shirt

Alejandro Striefel is a sophomore majoring in Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE) at UW, and minoring in Computational Neuroscience. Incredibly interested in neurotechnologies, he is chasing the knowledge and technologies he needs to build an effective uninvasive Brain-Computer-Interface for the premotor cortex. Here at the Sabesan lab he hopes to further broaden his horizons, learning all he can to one day complete his dream project. In his free time, Alejandro enjoys taking time to make foam weapons out of duct tape, pool noodle, and pvc pipe and go brawling with his friends.

Ethan Fisher

Undergraduate student

Ethan Fisher

Ethan is a junior majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Washington. His areas of interest include algorithms, numerical analysis, combinatorics, compilers, and machine learning. At Sabesan Lab, Ethan is excited to work on developing computational methods to analyze retinal images. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, hiking, reading, and playing board games.

  • Alumni
  • Hongyi Yan, Undergraduate Student
  • Zhenghan Li, Visiting Graduate Student
  • Jihyun Yeonan-Kim, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Aiden Maloney-Bertelli, Undergraduate BioE Capstone and Research Scientist
  • Sea-Eun Lee, Undergraduate student
  • Mandeep Singh, Undergraduate student
  • Hritik Aggarwal, Undergraduate student
    1. Phanith Touch, Research scientist
    2. Alex Neitz, Research scientist
    3. Shu Feng, Ophthalmology Resident
    4. Longkun Li, Undergraduate student
    5. Weiqiang Huang, Undergraduate student
    6. Ayoub Lassoued, Postdoctoral Fellow
    7. Rui Yao, Undergraduate student
    8. Sophia Chang, Undergraduate student