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Contact Info:
Prof. Ayse Asatekin
Chemical & Biological
Sci-Tech Center
4 Colby Street, Rm 142
Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

Tel: 617.627.4681
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Principal Investigator

Prof. Ayse Asatekin
Prof. Asatekin joined Tufts in 2012. She received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Program in Polymer Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2009. She completed B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Prior to joining the faculty at Tufts, she worked at Clean Membranes, Inc., a start-up she co-founded to commercialize fouling resistant membranes she developed during her doctoral work. She received the NSF CAREER Award and the Turkish American Scientists and Scholars Young Scholar Award in 2015 Her research interests are in developing novel membranes for clean water and energy-efficient separations. She is also interested in multi-functional membranes, controlling surface chemistry for biomedical applications, polymer science, and energy storage.

Post-doctoral Fellows

Dr. Aslihan Gokaltun
Dr. Gokaltun is a post-doctoral scholar working jointly in Asatekin lab and the Center for Engineering in Medicine (CEM) in collaboration with Dr. Berk Usta at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She received her B.S., M.S and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Hacettepe University in Turkey. She is currently appointed as a research assistant in Chemical Engineering Department at Hacettepe University. In her past studies, she synthesized new, promising reactive polymeric microparticles and monoliths for the separation of various compounds in chromatographic applications with suitable chemistries, porosity properties and high specific surface areas. Her most recent study is about to develop a microextraction platform capable of performing high yield DNA isolation using a polymeric stationary phase. She is also an expert in various chemical synthesis/surface functionalization methods in catalytic applications. She is currently utilizing her expertise with polymer chemistry at Tufts University for performing critical work in the general area of biomaterials and liver tissue engineering. Specifically, she is working on a very practical alternative to PDMS, a common material used in microfabrication, without any of its problems such as non-specific molecular absorption.

Graduate Students

Prity Bengani
Prity is a Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering and joined Asatekin lab in January 2013. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University in May 2008. Upon graduation, she worked at Biogen Idec and Waters Corporation where she collaborated closely with Protein Purification and Analytical Development groups and developed skills in chromatography separations as well as pharmaceutical process development and optimization. From her work experience, she brings knowledge of pharmaceutical manufacturing, purification, formulation and drug delivery design. At Tufts, her research is focused on a new class of membranes using self-assembling zwitterionic amphiphilic copolymers as membrane selective layers. She is interested in understanding how the copolymer structure affects nanostructure and hence the membrane performance (permeability, selectivity and fouling resistance), in order to develop novel membrane materials for potential use in textile wastewater treatment and pharmaceutical purification.

Papatya Kaner
Papatya joined Prof. Asatekin's lab in January 2014. She received a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Florida State University in 2011. She completed her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Turkey in 2009. During her Master's study, she worked on crystallization and structure-property relations of a set of polyethylenes with precise chlorine substitution. Prior to joining the PhD program at Tufts, she worked as a Research Associate at the Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey where she developed new skills in membrane and thin film technology. During this appointment, she modified commercial polyethersulfone membranes employing layer-by-layer self-assembly technique and tested the antifouling, permeability and organic matter rejection properties of these membranes. At Tufts, she is interested in designing stimuli-responsive ultrafiltration membranes aimed at potential applications in waste water treatment and protein separation.

Ilin Sadeghi
Ilin completed her undergraduate and master's degrees (dual degree program) in chemical engineering at Amirkabir University of Technology (aka: "Tehran Polytechnic"), Tehran, Iran. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2012. For her master's thesis, she worked on fabrication of ultrafiltration polymeric membrane and membrane surface modification. Her thesis involved examining the effects of different parameters including solvents, polymeric additives, phase inversion speed, and membrane preparation conditions on the membrane structure and separation properties of them; the main part of her project was about membrane surface modification using corona air plasma as a novel method to improve antifouling properties of the membranes for oil/water separation. The most interesting results of this work was finding how the surface treatment of membrane can boost membrane hydrophilicity and subsequently its permeation without affecting its rejection for oil/water emulsion. She also studied Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) as another method of mitigating water decontamination problem. At Tufts, she is working on developing and studying nanostructured chemoselective membranes for separations of small organic molecules.

Undergraduate Students

Grace Aro
Emil Rubakh
Jacob Kronenberg


Post-doctoral Fellows:

Dr. Chiara Vannucci
Partners Healthcare

Graduate Students:

Susan Colt
BSCHE 2012
ME 2013
EMD Millipore

William Lind
MS CHE 2016
Navigant Energy

Mitch Saeger
BS/MS CHE 2016
EMD Millipore

Visiting Students:

  • Sefika Ozcan, Ph.D. candidate, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

Undergraduate Students:

  • Yangming Kou, BSCHE 2016, Senior Honors Thesis University of Minnesota (Ph.D.)
  • Do Hyun Kim, BSCHE 2016
  • Diana Dzerovych, BSCHE 2015, Newell Brands
  • Lily Corcoran, BSCHE 2016
  • Elisha Converse, BSCHE 2016, Koch Membranes
  • Shira Faigel, BSCHE 2016, Johnson Controls
  • Colleen Golja, BSCHE 2015, Harvard University (Ph.D.)
  • Daniel Harrigan, BSCHE 2015, Aramco Research Center
  • Akash Mittal, BSCHE 2015, Pfizer
  • Jeff Stich, BSCHE 2015
  • Lindsey Walker, BSCHE 2015, UBS
  • Vinny Wang, BSCHE 2015, MACOM Technology
  • Phillip Weiner, BSCHE 2015, EMCORE Corporation
  • Mollie ipman
  • Jacquelyn Nwagwu
  • Elijah Martin