Researchers at the PRL

Like all organizations, our success is predicated on the quality of our peers. Here at the PRL, we have gathered an incredible team of undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers to accomplish our goals.

We are actively recruiting a Postdoctoral Research Scientist for the Pain Research Lab. For additional details and application, please visit: https://careers.pageuppeople.com/822/lowell/en-us/job/505629/research-scientist


We are also actively recruiting prospective MS- or PhD-track graduate students. Interested candidates seeking experience in fields of neural interfacing and neurophysiology should email Bryan_Black@uml.edu with a statement of interest and unabridged curriculum vitae.


Bryan James Black

Principal Investigator

Bryan Black was graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2014 with a PhD in Physics and Applied Physics. He subsequently served as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the University of Texas at Dallas under Joseph Pancrazio. Bryan is now an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts - Lowell where he studies optical and electrical neural interfaces and how they can be used to better understand and treat chronic pain conditions. 


Rasha El Ghazal

Graduate Research Assistant, PhD Candidate

Rasha El Ghazal was graduated from UMass Lowell with a BS in Biomedical Engineering and will begin her Graduate Research Assistantship in Fall, 2022. 


Smriti Kumar

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Smriti is pursuing an MS in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology and hopes to continue her studies and carry her enthusiasm for research into medical school. Her work  pertaining to traumatic neuromas and understanding clinical practices that are aimed to treat symptomatic neuromas. Apart from her research, she is passionate about her involvement in the Society of Women Engineers and mentoring female high schoolers and non-traditionals who are interested in STEM.


Alexander Somers

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alex is an undergraduate student of Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science for the class of 2024. He builds GUI-based programs that utilize machine learning to interpret both single unit and local field potential neural data. Alex has a background in 3D printing, EEG design, and C/C++/MATLAB; skills that he hopes to someday apply to designing rehabilitative neural interfaces.


James Zook

Undergraduate Research Assistant

James is an undergraduate student in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry. He has corporate experience working at Millipore Sigma and Pfizer, and hopes to one day work in drug development. His research interests include in-vitro studies of drug effect on cells.


Mauricio Almeida

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mauricio is an undergrad student studying biomedical engineering in the cell and tissue engineering track. His research interests involve neural engineering; specifically brain-machine interfaces.


Ben Johnston, MD, PhD

Collaborator and Honorary PRL Member

Dr. Johnston is currently a Neurosurgery Resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital and is graduated from Brown University with his MD and the University of Texas at Arlington with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. 



Jayden Hairston

Graduated 2021 with BS in BME

Current position

Assistant Scientist at PureTech Health


Emenji Muanya

Graduated 2021 with MS in BME

Current position:

Scientist at Merck


Elijah LaVancher

Graduated 2022 with BS in BME

Current position

Scientist - Automated Cell Culture at Novartis

Lilly website photo-2.jpg

Lilly Lawson, Ph.D.

Graduated 2022 with Ph.D. in BMEBT

Current position: Neuroscience Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Mass General Hospital - Harvard Medical School (MGH-HMS)