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Dr. Debajit Saha

Primary Investigator

I am an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering. I joined MSU in 2019 Fall after pursuing my doctoral and postdoctoral training at Washington University in St. Louis. Previously, I received my master’s degree from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and bachelor’s degree in Physics from Jadavpur University, India.

My work encompasses systems neuroscience and neural engineering. My previous works on identifying neural rules of learning and decision making in olfactory sensory system have been published in several high-impact journals (Saha et al. Nature Neuroscience 2013, Nature Communications 2015, 2017). I am also working on developing Insect Brain-Based chemical sensors for medical, environmental and public safety applications.

Michael Parnas

PhD Candidate

I received my bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Connecticut in 2020. As an undergraduate, I researched healing aids for the intestinal lumen by characterizing the material properties of silk/mucin solutions, and I assisted in the development of an in vitro model for traumatic brain injuries using rat neurons seeded on a silk/collagen scaffold. I joined Dr. Saha’s lab in Fall of 2020 to investigate the use of ex vivo locust brains to detect cancer biomarkers, as well as to study honeybee social neurobehavior. I enjoy playing Ultimate Frisbee and reading science fiction.

Simon Sanchez

PhD Candidate

I received my bachelor’s degree in Biophysics from St. Mary’s University (San Antonio, TX) in 2020. As an undergraduate, I researched the neuronal basis of aggression using a fruit fly model and also investigated the use of volatile compounds to repel insect pests and disrupt their olfaction-driven behavior. I joined Dr. Saha’s lab in the fall of 2021 where my research focuses on the development of a novel olfactory neuron-based sensor where I leverage the capacity of the entire biological olfactory sensory system of an insect brain (locust) and analyze the neural responses to discriminate gas mixtures emitted from endometriotic vs. non-endometriotic models. My other projects in the lab also include developing a portable insect-based bioelectronic sensor. I love spending time with my dog, Loki, watching movies, and spending time outside. 

Shreshta Sinha

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am pursuing my bachelors in Neuroscience (Cognitive and Computational) with a minor in Entrepreneurship and innovation from Michigan State University and will be graduating in Fall 2026. Saha BOSS Lab is my first lab research experience is helping me learn the basics in neuroscience and its connection with technology in a way that drives science towards the advancements in human health and biomedical research. I am collaboratively working in the lab with Simon Sanchez, an exceptional researcher and mentor who is parallelly working on his PhD. Under his and the lab’s guidance, I am imbibing neurophysiology, locust brain surgery experience, electrode recorded spike sorting, and MATLAB programming. I am passionate about healthcare, mixed martial arts, fitness, chess, videography, and entrepreneurship.

Sophia Sutter

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am a current Junior at Michigan State University. I am pursuing my bachelors in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Philosophy and Law. I joined the Boss Lab in Summer 2023 where I work with Elyssa Cox on the “honey bee project.” We study how honey bees respond neurologically to social cues. I started research because I am between choosing Academia and Industry for my career and wanted a more hands-on experience. In my free time, I like to play tennis, travel, and watch my favorite TV show “Suits.”

Mariam Shahab

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am a junior at MSU, studying biosystems engineering with a concentration in biomedical engineering. I joined the BOSS lab in summer 2023 and I worked with Michael on the biofilms project. We performed experiments to see if locusts can detect the odors of different types of bacteria. I performed the data analysis for these experiments. In my free time, I watch movies and tv series. 

Previous Lab Members

Elyssa Cox, Lab Manager/Research Assistant, 2019-2023

Alexander Farnum, PhD., Graduate Student, 2019 – 2022

Noël Lefevre, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2021 – 2022

Sydney Miller, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2021 – 2022

Nyimasata Danjo, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2020

Hannah Schecklman, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2020