Past Team Members

Adhira Sunkara, PhD

Research Engineer

Adhira Sunkara has a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and experience working with multiple start-ups for the design, development and commercialization of medical devices. Dr. Sunkara serves as a research engineer in the T.E.C.I. Center. She has expertise in technology design, data analysis, grant writing, and research study design.


Ken Perrone, MD

Research Resident 

Dr. Kenneth Perrone is a general surgery resident at Stanford. He joined the T.E.C.I. Center as a research resident following his PGY2 year. He attended SUNY Downstate for medical school. His clinical interest is in minimally invasive and robotic surgery. Outside of the lab he enjoys riding his bike and grocery shopping.


Hossein Mohamadipanah, PhD

Senior Research Engineer

Dr. Hossein Mohamadipanah serves as a Senior Research Engineer in T.E.C.I Center. Dr. Mohamadipanah completed his master’s degree in robotics at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran before earning his PhD in medical robotics and machine learning at Oklahoma State University in 2014. Upon joining Dr. Pugh’s research team in September 2015, he has been focused on writing grant proposals for national funding agencies. He also has been involved in data analysis of multiple virtual reality environments and medical simulators (e.g. coronary artery bypass graft, robotic hysterectomy, laparoscopic ventral hernia repair, etc.) to discern optimum hand movement of expert surgeons during operations to develop learning objectives for surgical trainees. Dr. Mohamadipanah is interested in developing machine learning algorithms to address surgical challenges.

Anna Witt

Lab Manager

Anna Witt graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a double major in Biology and Environmental Studies and a certificate in Mathematics. During her sophomore year at Wisconsin, Anna joined Dr. Pugh’s research lab in 2014 as an undergraduate researcher specializing in data collection and video analysis for the lab’s large Department of Defense research project. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in 2017, Anna was hired full time as the laboratory manager. Anna’s familiarity with the lab’s history compliments her analytical and organizational skills enabling her to efficiently coordinate the many diverse research projects happening in the lab. As the T.E.C.I. Center's manager she leverages her leadership and management interests to create a productive and collaborative work environment for students, post-docs and staff. 

Kayla Huemer

Masters Student Researcher

Kayla joined the TECI Center team Fall of 2020 as a MS student in Bioengineering at Stanford. Before joining the TECI Center, Kayla graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. She then spent a year in India developing a low-cost medical technology for diabetic patients while on a Fulbright grant. Using her skills in electrical fabrication and wearables, she began to implement the device in clinic but felt the idea was running up against a data analytics wall. Specifically, she knew AI and ML could bring novelty to the data interpretation and true power to the device - an experience which directly inspired her to pursue her masters. Now at Stanford studying AI in healthcare, Kayla is excited to join the TECI Center team to combine her experience in fabrication and wearables with her desire to leverage ML and AI in the healthcare space. She feels extremely fortunate to have been offered a spot on the TECI Center team and feels right at home with the Wisconsin comradery!

LaDonna Kearse, MD

Resident Researcher

Dr. LaDonna Kearse graduated from the University of Maryland - College Park with a BA in Biological Sciences and concentration in Neurobiology & Physiology, before earning her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 2018. She has completed two years of General Surgery residency training at Howard University Hospital. Her current interests include the integration of technology and simulation to enhance surgical training, develop individualized learning pathways, and improve patient outcomes. In her spare time, Dr. Kearse enjoys exploring new art ventures, traveling, and being an avid foodie.

Cassidi Goll

Research Operations & Program Manager (August 2021 - June 2022), Marketing & Administrative Coordinator (January 2018 - August 2021)

Cassidi Goll graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2017, receiving her BA from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications in Public Relations and Strategic Communications, with a Certificate in Entrepreneurship. As a student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Cassidi developed an affinity for healthcare marketing and communications through her work with The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Susan G. Komen of South Central Wisconsin, Donate Life Wisconsin, as well as UW Health’s Organ Procurement Division. Shortly after meeting Dr. Carla Pugh in January 2017 at a Women’s Health Expo in Madison, WI, Cassidi joined Dr. Pugh’s research team at the University of Wisconsin – Madison as a Marketing and Communications Specialist. With the transition from UW-Madison to Stanford University, Cassidi has taken on roles as the Marketing and Administrative Coordinator and as the Research Operations and Program Manager in the T.E.C.I. Center, where she facilitates connections with academic, industry, and research professionals. Additionally, Cassidi has been involved in several data collections. As a healthcare communicator, Cassidi is interested in exploring optimal multi-channel methods for reaching healthcare professionals, medical students and patients in a feverish digital environment.