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John Seymour

TBBL is laser focused on the translation of implantable sensing and stimulating technology in humans, including brain-computer interfaces. More broadly, my interests are in the area of advanced neurotechnology for clinical use or neuroscience. My research has addressed topics including reduced tissue reactivity and improved electrical, mechanical, and optical characteristics of bioelectronic devices. I earned my B.S. with Honors in Engineering Physics from (the) Ohio State University and my M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan. My industry experience includes working at Battelle Memorial and later NeuroNexus as a Principal Scientist. I also served as research faculty in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan prior to joining UTHealth Houston.

Outside work and family, I’m trying to improve my downhill skiing and biking, fishing, photography, gardening skills. A long way to go!


Amada Abrego Mancilla

Lab Manager, Lab Engineer

Amada.M.AbregoMancilla at

I joined the lab in January 2020 as a lab Engineering Assistant. During my Master’s in Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Rice University, I studied the vestibular contributions to the navigational circuit at Dora Angelaki and David Dickman’s labs. I also received a Master’s in Bioengineering from Rice University and a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Monterrey Tech, Mexico.

When not doing science, I love to bake and pamper my dogs.


Jace Willis

Postdoctoral Fellow

Jace.A.Willis at

I hold a B.S. in Physics with Honors from Tarleton State University and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M University (2023). My interest in neural interfaces began with an retinal implant exhibit in 2005 and has since expanded to encompass a wide range of experimental and clinical neurotechnology. I strongly believe that advancing neural interfacing is crucial to the development of effective therapies for a number of neurological diseases and disorders. At TBBL, I am thrilled to utilize my expertise in physics and biology to optimize custom neuroelectronic applications through computational brain and device modeling.


Beyond my professional pursuits, I find joy in hiking state and national parks, engaging in strategy games, honing my miniature painting skills, and practicing marksmanship.

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Jongcheon Lim

Postdoctoral Fellow

jongcheon.lim at

I earned my B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Yonsei University, South Korea; M.S. in Bio & Brain Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST); and my Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University (2023). I have research experience in developing advanced neural interface devices for vagus nerve stimulation and recording. I learned that there are many hurdles to overcome for the clinical translation of advanced neurotechnology. At TBBL, I am excited to contribute to the development of next-generation clinical neuroelectronic devices and tackle critical issues hindering the deployment of advanced neuroelectronic devices in clinical settings.

I enjoy practicing tennis, playing poker, and I love traveling.   


Xiaokang Bai

Research Engineer

Xiaokang.Bai at

I completed my BS in Physics from China and later came to the US to finish my MS study in Bioengineering from Northeastern University. Before joining TBBL, I had multiple research and working experiences from university labs, medical device company, and hospital. With the strong interests in developing novel BioMEMS devices and systems by adopting microfabrication and nanotechnology approaches, I feel excited to conduct scientific demonstrations and engineering realizations in nascent brain science areas with animal models and clinical trials. I am applying my physics modeling and simulation, data analytics, signal processing, and other computing skill to achieve the above goals.


Priyan Pathirana

Graduate Student, Rice

pvp1 at

I grew up in Albany, NY but studied at Boston University where in 2021, I received my B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. My work has taken me as far as Tanzania designing devices to assess the quality of Malarial lateral flow assays under Dr. Muhammad Zaman. Most recently I worked at Beth Israel Lahey Hospital with Dr. Ara Nazarian Boston studying dynamic soft tissue mechanics of tendons. I am excited to be here as a Rice University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering MS/PhD student studying novel nanofabrication techniques and translational neural electrodes.

Outside of my work, I love cooking all types of cuisines and playing guitar!


Ryan Shores

ECE Graduate Student

rs157 at

 I have come to TBBL after spending 7 years doing neuroscience research in animal models in New York City. In 2019 I completed my BA in Neuroscience at Columbia University and have since done multiple independent projects using techniques such as in vivo calcium imaging and synthetic receptor models. During this time, I discovered my passion for neural electronics which ultimately brought me to TBBL. I intend to use my background as an integrative neuroscientist and my extensive experience in small animal neurosurgery to become a neural engineer that can contribute on both ends. Outside of the lab I enjoy coding, tinkering, playing music and training in the martial arts.

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Efrain Brizuela

Neuroelectronics Technician

efrain.brizuela at

I served 5 years active duty in the United States Marine Corps. My military occupation specialty was ground electronics maintenance. I learned Basic and advanced electronics through the Marine Corps Communications Electronics School. My work would include anything from micro soldering, radio programming, or prototype testing with civilian engineers. I’m excited to contribute my skills and experience with electronics to advance neurotechnology.


I’m an adrenaline junky when not at work. I love working out, hiking, rock climbing, and anything adventurous. I’m Currently working on getting my sky diving license!


Angel Nunez

Neuroelectronics Technician

Angel.Nunez at

I joined the lab in February 2023. I studied electronics and have over 7 years of experience working as an Avionics technician on UAV systems. I'm currently going to school to pursue an engineering degree and expand my career. In my free time, I like to sketch, work on electronics projects, and drive into Linux operating systems.


Benedict Andam

ECE Graduate Student

ba36 at

My undergraduate journey in Biomedical Engineering at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana sparked my interest in bioinstrumentation and manufacturing medical devices. This interest evolved towards developing prosthetics in biomechanics and eventually led me into the fascinating field of neuroengineering. After completing my undergraduate degree in 2020 and national service as a Teaching Assistant in 2021, I gained practical experience as a Clinical Engineer/Field Service Biomedical Engineer in Ghana for nearly two years before joining TBBL. Joining TBBL has been a significant and exciting step for me as the lab focuses on translational research and the development of innovative neural interfaces with novel and advanced fabrication methods for clinical use and neuroscience applications. This environment allows me to apply and enhance my skills in medical device design and contribute to cutting-edge neuroengineering R&D. Beyond my academic pursuits, I love playing the piano, soccer, and working out. I am also eager to improve my skills in basketball and learn to play tennis. 


Junhao Cao

ECE Graduate Student

jc252 at

I earned my B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2021 and my M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2022 from University of Michigan, with a focus on MEMS. During my M.S.studies, I worked in Prof. Euisik Yoon's Lab, where I gained experience in microfabrication and assembly of neural devices, further fueling my interest in neurotechnology. Currently, I am pursuing a PhD in ECE at Rice University and am excited to join TBBL to contribute to the development of innovative translational neural interfaces.

Outside of my research, I enjoy brewing and drinking coffee, playing games, and cooking. I am also open to exploring new interests in the future.

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