Research Team Members

The User Interface Cursor-Controller (UIC-C) and Tongue-To-Speech (TTS)Research Team:

Nicholas Marjanovic, August 2016 – Present: “Currently I am working on the UCI-C, TTS, and various other projects in the lab. I am a full-time graduate student working towards my Doctoral degree in Bioengineering. My interests include developing medical devices and systems that incorporate circuit design and software system integration. Also working alongside doctors in Urology to innovate various designs and ideas that are presented.”


Giacomo Piccinini, August 2016 – Present: “My MS project is focused on developing the TTS device, that enables the detection of the tongue position on the palate during speech. This product is targeted for application in speech rehabilitation, sensory substitution, and silent communication.”



Kevin Kerr, September 2015 – Present: “Professor Esmailbeigi and I have been working on developing an assistive device that will give people with limited upper limb movement the ability to communicate with several forms of technology.We are developing a device that will incorporate a retainer that allows for the tongue to directly interact with external devices to replicate the function of a computer mouse or a cursor.”



Ricardo Aranda, May 2016 – Present: “I am a full-time nurse and bioengineering undergraduate. Having firsthand experience working with patients that have neuromuscular diseases, spinal cord injuries, tetraplegia, and paraplegia I found that the biggest issues faced by this population with current technologies are comfort and cost. My role in the tongue controller interface project was to utilize my clinical knowledge and engineering skills to help develop a product that was both viable and simple for patients to use.  Specifically, my role was to design a mouth guard that was custom made to perfectly fit the user’s teeth and palate with electronic sensors embedded in the material.”


Rich Hickey, September 2015 – May 2016:
“I helped Professor Esmailbeigi launch the TCI project. As a paramedic and an engineer I wanted to create a product that could easily translate to the clinic and provide a real increase in quality of life for patients.” Rich is currently working toward his PhD in Biomolecular Engineering at The Ohio State University.



Affordable Assistive Technology Research Team:


Davide Marzorati, August 2016 – Present:  “I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano (Italy) in July 2015. Now, I’m a Master student in Bioengineering at UIC, currently taking part in a Joint Master Program, leading to a double degree, between Politecnico di Milano and University of Illinois at Chicago. My research focuses on assistive technology. I’m currently working on the development of a P300 based Brain Computer Interface. BCIs are one of the multiple ways with which locked – in subjects can communicate with other people, and with which they are able to control external devices. Typically, these systems are expensive and unaffordable for most of the patients with my research, I hope to develop a low-cost open source BCI system, that can be adapted to different applications and used in real life.


Alexander Bashqawi, August 2015 – Present: 
Research project title: 
“Entertainment as proof of concept using affordable EEG and processing systems.” & “Wearable Biosignal Acquisition System”.



James Steel, August 2015 – May 2016:

Research project title: “Entertainment as proof of concept using affordable EEG and processing systems.”




Corrective Haptic Feedback Research Team:

Federico Magni, August 2016 – Present: “For my MS project, I am working on developing of a device that detects intoeing and outtoeing gait and provides corrective haptic feedback to the user.






Global Health Research Project:


Gregory Roytman, August 2014- May 2016: “As an undergraduate student in bioengineering, I helped Professor Esmailbeigi configure a portable, environmentally conscious, and sustainable solar panel-based energy source for a maternal autotransfusion device. I also assisted Professor Esmailbeigi in testing this device’s autotransfusion efficiency in the laboratory and at UIC Hospital’s Maternal Ward. This device’s ultimate application is intended for mothers in developing nations experiencing post-partum hemorrhaging while traveling to often distant hospital locations. Currently, I am a student at National University of Health Sciences, Lombard in the Doctor of Chiropractic program.”


Esmailbeigi Lab