Senior Researchers and Project Managers


Whitney Swanson


Whitney graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Minnesota State University Moorhead and had been working on immunology based research before joining the lab. Her focus in the Lim lab will be assisting in clinical research as well as using a variety of biochemical techniques to work on both animal and human research investigating the therapeutic effects and mechanism of action of modulating the vagus-to-spleen pathway for treating health disorders.
[email protected]

Lisa Verdun

Lisa graduated with a B.S. in Biology and a double minor in Mathematics and Chemistry from Northern Michigan University. She is currently working with Dr. Geoffrey Ghose on projects investigating different strategies of the cerebral cortex that are used in the processing and execution of visually guided behavior. Lisa is also collaborating with Dr. Hubert Lim to coordinate and execute a portion of the Auditory Nerve Implant (ANI) grant at the University of Minnesota. The ANI project seeks to develop a new hearing aid device that will build on the success of the cochlear implant technology and also provide an option for those ineligible for a cochlear implant.
[email protected]

Sarah Doornink

Sarah is a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Otolaryngology. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Masters in Public Health. She recently joined the SONIC Lab team as a study coordinator for the clinical trial looking at ultrasound treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis and the UNITE COVID-19 pilot evaluating the efficacy of ultrasound application to the spleen in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019. 
[email protected]

Zohara Cohen


Zohara is a Research Manager in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. In that role she supports the submission of grant applications, manages contracts and reporting for funded research projects, and oversees the implementation of observational and clinical research studies. Prior to this role Zohara was an Informatics Research Manager for the Informatics Consulting Service, now BPIC. And before coming to the University of Minnesota, Zohara spent six years as a Program Officer at the National Institute of Biomedical Imagine and Bioengineering. She graduated with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, with a research focus in Orthopaedic Biomechanics from Columbia University.
[email protected]

Morgan Newhoff Collins

Morgan graduated with a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota prior to joining the lab. She is currently researching the cellular mechanisms underlying ultrasound immunomodulation and assisting with coordinating a DARPA-funded clinical trial for ultrasound stimulation of the spleen in COVID-19 patients in collaboration with GE.
[email protected]

Rachel Stegeman


Rachel graduated with her PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Purdue University before joining our lab. Her current research focuses on investigating the mechanisms by which ultrasound stimulation modulates the immune system. To investigate this, Rachel uses single cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) to determine transcriptome-wide changes within different immune cell types (human PBMCs) after ultrasound stimulation. She also helps coordinate an ongoing clinical trial looking at ultrasound treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis in collaboration with DARPA, Dr. Bryce Binstadt's lab and Dr. Erik Peterson at the University of Minnesota's Medical School and Center for Immunology. [email protected]

Daniel Zachs


Graduated with a MS degree in Biomedical Engineering from University of Connecticut. He is a researcher investigating stimulation techniques of the peripheral nervous system and end-organs in various animal models which will subsequently be applied to humans. Daniel's research is focused on noninvasive modulation of the interface between the immune system and the nervous system. He is currently working on projects in collaboration with Medtronic, DARPA, Dr. Bryce Binstadt's lab and Dr. Erik Peterson’s lab in the University of Minnesota's Medical School and Center for Immunology.
[email protected]

Karl-Heinz Dyballa


Graduated in 2008 with a Diploma in Medical Informatics from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He is currently working at Hannover Medical School in Germany as a part of the NIH funded project for evaluating the safety and efficacy of a new auditory midbrain implant in an ongoing clinical trial. His research will investigate the perception of different types of electrical stimulation patterns in auditory midbrain implant users in order to develop new speech coding strategies.
[email protected]