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Scientific Board

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  • Medical and Health Sciences
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Naira Hovakimyan


"IntelinAir" Company

Naira Hovakimyan received her MS degree in Theoretical Mechanics and Applied Mathematics in 1988 from Yerevan State University in Armenia. She got her Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics in 1992, in Moscow, from the Institute of Applied Mathematics of Russian Academy of Sciences, majoring in optimal control and differential games.


Before joining the faculty of UIUC in 2008, she has spent time as a research scientist at Stuttgart University in Germany, at INRIA in France, at Georgia Institute of Technology, and she was on faculty of Aerospace and Ocean engineering of Virginia Tech during 2003-2008. She is currently W. Grafton and Lillian B. Wilkins Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering at UIUC.


Naira is co-founder of "IntelinAir", Inc., a company that commercializes data-drones for delivering actionable information from aerial imagery for various industries. Her research interests are in the theory of robust adaptive control and estimation, control in the presence of limited information, networks of autonomous systems, game theory and applications of those in safety-critical systems of aerospace, mechanical, electrical, petroleum and biomedical engineering.

Mechanical Science

Applied Mathematics


Games Theory



Surik Papyan

Co-founder and CTO

"HeadSense Medical" company

Surik Papyan received his MA degree from the department of mathematics at the University of Armenia. Upon completion, he worked in the institute of research and development of microelectronics (NITIM) and later at the computer center of academy of science, both in Armenia.


For over three decades, he specialized in the development of medical devices and medical-diagnostics, focusing on applications for identification and analysis of biological curves.


For the past 20 years, Surik has been developing medical devices - mainly in the fields of Cardiology, Pulmonology and Neurosurgery in Israel. Since 2011, he is the co-founder and CTO of "HeadSense Medical" Ltd. Recently, his focus is on non-invasive methods for measurement of intracranial pressure (ICP) and its use for the diagnostics of stroke, vasospasm, aneurysm and concussion. He works with many neurosurgical departments located all around the world, including Armenia, USA, Italy, Germany, Norway, Holland, India, Japan and China.





Liana Asatryan

Research Professor

USC School of Pharmacy


Liana Asatryan earned her PhD in Biochemistry from the Institute of Molecular Biology, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia in 1994. From 1997 to 1999, she continued her research as a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at USC School of Pharmacy. In 2009, Dr. Asatryan completed the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research Design & Management in Regulatory Science at USC.

Dr. Liana Asatryan is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy at the USC School of Pharmacy. Since 2013, she is a co-director of the Translational and Histology Core Laboratories at the School. Dr. Asatryan is a recipient of KO1 Career Development Grant from National Institutes of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. Currently she lectures in the Masters of Management of Drug Development in the International Center of Regulatory Science at USC.

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology



Rouben Meschian

Founding Software Engineer

Cambridge Semantics


Rouben Meschian studied at Boston University in 1999-2003 and received BA in Computer Science. He graduated from the same University with MA in 2005.

Mr. Meschian has been working in the software industry for over ten years. He started his career at IBM Global Technologies and Innovation Company from 2004 to 2007 as a Software Engineer in R&D team. Since 2007 he joined the Cambridge Semantics Inc. where currently works as a Founding Software Engineer. He has a passion for delivering products that solve problems in the enterprise. Rouben has a background in distributed systems, but has spent most of his career creating web applications and visualizations of complex scientific and business data.

  • Software Engineering
  • Web development


Peter Cousins

Research Scientist

E&J Gallo


Peter Cousins is a grape breeder at E. & J. Gallo Winery. He studied plant science at Modesto Junior College and received a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University. He received his Ph.D degree in Viticulture and Genetics from the University of California, Davis.

The grapevine improvement program, that Dr. Peter Cousins leads focuses on the breeding, introduction, and evaluation of proprietary wine grapes varieties and selections with enhanced quality. Before joining E. & J. Gallo Winery, Peter was grape rootstock breeder and geneticist with USDA ARS, based at Geneva, New York, for more than 12 years and in that role he bred and introduced five grape varieties; including rootstocks and genetics research varieties. 

  • Biology
  • Winery


Ashot Papoyan

Senior Research Scientist

Tetragenetics Inc.


Dr. Ashot Papoyan completed his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in the Department of Biophysics at Yerevan State University, in Yerevan, Armenia. He recieved his Ph.D at Cornell University in the Department of Plant Biology, and after completing joined Tetragenetics Inc.

  Currently Ashot Papoyan is a Senior Research Scientist at Tetragenetics Inc. During his studies, he majored in Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology where he was studying heavy metal accumulation and detoxification in hyper accumulator plants. Before starting his graduate program Dr. Papoyan worked in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Cornell University, where he was studying the mechanisms of interaction between GTP-binding protein (Cdc42) and its biological targets. During his Master’s program he was studying the effects of steroid hormones on phospholipid composition of rat brain nuclear membranes.



  • Plant Biology 
  • Plant Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Protein Chemistry
  • Cell Culture
  • Molecular Medicine

Narine Sharvazian


George Washington University


Narine Sharvazian received her education at Moscow State University. Her background is in Physics and her MA degree is Biophysics.

Currently Narine Sharvazian is a professor of Pharmacology and Physiology, George Washington University Medical Center. She was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Medical College of Ohio in the Department of Pharmacology in Ohio, USA. Mrs. Sharvazian was featured by several media outlets for her invention of a new organ to help return blood flow from veins lacking functional valves. Her research appeared in a number of international medical and scientific journals.

Mrs. Sharvazian is a member to American Physiological Society, American Physiological Society Education Committee, Biophysical Society, American Heart Association, as well as she has a consultant status in the International Advisory Board of the Armenian Association of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Immunology and in the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP): Armenia and Georgia U.S. Consultations on Innovation and Technology Transfer. 

  • Biophysics
  • Experimental Biology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Cell Culture
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Calcium Homeostasis
  • Cell Biology
  • Cardiotoxicity of Anthracyclines
  • Cardiovascular Biology

Areg Danagoulian

Assistant Professor



Dr. Areg Danagoulian studied at Yerevan’s physics-mathematics high school and after graduation in 1993 he moved to the US. Dr. Danagoulian received BS in physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and later he pursued his Ph.D. work in experimental nuclear physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

Dr. Areg Danagoulian is an assistant professor at Nuclear Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He specializes in the field of nuclear security. In 2006 Dr. Danagoulian accepted a postdoctoral position at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he studied neutron physics, and worked on nuclear security programs. Areg’s main interests include development of zero knowledge detectors for treaty verification purposes, and monochromatic tunable particle sources for cargo interrogation.


  • Physics
  • Neutron Physics
  • Nuclear Security
  • Nuclear Studies


Garegin Papoian


Monroe Martin Professor


Garegin Papoyan received his undergraduate degree in Russian Academy of Sciences, Higher Chemical College, Moscow and Ph.D in Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Dr. Garegin Papoian is the Monroe Martin Professor, with joint appointment as the Director in Chemistry and Institute for Physical Science and Technology. Dr. Papoian and his group use advanced computational methods to study biological processes at multiple scales, from single protein functional dynamics and chromatin folding and stability to cell-level processes, such as stochastic signal transduction and regulation of cell motility. Papoian’s lab also aims to understand the way DNA is packaged in the nuclei of higher organisms. 


  • Physics
  • Computational Biology
  • Quantum Chemistry


Leon Kochian

Director & Research Leader



Dr. Kochian received his Bachelor's degree in Botany from the University of California, Berkeley, and Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Leon Kochian is the Director and Research Leader of USDA Centre, Cornell University, located in USA. His program focuses on crop mineral nutrition and plant responses environmental abiotic stresses in the soil. His research approach involves the interdisciplinary application of methodologies from molecular biology, genomics, genetics, biochemistry and plant physiology to identify genes that control important plant traits related to mineral nutrient acquisition and abiotic stress tolerance, in order to facilitate crop improvement in these areas. Dr. Kochian is also a member of the Genomics Initiative. 

  • Molecular Biology    
  • Biochemistry
  • Genomics
  • Plant Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Bioinformatics


Aram Adourian

Chief Scientific Officer at

BG Medicine


Dr. Aram Adourian joined BG Medicine from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his undergraduate degree in Physics from Cornell University and earned his PhD at Harvard University in Statistical Physics, where he was a recipient of the Rudenberg Research Prize.

Dr. Aram Adourian, PhD, has been the Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President at BG Medicine Inc. since October 17, 2012 and served as its Vice President of Scientific Affairs. Dr. Adourian served as a Vice President of Computational Sciences of BG Medicine, Inc. While at MIT, he served as Project Manager for Bioinformatics specializing in the development of novel systems and approaches for biomolecular sequencing, analysis and modeling. 

  • Biomedical Research
  • Biomolecular Sequencing, Analysis and Modeling
  • Physics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Statistical Physics


Ara Nazarian

Assistant Professor

Harvard Medical School


Ara Nazarian finished his Dr. Sc. degree in the field of biomedical engineering at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich, Switzerland under the co-mentorship of Dr. Brian Snyder from Harvard Medical School and Dr. Ralph Müller from ETH.

Currently Dr. Ara Nazarian is an Assistant Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Boston. His work mainly focuses on basic biomechanics and bioimaging of normal and pathologic bone, with emphasis on fracture prediction resultant from local and systemic skeletal pathologies. His experience in this area has led to a number of grants and diagnostic applications for patients through a biomedical company. 


  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioimaging
  • Biomechanics


Rustem Litvinov

Senior Research Investigator

University of Pennsylvania


Rustem Litvinov is a Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. He has an extensive experience in the biochemistry of blood coagulation, hemostasis, and thrombosis with emphasis on protein chemistry, fibrinogen/fibrin structure and function, receptor-ligand interactions including binding of fibrinogen, osteopontin, and fibronectin to cell receptors, as well as using optical trapping techniques to quantify intermolecular interactions at the single-molecule level. Mr. Litvinov has an enhanced expertise in the structural basis of biomechanics fibrin clots and thrombi.

  • General and medical biochemistry
  • Single-molecule biophysics
  • Protein nanomechanics
  • Blood clotting and its disorders
  • Hemostasis and thrombosis
  • Biomechanics of blood clots and thrombi
  • Receptor-ligand interactions
  • Platelet integrins
  • Platelet adhesion and aggregation
  • Fibrinolysis and thrombolysis


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