Our Members

The people that makes the success of the Bark lab every day 

Dr. David Bark

Associate Professor

David Bark is a mechanical engineer at his core, but has been drawn to fundamental biological questions focused on the cardiovascular system. 

Alex Gendernalik


Alex went to Colorado State University for his bachelor’s in biological science and later his PhD in bioengineering under Dr. Bark. Alex’s projects focus on embryonic heart development. Specifically, how hemodynamics (blood flow and pressure) provides signals to the heart that influence the heart’s material properties, the development of its structures, and its overall morphogenesis. To do this, Alex uses embryonic zebrafish hearts and a wide variety of microscopy and micromanipulation techniques. In his free time, Alex enjoys tinkering, playing video games, and naturalizing.

Samineh Barmaki


Samineh joined the lab Jan. 2023. Her research focuses on the effect of hypoxia on platelets. She uses microfluidics to generate hypoxia and assess platelet function. She obtained her master’s degree in biomedical engineering (biomaterials) in Tampere University of Technology (Finland _Tampere)  and then received a PhD in Biomedicine from University of Helsinki-Finland . Her PhD research was focused on modification of intracellular gaseous microenvironment on PDMS microchips, and she specifically studied hypoxia\reoxygenation and nitric oxide generation in different cell types on- chip. Her personal scientific interests are focused on organ-on-chip models for drug development in cancer.

Yi Qiao


Yi came to us from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, where she completed her PhD. She is working toward multiple projects involving experimental and computational fluid dynamics. Her primary focus is quantifying patient-specific flows and relating the fluid dynamics to risk for thrombosis or bleeding.

Alice Liu


Alice Liu received a BS from the University of Washington and joined the Bark lab as a PhD student in August 2020. She was born and raised in Colorado and did her undergraduate degree in Seattle. Her passion for research can be traced back to her work in von Willebrand’s Factor (VWF), studying its transcriptional and epigenetic modifiers. Her current research interest lies in the effects of turbulence on platelets and VWF. Outside of school, she loves anything and everything outdoors. Alice is also passionate about making Weibel-Palade bodies.

Kimsey Platten

PhD Student

Kimsey Platten is a grad student in the labs of Dr. David Bark and Dr. Jorge Di Paola. Before coming to St. Louis, he received his B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Washington in Seattle. His research interests center around the mechanobiology of hemostasis in the context of blood flow. Specifically, he focuses on the dynamics of the mechanosensitive plasma protein, von Willebrand Factor, and the mechanisms for thrombosis under unique, often extreme, flow. When not in the lab, Kimsey runs table-top role-playing games (D&D, etc.), works through his ever-extending backlog of history and sci-fi books, and dabbles in writing historical fiction short stories.

Freedom Li

PhD Student

Freedom completed his BS from Georgia Tech, He is currently studying the contractile properties of platelets through its interactions with a flexible surface, such as a polyacrylamide hydrogel coated with fibrinogen.

Audrey Young

Research Technician

Bachelors from Butler University in 2022. Audrey joined Dr. Bark’s lab with the intention of developing herself in an unfamiliar environment while enriching her ability to make connections between research and medicine. She is currently designing, assembling, and testing microfluidic paper-based analytical devices with the hope that these devices serve as accessible diagnostic tools for Von Willebrand’s disease among others.

Our Collaborators

Chuck Henry, PhD at Colorado State University

Wilbur Lam, MD, PhD at Emory University

Jorge Di Paola, MD at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Wilbur Lam, MD, PhD at Emory University

Charles Schroeder, PhD at the University of Illinois in Ubrana/Champaign

Jianguo Zhao, PhD at Colorado State University

Edon Rabinowitz, MD at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Choon Hwai Yap, PhD at Imperial College London

Deborah Garrity, PhD at Colorado State University

Alex Quinn, PhD at Dalhousie University

Our Alumni

Iain Macleod Briongos, PhD

Alex Gendernalik – Postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis

Alireza Sharifi, PhD –  Advanced CFD Application engineer at Siemens Digital Industries Software

Banafsheh Zebhi, PhD – Data Science Research Engineer at the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing

Peter Hammes

Clark Yarbrough – Materials and Process Research Engineer at The National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Brayan Trejo – Lab Support Engineer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University

Jacob Null – Biomedical Engineer at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Katelyn Jackson – Undergraduate Research Assistant at Baylor University

Sarah Bergantz – Honors Student at Clemson University

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