PI: Ed Boyden

PhD Candidate

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, 2017

Corban Swain is a Ph.D. candidate in Biological Engineering working in the laboratory of Professor Ed Boyden at MIT. He is developing new microscope systems to image and study brain activity in small organisms including zebrafish larvae. He is utilizing the data from these microscopes to inform the neuro-cellular underpinnings of sensory processing and to inform the development of simulatable whole-brain models. Corban is committed to mentoring students from diverse backgrounds through his work as a facilitator for the MIT Talented Scholar Resources Room (TSR^2) and a teacher for the Seminar XL program. He also attends the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) each year to meet and recruit students to MIT programs and graduate departments. Outside of research, Corban enjoys photography and traditional photographic printmaking. With over ten years of experience, Corban’s professional work has appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Interiors + Sources Magazine, and many MIT and Washington University in St. Louis publications.


  • Nanoparticle-macrophage interactions: a balance between clearance and cell-specific targeting – Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (2017)
  • Hydrolytic charge-reversal of PEGylated polyplexes enhances intracellular un-packaging and activity of siRNA – Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A (2015)
  • A strategy for combating melanoma with oncogenic c-Myc inhibitors and targeted nanotherapy – Nanomedicine (2014)
  • Surface passivation of carbon nanoparticles with branched macromolecules influences near-infrared bioimaging – Theranostics (2013)
  • Platform presentation at the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting (2013)


  • Alpha Eta Mu Beta, biomedical engineering honor society member 2017
  • Tau Beta Pi, engineering honor society member 2016
  • Maximizing Access to Research Careers U-STAR Fellow 2014–17
  • National Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention 2014
  • James M. McKelvey Undergraduate Research Scholar 2013–17