Our Team

Devin O'Brien Coon headshot

Dr. Devin O'Brien Coon, MD

Dr. Devin O’Brien Coon is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, where he graduated magna cum laude and received a Dean’s Research Fellowship and Dean’s Merit Scholarship. He also holds a Master’s of Science in engineering in bioengineering from the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering and has a second appointment as Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering. He completed his general surgery and plastic surgery training at the Johns Hopkins University/University of Maryland integrated residency program.

Dr. O’Brien Coon has published over 50 publications and received numerous awards, including the BioMaryland LIFE (Leading Innovative Faculty Entrepreneurs) award. He is a two-time recipient of the D. Ralph Millard award from the Plastic Surgery Foundation for best scientific plastic surgery manuscript and was named a 2013 Innovator of the Year by the Maryland Daily Record. He directs a basic science research laboratory within the Translational Tissue Engineering Center that focuses on materials science and tissue engineering for surgical applications. He is one of a select group of physicians to have invented and developed medical devices (including a bioresorbable surgical implant and a 3-D ultrasound imaging system) through the entire development process from initial concept through to testing, FDA approval and clinical use. He is also an NIH-funded researcher whose inventions have led to numerous patents and a venture-backed startup company.

Melissa Noyes headshot

Melissa Noyes

Program Coordinator

Melissa Noyes is the Administrative Program Coordinator for Dr. Devin O’Brien Coon’s surgical practice at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  She holds a certificate in nonprofit management, and she is currently a Bachelor of Science candidate enrolled in Wilmington University’s Health Science program. She spent over a decade working in the insurance industry focused on project management and process improvement, laying integral groundwork for the application of technology and innovation to current work processes. In 2015, she brought these skills with her when she started her career at Johns Hopkins University beginning by innovating efficient scheduling processes for a multi-disciplinary pediatric plastic surgery clinic. 

In 2017, Ms. Noyes began working with Dr. Coon. She played an integral role in establishing the Coon lab and Dr. Coon’s clinical practice.  She has helped to create several educational programs and directives, including international training programs and symposia. She is also responsible for pioneering an interdisciplinary operational workflow that now directs care and coordination across several departments within Johns Hopkins Medicine. Additionally, she helps facilitate Dr. Coon’s diverse basic science and clinical research projects, which are coordinated across several departments.  

 In 2017, Melissa earned the Service Excellence award given for patient service excellence. She was also on the team nominated by Dr. WP Andrew Lee, then-Department Chair of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins University, for the Clinical Care and Excellence award in 2018. Finally, she was one of the first recipients of the “Saving a Life Certificate of Recognition” for going above and beyond to save a patient’s life.  Her interests include improving patient care quality specifically for underserved populations and contributing to various research endeavors.

Dr. Yu Tan Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Yu Tan’s research is focusing on a combination of biomaterials, stem cells and engineering strategies for regenerative medicine. As a graduate student in the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson University during 2011-2017, he developed a robust 3D bioprinting technology to fabricate scaffold-free vascular tissue units through cell spheroid fusion, and demonstrated that electrically conductive silicon nanowires could facilitate functional assembly of hiPSC- derived cardiomyocytes to promote their maturation in vitro. He has also examined the effects of cell number per spheroid and electrical conductivity of silicon nanowires on the function of hiPSC-derived cardiac spheroids. The above mentioned research in vitro has laid down the foundation for his study in vivo, which shows that the transplanted nanowired hiPSC-derived cardiac spheroids into adult rat hearts significantly improve the cellular retention, engraftment, and integration with host myocardium.

After receiving his Ph.D, he joined the group of Professor Devin O’Brien-Coon in the Translational Tissue Engineering Center at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in September 2017.

Dr. Allister Suarez, PhD

Post Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Allister Suarez’s research interests are interdisciplinary in the basic biomedical sciences. As a graduate student, his research was in the field of synthetic cell biology. Synthetic cell biology combines knowledge from interdisciplinary fields, including cell biology and structural biology. His thesis work focused on the interplay between biochemical signaling and membrane deformation in cell migration. Cell signaling can be modulated by rapidly perturbing cell morphology using a chemically inducible dimerization (CID) system with curvature-inducing proteins, as visualized by live cell imaging with fluorescence microscopy. His current interests are to extend these techniques to the study of skin and subcutaneous tissue fibrosis in an in vitro cell culture model.

Lab Alumni

Wilmina Landford, MD 
Research interests: tissue engineering, wound healing, biodesign

Matthew Garza
Research interests: cell and tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, socioeconomic determinants of health, LGBTQ+ healthcare and health outcomes

Nicholas Calotta, MD
Research interests: hand surgery, opiates, outcomes research, big data