Principal Investigator

Professor Robin L. Garrell

Professor of Chemistry,

University of California, Los Angeles

Immediate Past Chair, UCLA Academic Senate

Special Assistant for Strategic Initiatives,

Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Relations

Biographical Sketch

Robin L. Garrell received her B.S. degree in Biochemistry with Honors and Distinction from Cornell University in 1978, and a Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1984.  She was an Assistant Professor on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh until 1991, when she joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles.  At UCLA, she is the Principal Investigator of the NSF Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) Materials Creation Training Program, and is a member of the Biomedical Engineering faculty and California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). She served as Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee of the UCLA College from 2003 through 2007, and as Chair of the UCLA Academic Senate in 2009-10.

Garrell’s UCLA honors include the Herbert Newby McCoy Award for Outstanding Research in Chemistry at UCLA (1995), the Hanson-Dow Award for Teaching Excellence in Chemistry (1997), the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award (2003) and the Gold Shield Faculty Prize (2009).

Garrell was an elected member of the Coblentz Society Board of Governors from 1994-98 and President of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy in 1999.  She has served on the editorial advisory boards of C&EN, Applied Spectroscopy and other journals. She is currently a charter member of the NIH Enabling Bioanalytical and Imaging Technologies study section.

Garrell’s research awards include the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award (1985), Iota Sigma Pi Agnes Fay Morgan Award (1996), Gold Medal Award in the 2007 Masscal Pioneering Micro and Thermal Analysis Technology Competition, and the Benedetti-Pichler Award from the American Microchemical Society (2007). She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

Research interests

Garrell’s research interests span vibrational spectroscopy and surface chemistry.  Her goals are to understand and control the behavior of molecules at liquid-liquid and liquid-solid interfaces. Adsorption, adhesion and wetting phenomena are of particular interest. Her research group is currently working on:

•Fundamentals of droplet (“digital”) microfluidics, including electromechanical actuation of liquids, spontaneous emulsification and dielectrophoretic levitation;

•Applications of droplet microfluidics, including proteomics sample preparation for mass spectrometry, the synthesis of millimeter-scale polymer particles and shells, and new cell-based diagnostics;

•Synthesis and applications of heterogeneous catalysts based on superparamagnetic nanoparticles.