A. MATHIES, Ph. D.
B.S. Chemistry, University of Washington, 1968
Ph. D., Physical Chemistry, Cornell University, 1974
- Pioneer in the development of microfabricated
capillary electrophoresis devices, and microfabricated
integrated sample preparation and detection methods
- Developed capillary array electrophoresis
technologies and fluorescent energy-transfer labels
used to sequence the human genome.
- Author of over 300 publications and patents on photochemistry,
photobiology, bioanalytical chemistry and genome analysis
Richard A. Mathies received his B.
S. Degree in Chemistry in 1968 at the University of
Washington. He earned a Ph. D. in 1973 in Physical Chemistry
at Cornell University. Following two years of postdoctoral
study as a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow at
Yale, he moved to the Chemistry Department at the University
of California at Berkeley in 1976 where he is Professor
of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Analytical
Mathies' work in the area of biotechnology
and the Human Genome Project has led to the development
of new high-speed, high-throughput DNA analysis technologies
such as capillary array electrophoresis and energy transfer
fluorescent dye labels for DNA sequencing and analysis.
He also pioneered the development
of microfabricated capillary electrophoresis devices,
capillary array electrophoresis and microfabricated
integrated sample preparation and detection methods.
He is author of over 300 publications and patents on
photochemistry, photobiology, bioanalytical chemistry
and genome analysis technology.
My role is focused on the development
of microfabricated chips and their associated instruments
and chemical methods that are used for the detection
of bioorganic molecules. My group pioneered the development
of these microfabricated analysis systems for genomic
and genetic analysis, and now we want to exploit these
technologies to perform analyses on other solar bodies
such as Mars and Europa to look for chemical signs of
extinct or extant life. We have a group of 20 scientists
working on the development of a variety of new microfluidic
technologies. These technologies have recently given
us the capability to integrate complex chemical analysis
processes within microfluidic systems and to incorporate
these methods into portable chips and instruments. Our
goal is to perform broadly based searches for chemical
signs of extraterrestrial life in the solar system with
R. SCHERER, Ph. D.
B.S. cum laude, Saint Marys College,
Ph. D., Vibrational Spectroscopy, University
of Minnesota, 1958
- Worked extensively on the vibrational spectroscopy of
water and aromatic
- Developed the worlds first computer controlled
Raman spectrometer on a time sharing computer.
- Designed and constructed systems for four-color confocal
capillary scanning that led to a radically new method of
scanning of up to 1000 capillaries for DNA sequencing using
a rotary scanner (U.S. Patent No. 6,270,644). Design improvements
led to prototype rotary scanners (U.S. Patent No. 6,100,535)
currently licensed for commerical development.
Dr. Scherer received his Ph. D. degree
from the University of Minnesota in 1958 in the field of
Vibrational Spectroscopy under Professor Bryce L Crawford,
Jr. He worked in industry (Dow Chemical) as a Research
Scientist from 1958 to 1963. In 1963 he joined the Western
Regional Research Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
at Albany, California working in the area of normal coordinate
calculations for aromatic model compounds, Raman spectroscopy
of water, developed methods for getting high quality Raman
spectra from samples in micro capillaries, and developed
the first computer controlled Raman spectrometer system.
After a very successful career at the USDA, he joined Richard
Mathies group at the University of California at Berkeley
His experience in Raman Spectroscopy facilitated
the development of confocal scanning systems for DNA analysis.
He designed and constructed systems for four color confocal
capillary scanning which led to his invention of a radically
new method of scanning of up to 1000 capillaries for DNA
sequencing and a confocal scanning system for microplates.
He has recently completed work to develop a portable single
lane DNA fragment analyzer that will be used in real time
I design and build the small amino acid
analyzer utilizing fluorescence detection that can be miniaturized
for extraterrestrial exploration. I designed the overall
layout for a miniaturized amino acid analyzer system to
be used for extraterrestrial exploration using confocal
fluorescence detection. My work includes optical design
and design of the manifold for interfacing the microfluidic
and electrophoresis components.
BSci, Honors Chemistry, University
of Alberta, Canada, 2000
- NSERC Post Graduate Scholarship B, May 2003
- Advanced to Candidacy, March 2002
- Awarded Dean's Silver Medal in Science, UofA, 2000
Alison graduated from the University
of Alberta with a B.Sc. in Honors Chemistry in May 2000. During
her undergraduate degree she did an Honor's thesis with
Dr. Norm Dovichi, using capillary electrophoresis to
investigate protein expression in cancerous cells. She
started her graduate work in the fall of 2000 at UC Berkeley
working in the Mathies research group. In addition
to research, Alison has also spent the last 3 years as
a teaching assistant.
I am responsible for developing methods
of chiral CE amino acid analysis, testing of the portable
analysis device, and design and construction of microfabricated
devices used for sample handling and analysis.My initial
focus has been characterization of the chiral separation
of fluorescamine-labeled amino acids (link to the J Chrom
paper). Both composition and chirality can be obtained
in under 3 minutes.Second, I have translated this analysis
technique over to the portable analysis system, and have
demonstrated that the portable analyzer has similar separation
efficiency and superior sensitivity compared to the lab-based
system. Finally, I have developed a microfabricated device
that will contain pumps, a sipper and a separation channel.
This device will pump fluid on to the MOD cold finger
to dissolve sample, and will direct the sample to the
separation channel for CE analysis.
J. GRUNTHANER, Ph. D.
Ph. D., Chemistry, California Institute
of Technology, 1973
- Developed a comprehensive model for the chemical and
electronic structure of the Si/SiO2 interface
- Initiated the design and development of microchemical
laboratories and micromachined instruments for surface
chemical exploration of Mars and other planetary scientific
- Designed, proposed and developed the Mars Soil Oxidant
(MOx) Experiment which was launched as part of the Mars
'96 Small Station Program, a joint U.S., European and
- Awarded the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement
Medal in 1986
- Author or co-author of more than 165 journal papers
and has been awarded 14 patents.
Dr. Frank J. Grunthaner, received
his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech in 1973, and joined
JPL at that time. His Ph.D. advisor was Dr. Harry B.
Gray. He is a JPL Senior Research Scientist, in the in
situ Technology and Experiments Section. He is a
solid-state chemist with extensive experience in MBE
growth, RHEED and surface and interface chemistry. He
has experience with X-ray and ultraviolet photoemission
spectroscopy, particularly from the perspective of surface
and interface chemistry of oxide/semi-conductor and metal/semiconductor
He has extensive experience in the
MBE growth of strained-layer materials, III-V/IV heteroepitaxy
and the analysis and control of MBE growth mechanisms.
He has also been involved with MBE and UHV surface instrumentation
engineering and design. He has pioneered the growth of
pseu-domorphic InAs on GaAs, designed and implemented
low temperature growth processes for Si homoepitaxy and
GaAs on Si by MBE. He has also been involved in the pioneering
RHEED research initiated at JPL.
Together with Dr. Paula Grunthaner,
he developed a comprehensive model for the chemical and
electronic structure of the Si/SiO2 interface. This work
has also lead to the development of wafer/wafer bonding
technology based on control of the surface and interface
chemistry of Si, Si3N4, and SiO2. He has also initiated
the design and development of microchemical laboratories
and micromachined instruments for surface chemical exploration
of Mars and other planetary scientific missions. These
micro-instruments have included micro-fabricated charged
particle analyzers, miniature Auger electron spectrometers,
and quadrupole and ion trap mass spectrometers.
He designed, proposed and developed
the Mars Soil Oxidant (MOx) Experiment which was launched
as part of the Mars '96 Small Station Program, a joint
U.S., European and Russian mission. Current work includes
the development of chemical sensor instrumentation to
resolve the reactivity of the Martian soil, micro-analyzers
for atto-molar detection of organic compounds, and the
demonstration of micro-capillary electrophoretic laboratories
for the enantiomerically - resolved detection of amino
acids in planetary or cometary sur-face environments.
He was awarded the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement
Medal in 1986. He has given more than 45 Invited Papers,
has authored or co-authored more than 165 journal papers.
My role in this project is to develop
flight-testable hardware. Currently I am working on field
testing a flight-testable version of MOD. I'm also responsible
for planning future field tests to the Mojave and the
L. BADA, Ph. D.
Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography,
University of California at San Diego
B.S., San Diego State University,
Ph. D., University of California, San Diego, 1968
- Director of the NASA Specialized Center of Research
and Training in Exobiology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
- Developed Mars Organic Detector instrument that was
selected for a 2003 mission to Mars (misson subsequently
- Co-author, with Christopher Wills, of the recent book The
Spark of Life: Darwin and the Primeval Soup and
author of over 180 papers.
- Member, Geochemical Division of the American Chemical
Society, the Geochemical Society, the American Association
for the Advancement of Science and the International
Society for the Study of the Origin of Life. Serves on
the Editorial Board of Astrobiology
Jeffrey Bada, a Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography,
University of California at San Diego, has had a sustained interest
in the origin of life for more than 30 years. His first paper, published
in 1968 with his mentor Stanley L. Miller, was on the ammonium ion
concentration in the primitive oceans. He has since explored a range
of topics relevant to the origin of life such as the importance of
extraterrestrial sources of organic compounds on the early Earth,
the biogeocosmochemistry of amino acids, the origin of homochirality
and the use of state-of-the-art analytical methods for the in situ
detection of extraterrestrial life.
Professor Bada was Alfred P. Sloan
Research Fellow and is a member of the Geochemical Division
of the American Chemical Society, the Geochemical Society,
the American Association for the Advancement of Science
and the International Society for the Study of the Origin
of Life, and is on the Editorial Board of Astrobiology.
He is Director of the NASA Specialized Center of Research
and Training in Exobiology based at the Scripps Institution
of Oceanography. The Center conducts research on the
processes that occurred on the early Earth that resulted
in the transition from purely chemical reactions to autonomous
self-replicating molecular entities capable of evolving
into ones of increasing efficiency and complexity. An
instrument Professor Bada developed, the Mars Organic
Detector (MOD), was selected for the 2003 mission to
Mars (this mission was subsequently cancelled). He is
the co-author, with Christopher Wills, of the recent
book The Spark
of Life: Darwin and the Primeval Soup which
has received high reviews.
Jeffrey Bada's research team at UCSD
is responsible for the scientific testing and validation
of the microchip CE system and for the testing of the
fully assembled MOA platform prior to the field campaigns.
Dr. Bada will participate in all Science Team meetings
and in all field campaigns. He will also perform the
laboratory-based analysis of all samples by conventional
HPLC in order to establish the ground truth results.
Selected publications (last 5 years):
(Dr. Bada has published over 180 papers)
Rad. Res. ,
limit for the viability of bacterial spores in halite
fluid inclusions and on Mars,
2003. Prebiotic chemistry: revisiting the Miller experiment,
Science 296 , 1982-1983.
Origin of Life – Some like it hot, but not the first biomolecules,
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.
USA , 2138-2141.
State-of-the-art instruments for detecting extraterrestrial
Planet. Sci. Lett. ,
Detecting pyrolysis products from bacteria on Mars.
BOTTA, Ph. D.
Junior Visiting Scientist
International Space Science Institute
Diploma in Chemistry, University of Basel, Switzerland, 1993
Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Basel, Switzerland, 1999
- Used High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to investigate the organic composition of carbonaceous meteorites. Investigated the relative amino acid composition of carbonaceous chondrites to provide insight into the formation processes on the parent bodies.
- 1999-2002 Post-doc at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD
2002-2004 External ESA Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Leiden, The Netherlands.
- Worked the behavior of the reactions of amino acids with fluorescamine as well as the fluorescence responses of PAHs as part of the original MOD 03 design.
- Member of the 2003/04 Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) Team, deployed to a 6-week field camp at the LaPaz Icefield Region, Antarctica.
Oliver graduated from the University of Basel, Switzerland, with a Ph.D. degree in synthetic organic chemistry. For his thesis, he worked on the synthesis of modified nucleosides that were used for biochemical studies of tRNA.
During his postdoc at Scripps, he investigated the amino acid composition of carbonaceous chondrites, applying relative amino acid compositions as signatures for parent body processes. He built up his expertise in organic analyses of meteorites, establishing laboratory protocols and using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to search for amino acids and nucleobases in carbonaceous chondrites.
In addition, he investigated the chemical reaction of amino acids with the fluorescence label fluorescamine under the conditions that would be relevant for the Mars Organic Detector (MOD). The results of this investigation provided important inputs into the design of the original MOD 03 instrument.
At the University of Leiden, Oliver built up a laboratory for organic meteorite analyses, while continuing his projects and supervising a graduate student. In addition, he also participated in radioastronomical observations, aiming at the search for aromatic molecules in circumstellar environments..
For this project, I will contribute through ground support experiments of organic compounds in the Mars simulation chamber. I will also contribute to the development of MOD hardware and spectroscopic analysis of fluorescence reaction products.
Furthermore, I will be responsible for the calibration of the MOD instrument. I will use natural samples (such as meteorites and sediments) as well as artificial samples (Mars soil analogues, spiked with organic compounds or inoculated with bacterial cells) to test the performance of the MOD sublimation device and analytical instrument and compare it to results from other analytical techniques (GC-MS/HPLC).
PASCALE EHRENFREUND, Ph. D.
B.S., Protein Chemistry, Academy of Sciences/University of Vienna, 1988
Ph.D., Astrophysics, Univ. Paris VII/University of Vienna, 1990
Habilitation in Astrochemistry, University of Vienna, 1999
- Conducts an interdisciplinary research program on the stability of organic molecules in different space environments (laboratory studies, astronomical observations, space experiments) including Mars simulation studies
- Serves as Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator on many different ESA space missions including satellites, planetary missions and experiments on the International Space Station
- Vice President of the European Astrobiology Network Association
Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund received her Ph. D. degree from the University of Vienna in 1990 in the field of Astrophysics where she investigated a newly detected component in interstellar space, the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). She is currently Professor of Astrochemistry/Astrobiology at the Univ. of Amsterdam. Her expertise includes molecular biology and the characterization of cosmic dust in the laboratory with spectroscopic techniques and other analytical methods relevant to interstellar chemistry and Solar System research. During her postdoctoral years in Paris and Leiden she worked for the Cassini-Huygens mission and for the Infrared Space Observatory ISO. She is also a trained observer and has performed for more than a decade supporting astronomical observations (optical, IR, radio) of ices and organic material toward interstellar and circumstellar targets.
Prof. Ehrenfreund’s work is now focused on research areas in Astrobiology. Her activities in space research include an experiment currently prepared for the European space facility EXPOSE on the International Space Station which studies the photostability of organics (such as PAHs, fullerenes and prebiotic molecules) in space environment. Her ground-based Mars simulation program will for the first time provide a comprehensive dataset on the survival of organic and prebiotic molecules on the Martian surface/subsurface and serve for the interpretation of future Mars missions. Prof. Ehrenfreund is also Co-Investigator on 3 instruments (COSAC, VIRTIS, MIDAS) for the ROSETTA comet rendezvous mission, which study the composition and structure of cometary dust and volatiles.
Pascale Ehrenfreund’s research team at Amsterdam and Leiden Universities supports the scientific testing and validation of the Mars Astrobiology Probe (MAP). Her laboratory investigates the photostability of organic molecules in space, the evolutionary cycle of dust and molecules between evolved stars, the interstellar medium, forming stars, comets, meteorites and the origin of life. In collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), her team investigates organic molecules subjected to simulated Martian conditions. She is the European PI (Deputy PI Jeff Bada) of MAP proposed as payload for the Pasteur lander (ESA-EXOMARS 2009 mission).
DANIEL P. GLAVIN, Ph. D.
B.S., Physics, University of California at San Diego (UCSD), 1996
Ph. D., Earth Science, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, 2001
- Awarded NASA Specialized Center for Research and Training graduate fellowship for research in Exobiology
- Developed and tested laboratory sublimation prototype for the original MOD instrument concept
- Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) team member and recipient of 2003 Congressional Antarctic Service Award Medal
Danny Glavin graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a B. S. in Physics in 1996 and then started his graduate studies at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography working in Jeff Bada’s laboratory.
In 1997, he was awarded a 3-year NASA Specialized Center for Research in Training (NSCORT) fellowship for research in Exobiology. As part of his thesis research he carried out amino acid investigations of several meteorite samples, including the Martian meteorite ALH84001, and studied the role that sublimation played in the survival of organic compounds during exogenous delivery to the early Earth and Mars.
After earning his Ph. D. in 2001 in Earth Science at UCSD, he moved to Germany to accept a 2-year postdoctoral position at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz to study the chromium chemistry of meteorites related to early solar system chronology. While in Germany, he participated in the 2002-03 Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) team that collected over 600 meteorites from the La Paz and MacAlpine Hills ice fields.
He is currently working at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to develop techniques to extract organic compounds from Martian analog materials for future in situ life detection instruments. Dr. Glavin aspires to be a mission specialist in the NASA Astronaut Program.
Dr. Glavin has contributed to the development of the sublimation based extraction method that will be used by MAP to isolate a variety of organic compounds including amino acids, amines, and nucleobases from Martian soil analogues. He is continuing to investigate sublimation as well as other liquid extraction methods that could be used by future Mars in situ organic detection instruments. Dr. Glavin will participate in all MAP Science Team meetings and carry out laboratory-based analyses using conventional techniques as required.
Selected publications (last 5 years):
Glavin, D. P., Kubny, A., Jagoutz, E., and Lugmair, G. W. (2004) Mn-Cr isotope systematics of the D’Orbigny angrite. Meteor. Planet. Sci., 39, 693-700.
Glavin, D. P., Matrajt, G., and Bada, J. L. (2004) Re-examination of amino acids in Antarctic micrometeorites. Adv. Space Res. 33, 106-113.
Glavin, D. P., Schubert, M., and Bada, J. L. (2002) Direct isolation of purines and pyrimidines from nucleic acids using sublimation. Anal. Chem. 74, 6408-6412.
Glavin, D. P. and Bada, J. L. (2001) Survival of amino acids in micrometeorites during atmospheric entry. Astrobiology 1, 259-269.
Glavin, D. P., Bada, J. L., Brinton, K. L. F., and McDonald, G. D. (1999) Amino acids in the Martian meteorite Nakhla. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96, 8835-38.
1 year or longer.
Bioengineering, Bioanalytical chemistry, Biophysical chemistry, MEMS. Position initially for one year and extendable for second year. Develop microfabricated lab-on-a-chip chemical and biochemical analysis systems that will be used for the detection of bioorganic molecules in solar system (especially Mars) exploration as part of a NASA project. Experience in bioanalytical chemistry and/or microfabrication desirable.
Send resume and three references to: Prof. Richard Mathies, Chem. Dept., Univ. of Calif.,
Berkeley CA 94720-1460 or email: Mary Hammond.
Graduate student researchers and undergraduate volunteers interested in joining the Berkeley Astrobiology project, please contact Richard Mathies.
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.