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Brian Paegel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry
Florida Campus
Laboratory Website
Scripps VIVO Scientific Profile
(561) 228-2754

Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Therapeutics
Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

All of contemporary biology and most chemistry is compartmentalized. For example, beakers, flasks or microplate wells spatially segregate individual chemical reactions. Likewise, membranes compartmentalize individual cells and subcellular organelles, tissues and organs organize the metabolism of multi-cellular organisms, and even organisms themselves are merely the vehicles for selfishly replicating genes in a population. Reaction vessels, seemingly innocuous entities, actually play starring roles in activities ranging from drug discovery laboratory automation and technology development to natural selection and the origins of life on Earth. We are broadly interested in the rational construction of microscopic reaction vessels and the interesting chemical and biological operations that we can conduct within their confines.


B.S., Chemistry, Duke University, 1998
Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 2003

Professional Experience

2015-2017 Associate Professor, Molecular Therapeutics, The Scripps Research Institute
2009-2015 Assistant Professor, Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute
2009-2015 Assistant Professor (Joint Appointment), Molecular Therapeutics, The Scripps Research Institute
2004-2008 Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Gerald Joyce, Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute

Awards & Professional Activities

NSF CAREER Award (2013)
NIH Director's New Innovator Award (2011)
NIH Pathway to Independence Award (2007)
NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow (2004)

Selected References

All Publications

Price AK, MacConnell AB, Paegel BM (2014) Microfluidic Bead Suspension Hopper. Anal. Chem. 86: 5039-5044.

Matosevic S & Paegel BM (2013) Layer-by-layer cell membrane assembly. Nat. Chem. 5:958-963.

Matosevic S & Paegel BM (2011) Step-wise synthesis of giant unilamellar vesicles on a microfluidic assembly Line. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133:2798-2800.

Paegel BM (2010) Microfluidic landscapes for evolution. Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. 14:568

Paegel BM & Joyce GF (2010) Microfluidic compartmentalized directed evolution. Chem. Biol. 17:717

Paegel BM & Joyce GF (2008) Darwinian evolution on a chip. PLoS Biol 6:900-906.

Paegel BM, Grover WH, Skelley AM, Mathies RA, Joyce GF (2006) Microfluidic serial dilution circuit. Anal Chem 78: 7522-7527.


Making Cells on an Assembly Line

Top Scientists Explore the Origin of Life in Lasker Lecture

Scientists Automate Molecular Evolution