The Lab

Welcome to the Harrison Lab! Our research group is focused on the advancement of analytical chemistry with a specific focus on the use of capillary electrophoretic (CE) separations. As a group we have two broad research goals (1) furthering our understanding and control of capillary electrophoretic separations and (2) applying these advances to solving challenging (bio)analytical problems via capillary electrophoresis.

The research team is composed a broad range of passionate graduate and undergraduate students who get extensive hands-on experiences with all aspects of analytical chemistry, from sample preparations, to method development, and troubleshooting.  If you are interested in getting involved in the lab please review the current research projects and feel free to contact Dr. Harrison.

Research

Blood Doping Identification

One of the central projects for the lab, which has garnered research support from the World Anti-Doping Agency and the US Anti-Doping Agency, has been the development of CE methods to identify autologous blood transfusions.  The lab is developing means of identifying the physical and biochemical changes that occur in red blood cells while in storage.  By accentuating these differences we are able to differentiate the stored and fresh cells once mixed via a prohibited, autologous blood transfusion.  This will become a key component in the continuing fight against doping in sports.

Capillary Coatings

In our ongoing development of CE methods for the separation of biologically relevant compounds the group has been investigating how self-assembled surface coatings can be incorporated and modified in CE separations.  The aim of the lab is to develop better options for bioseparations, and to devise new means of altering, and controlling electrophoretic separations.

Nanofluidic Segmentation

The ability to sequester microliter into nanoliter volumes of sample in aqueous droplets surrounded by perflorinated carbon liquids has proved to be highly useful for chemical and biochemical analyses.  Our work is focused on both the controlled formation and manipulation of these aqueous droplets and the ability to seamlessly integrate this system into a separation system.  We are focusing on the development of a system that will allow the delivery of aqueous droplets to a capillary electrophoresis system, allowing for the rapid and extensive analysis of the droplet contents.

Complexation Measurements

Several projects are currently underway in the lab making use of CE’s unique capability to separate molecular complexes, and in the process, probe aspects about the complex formations and equilibria.  We are applying these capabilities in collaboration with groups in biochemistry, biology, and industry to better understand the complex systems they are studying.

The Team

We’re very happy that our lab, made up of graduate and undergraduate students, from a range of backgrounds have come together to support each other in our scientific, academic and personal goals.

Christopher R. Harrison

Associate Professor

What is your hometown?
Franklin Centre, Quebec, Canada

What is your research focus?
My primary focus is on developing new approaches for capillary electrophoretic analyses, and furthering our collective understanding of the factors that influence CE separations.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Long bike rides into the mountains, I don’t enjoy the climbs all that much, but long fast descents make up for that.

What is a fun-fact about you?
Where I grew up it was more convenient to cross the Canada/USA border to go to a movie in NY state than it was drive to an English language movie theater in our corner of Quebec.

What is your dream job?
Astronaut


Graduate Student Researchers


Fajer AlEnezi

Masters Student

What is your hometown?
Kuwait City, Kuwait

What is your research focus?
Employing CE-SELEX for the selection of a ssDNA aptamer that can selectively bind to nicotine.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Cooking, and hiking.

What is a fun-fact about you?
I lived five years in Colorado and I have never been to the mountains πŸ™‚

What is your ethnicity?
Middle Eastern/Arab

What’s your favorite food?
Donuts!


Jessica Torres

Jessica Torres

Doctoral Student
NASA OSE Fellowship 2020 Recipient

What is your hometown?
Chula Vista, California

What is your research focus?
My research heavily involves utilizing CZE and CE-LIF to develop methods to improve analysis of biologically important analytes. Currently, I am collaborating with researchers from Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop an extraction and quantification method that would be applicable to porous rocks for the detection of past life on other planetary bodies such as Mars and Europa.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Playing Animal Crossing, hanging with my dogs, and roller-skating!

What is a fun-fact about you?
I know a lot about comics because I spent 4+ years working in my local comic book store!

What is your ethnicity?
Latina

What/who is your favorite book/author?
Love and Rockets by Los Bros Hernandez and SAGA by Brian K. Vaughn


Muhand on campus

Muhand Rashid

Masters Student

What is your hometown?
Baghdad, Iraq

What is your research focus?
Reversing the electroosmotic flow as a method of sample stacking.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Gaming and hang out with friends.

What is a fun-fact about you?
The most expensive thing I’ve ever held in my hands was a synthetic peptide batch worth ~$250K.

What is your ethnicity?
Middle Eastern

What is your favorite musician/band/album/genre?
Lofi and Chill Trap.


Undergraduate Student Researchers


Karen Sofia Campos

Undergraduate Student
MARC Scholar

What is your research focus?
Exploring novel solvent mixtures for capillary electrophoresis separation buffers.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Walk my dogs, hang out with my cats, watch anime with my sister, and trying food from all over the world!

What is a fun-fact about you?
I can speak Spanish as well as some French and some Korean!

What is your favorite food?
Chiles en Nogada

What’s your ethnicity?
Mexican


Kelsey on a Segway

Kelsey Choy

Undergraduate Student

What is your hometown?
San Francisco, California

What is your research focus?
Exploring applications of deep eutectic solvents for electrophoretic separations.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
I enjoy sewing clothes from scratch and upcycling thrifted clothes.

What is a fun-fact about you?
I have a pet corn snake named Phineassss and he’s the first pet that I’ve ever owned.

What is your favorite food?
I love eating Korean Barbecue because it’s yummy and fun to eat with others!

What is your dream job?
I would love to be a general dentist and own a practice.


Adrian on a bench

Adrian Colazo

Undergraduate Student
IMSD Scholar

What is your hometown?
Tijuana, Mexico

What is your research focus?
Capillary Isoelectric Focusing.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Sleep, and go on walks when the weather is nice.

What is a fun-fact about you?
Not sure if fun, but I can crack my shoulder the way people crack their knuckles/fingers.

What/who is your favorite book/author?
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

What’s your ethnicity?
Hispanic


Savannah and Taxi

Savannah Orth

Undergraduate Student
IMSD Scholar

What is your hometown?
San Diego, California

What is your research focus?
Evaluating the efficacy of solid phase resins for the extraction of lithium from geothermal brine beneath the Salton Sea.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
In my free time I love doing watercolor calligraphy and listening to audiobooks, and playing with my dog.

What is a fun-fact about you?
I used to be a competitive swimmer!

What/who is your favorite book/author?
It’s a close race between The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde


Sergio and his better half

Sergio Alfredo Renteria

Undergraduate Student

What is your hometown?
Chula Vista, California

What is your research focus?
Working on the THS project and exploring the use of alginate microbeads.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
My favorite things to do in my free time is play with my dog.

What is a fun-fact about you?
I can play guitar.

What is your ethnicity?
Hispanic

What is your favorite place to vacation/travel?
I like traveling to the mountains, places like Julian and Big Bear.


Phoebe Spilotro

Undergraduate Student

What is your hometown?
Upland, California

What is your research focus?
Lithium-brine extraction project.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
When I have time (which can be rare), I love the outdoors and the mountains but on a normal day, you can find me spending time with friends, family, and my cat Pickles!

What is a fun-fact about you?
I love anything true crime!

What is your favorite musician/band/album/genre?
Country music

What/who is your favorite book/author?
Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky


Guest Researchers


Savannah Addy

B.S. Chemistry,
Single Subject Teaching Credential Chemistry,
M.S. Chemistry
I am a fellow for the SDSU Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship Program who teaches chemistry at West Hills High School in Santee, CA. Our program is focusing on improving mathematics and science education for students through teacher leadership.

What is your hometown?
Santee, California

What is your research focus?
Paper-based microfluidics applied to high school chemistry lesson plans.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Watch movies, spend time in the yard with my pet chickens and goats.

What is a fun-fact about you?
I was married on the ultimate pi day, 3.14.15

What is your dream job?
High School Chemistry Teacher who inspires students to pursue careers in science.

What is your favorite place to vacation/travel?
Theme parks like Disneyland or Universal Studios

Want to work with us?

Group News

SRS 2020

Friday was SDSU’s annual Student Research Symposium (SRS) where grads and undergrads from across the campus present their latest research/works. It’s always a great opportunity to see the broad range of excellent research on display. The Harrison lab was very well represented with posters from Cat, Arrion, Madee & Adrian, Jessica, Davis, and Muhand & …

A new toy for the lab!

Thanks to our friends at NASA/JPL we now have a new, powerful, instrument for the lab. Peter Willis’ group kindly donated an older CE-LIF instrument that they were no longer using to us. The instrument will greatly enhance our lab’s capability to do sensitive detection, opening up more avenues of research.

Publications

Chatterjee, S., Chapman, S. C., Major, G. I., Eggett, D. L., Lunt, B. M., Harrison, C., & Linford, M. (2019). Informatics Analysis of Capillary Electropherograms of Autologously Doped and Undoped Blood. ANALYTICAL METHODS. https://doi.org/10.1039/C9AY00192A

Kovarik, M. L., Harrison, C. R., & Wenzel, T. J. (2018). Successfully navigating the early years of a faculty position. ANALYTICAL AND BIOANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 410(7), 1855–1861. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-017-0817-5

Wells, S. S., De La Toba, E., Harrison, C. R. (2016). Metal cation control of electroosmotic flow magnitude in phospholipid coated capillaries. ELECTROPHORESIS, 37(10), 1303-1309.

Harrison, C. R., Fang, J. C.-Y., Walthall, K. J., Green, C. C., Porobic, V. (2014). Towards the identification of autologous blood transfusions through capillary electrophoresis. ANALYTICAL AND BIOANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 406(3), 679-686.

Morris, A. L., Harrison, C. R. (2013). Adsorption of buffer ion pairs can alter long-term electroosmotic flow stability. ELECTROPHORESIS, 34(17), 2585-2592.

Harrison, C. R. (2013). Role of Capillary Electrophoresis in the Fight Against Doping in Sports. ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 85(15), 6982-6987.

 Harrison, C. R., Vydha, S. (2012). Capillary electrophoretic analysis of whole blood samples for hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers without the use of immunoprecipitation. ELECTROPHORESIS, 33(7), 1087-1094.

Harrison, C. R., Sader, J. A., Lucy, C. a. (2006). Sulfonium and phosphonium, new ion-pairing agents with unique selectivity towards polarizable anions. JOURNAL OF CHROMATOGRAPHY A, 1113(1-2), 123-129.

Harrison, C. R., Lucy, C. A. (2002). Determination of zwitterionic and cationic surfactants by high-performance liquid chromatography with chemiluminescenscent nitrogen detection. JOURNAL OF CHROMATOGRAPHY A, 956(1-2), 237-244.

Lucy, C. A., Harrison, C. (2001). Chemiluminescence nitrogen detection in ion chromatography for the determination of nitrogen-containing anions. JOURNAL OF CHROMATOGRAPHY A, 920(1-2), 135-141.