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 🙂

What is your ethnicity?
Middle Eastern/Arab

What’s your favorite food?
Donuts!


Stephanie “Steph” Khuri

Masters Student

What is your hometown?
San Francisco, CA

What is your research focus?
Developing novel devices for doing analytical chemistry.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Photography

What is a fun-fact about you?
I film music videos for fun, but got to win an award at a film festival for it when I was in high school.

What is your ethnicity?
Middle Eastern

What is your favorite food?
Eggs Benedict


Ellen Kuang

Also responds to: Elaine, Eileen, Allan, & natural log

Doctoral Student

What is your hometown?
San Francisco, CA

What is your research focus?
Studying the effects of interspecies and interkingdom communication between a eukaryotic host-microbial community system using liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry. The two systems I’m specifically studying are the human-gut microbiome community dynamics on inflammation as well as a dinoflagellate-microbe interactions and implications on harmful algal blooms.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Sleep, bake, cook, garden, take my dog out on long walks, find new places to eat, play Stardew Valley.

What is a fun-fact about you?
I played the violin for 3 years and hated it. So I switched to viola, loved it and played that for 7 years.

What is your ethnicity?
Chinese

Who is your favorite Superhero?
Aquaman


Candice “Candi” Lambert

Doctoral Student

What is your hometown?
Brighton, MI

What is your research focus?
Metabolites and Cell signaling

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Play with my kids and hike

What is a fun-fact about you?
I REALLY like heavy metal music

What is your ethnicity?
Most of Europe, French Canadian, Algonquin

What is your favorite place to vacation/travel?
Anywhere that is the middle of no where, ie: forest, mountains, deserts, ect.


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?
Hang out with friends and play Pokémon GO

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.


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



Undergraduate Student Researchers


Danielle Beerfas

Undergraduate Student

What is your hometown?
San Diego, CA

What is your research focus?
Exploring the potential of deep eutectic solvents in the colorimetric analysis of nicotine as a marker of third hand smoke residue.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Drawing and painting.

What is a fun-fact about you?
I have been a figure skater since I was 3 years old.

What is your dream job?
Pediatrician at a non-profit practice.

What’s your ethnicity?
Half Middle Eastern and half White


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.


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 Alfredo Renteria

Undergraduate Student

What is your hometown?
Chula Vista, California

What is your research focus?
Colorimetric analysis of third-hand smoke residue, with a goal of making an at-home testing device.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Hang out with my friends, play with my dog, and play video games

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 going to the mountains or deserts a lot


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


Want to work with us?

Group News

HPLC 2022 Poster Award

Congratulations to Jessica and Karen for winning one of the HPLC 2022 Best Poster awards for their work on “Novel fluorescent labelling of amino acids for detection of past life via CE-LIF“. We are very excited that they were recognized for this work, particularly given it was a conference on column chromatography, and they are …

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.