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Robin McCarley

Executive Director
Robin McCarley
Fralin Life Sciences Institute
Steger Hall
1015 Life Science Circle
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States


Rob McCarley has received more than $20 million in external research and educational funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the Dreyfus Foundation. He holds 14 patents and applications, has published over 100 scientific peer-reviewed articles with over 7,500 citations, and delivered more than 90 invited seminars or talks.  

He most recently served as the Barbara Womack Alumni Association Endowed Professor of Chemistry at Louisiana State University, where he led the McCarley Research Group focusing on the chemistry of stimuli-responsive molecular systems, both in solution and on surfaces, and within living mammalian cells. 


  • Live cell imaging agents for detection and visualization of cancerous tissue and cells, and quantification of enzyme activity in single cells and tumor mimics
  • Stimuli-responsive materials (liposomes, dendrimers, monolayers, and polymers) for cancer therapeutics and microfluidic device applications 
  • Chemically modified surfaces for use in microfluidic devices and electrochemical and mass sensors 
  • Template-directed synthesis of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles & their characteristics, their impact on biological systems including toxicological effects, and their catalytic activity in environmental systems and their impact on the environment


Publications & Presentations |  H-index of 43 (Clarivate) /50 (Google Scholar)

  • 100+ peer-reviewed works; 120 oral presentations
  • 14 publications cited >100 times each; 90+ invited and 20+ contributed seminars and talks

Workforce Development | 80+ students trained in measurement science, synthesis, & chemical biology

  • Mentored 13 Postdoctoral, 41 PhD, 5 MS, & 30 BS students – 41 from underrepresented groups
  • Mentoring 2 PhD students 

Intellectual Property | 15 patents & patent applications (US, European, and World Order)

  • Chemical and biological surface modification of polymeric microfluidic devices


Postdoctoral Fellowship: National Science Foundation
University of Texas | Analytical Chemistry 

Doctor of Philosophy
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Analytical Chemistry

Bachelor of Arts
Lake Forest College | Chemistry