I was born in Barcelona, Spain. I studied Physics at the University of Barcelona (B.S. in 1990) and I also did my Ph.D. there (1994, advisor: Prof. Javier Tejada) on the nanometer-scale modification of surfaces with atomic force microscopes (AFMs), scanning tunneling microscopes (STM), and scanning electron microscopes (SEMs). During my Ph.D. I was a visiting scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories (1990-1992) under Dr. Miquel Salmeron's supervision. In 1994 I started a postdoctoral stay at MIT at the Dept. of Chemistry working on a collaborative project co-supervised by Prof. Mark Wrighton and Prof. Martin Schmidt (EECS Dept.), which consisted of microfabricating AFM tips for sensing applications. In 1997 I started another postdoctoral adventure, this time at Harvard-MGH (Center for Engineering in Medicine, Dr. Mehmet Toner's lab) where I applied microfabrication techniques to hepatic tissue engineering. In 2000 I moved to Seattle to start my own lab ... and I also got married with a neuroscientist I had met at Berkeley!
My lab focuses on developing microdevices that facilitate the advancement of basic neuroscience and translational cancer applications. In particular, we design microfluidic devices and micropatterned substrates that guide the attachment and secretions of cells in configurations that closely mimic tissue function and physiology. In 2001 I received an NSF Career Award. As an outreach activity, my lab is also interested in producing photographic art forms of our work, a project we call BAIT (for Bringing Art Into Technology) which we exhibit in various venues. I enjoy writing and playing soccer.
© 2013 by ALBERT FOLCH