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About Joel

Joel Finbloom joined the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia in January 2023 as an Assistant Professor of Nanomedicine and Chemical Biology. A central theme of the Finbloom lab's research is how to better design the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials to direct interactions with microbial communities and improve biomedical applications.

Joel started his scientific career in 2008, spending four summers at the NIH under the mentorship of Dr. Kathryn Zoon, researching cellular therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy. He earned his BA in chemistry from Northwestern University, conducting research in Professor Samuel Stupp's lab on dynamic peptide nanomaterials. He received his PhD in chemistry at the University of California Berkeley, working in the lab of Professor Matthew Francis. Joel's PhD research was at the intersection of nanomedicine and chemical biology, developing activatable probes for disease detection, supramolecular reactions for bioconjugation, and self-assembling virus-like particles for drug delivery. Joel then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California San Francisco, working in the bioengineering lab of Professor Tejal Desai. There, Joel developed nanomaterials to advance antimicrobial drug delivery and regenerative medicine.


Outside of research, Joel is passionate about mentorship, scientific communication, and improving diversity in STEM. His non-scientific pursuits include exploring new places around the world, making and eating ice cream, and spending time in nature.

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