Dr. Maria Fernanda Mora

Dr. Mora received her Bachelor degree in Chemistry from The National University of Córdoba in Argentina in 2002. In 2005, she enrolled in the Masters Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio and shortly after she transferred to the PhD Program at the same university. Her research has focused on developing new strategies for the analysis of biologically active compounds by capillary electrophoresis and microchip capillary-electrophoresis. She graduated from UTSA on May 2009 and joined JPL as a postdoc in 2010. During her first year as a postdoc, Dr. Mora developed the first integrated microdevice for completely automated analysis of amino acids by microchip capillary-electrophoresis (μCE) coupled to laser induced fluorescence (LIF) detection. This work is essential to develop μCE-LIF instrumentation for planetary exploration. Her current work involves designing microfluidic devices with architectures that allow analysis of a multiple organic compounds classes in different types of samples (liquid, gas, solid) in an automated fashion.

  • Ph.D. in Chemistry Chemistry Department, The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA (2005 – 2009).
  • B.S. in Chemistry School of Chemistry, National Univ. of Cordoba, Argentina. (1997 –2002).

Professional Experience: 
  • Research Scientist, UTSA. From September 2009 to February 2010.
  • Research Assistant, National University of Cordoba. Argentina. From May to September 2009.
  • Visiting Student, Dr. Whitesides’ Group at Harvard University. From August to October 2008 under the supervision of Dr. Emanuel Carrilho.
  • Graduate Research Assistant, UTSA. 2007-2008.
  • Teaching Assistant, UTSA. 2005-2007
  • Teaching Assistant, National University of Cordoba, Argentina 2002-2004.
  • Research Assistant, National University of Cordoba, Argentina 2002-2004.

Selected Awards: 
  • Presidential Dissertation Fellowship, UTSA 2008.
  • Robert A. Welch Fellowship, Summer Research 2005.
  • Graduate Fellowship, Research Council of Argentina (CONICET) 2002-2004.
  • Undergraduate Fellowship, Antorchas Foundation 2001.

Selected Publications: 
  1. Microchip Capillary Electrophoresis Instrumentation for In Situ Analysis in the Search for Extraterrestrial Life. Mora, M. F.; Stockton, A. M.; Willis, P. A., Electrophoresis 2012, In press.
  2. Hydrolysis of 3-Carboxy-6,8-Difluoro-7-Hydroxycoumarin (Pacific BlueTM) Succinimidyl Ester Under Acidic and Basic Conditions. Stockton, A. M.; Mora, M. F.; Cable, M. L.; Willis, P. A., Dyes and Pigments 2012, Accepted.
  3. Design Rules and Operational Optimization for Rapid, Contamination-Free Microfluidic Transfer Using Monolithic Membrane Valves. Stockton, A. M.; Mora, M. F.; Cable, M. L.; Willis, P. A., Sensors and Actuators B 2012, Submitted.
  4. Analysis of Thiols by Microchip Capillary Electrophoresis for In Situ Planetary Investigations. Mora, M. F.; Stockton, A. M.; Willis, P. A., Electrophoresis. 2012, Submitted.
  5. Low temperature microchip non-aqueous capillary electrophoresis (μNACE) of long-chain primary amines: Applications to Titan chemistry. Cable, M. L.; Stockton, A. M.; Mora, M. F.; Willis, P. A., Astrobiology 2012, Submitted.
  6. Towards Total Automation of Microfluidics for Extraterrestial In Situ Analysis. Mora, M. F.; Greer, F. H.; Stockton, A. M.; Bryant, S.; Willis, P. A., Anal. Chem. 2011, 83 (22), 8636-8641. (Featured in C&EN, Volume 89, Number 43, p. 8).
  7. Determination of a Setup Correction Function to Obtain Adsorption Kinetic Data at Stagnation Point Flow Conditions. Mora, M. F.; Reza Nejadnik, M.; Baylon-Cardiel, J. L.; Giacomelli, C. E.; Garcia, C. D., J. Colloid. Interface. Sci. 2010, 346 (1), 208-215.
  8. Optical Properties of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube Films. Soetedjo, H.; Mora, M. F.; Garcia, C. D., Thin Solid Films 2009, 518 (14), 3954-3959.
  9. Interaction of D-Amino Acid Oxidase with Carbon Nanotubes: Implications in the Design of Biosensors. Mora, M. F.; Giacomelli, C.; Garcia, C., Anal. Chem. 2009, 81 (3), 1016–1022.
  10. Lab-on-a-robot: Integrated microchip CE, power supply, electrochemical detector, wireless unit, and mobile platform. Berg, C.; Valdez, D. C.; Bergeron, P.; Mora, M. F.; Garcia, C. D.; Ayon, A., Electrophoresis 2008, 29 (24), 4914-4921.
  11. Spectroscopic Characterization of Thionine Species in Different Media. Nicotra, V. E.; Mora, M. F.; Iglesias, R. A.; Baruzzi, A. M., Dyes and Pigments 2008, 76 (2), 315-318.
  12. Surfactants as a Preferred Option to Improve Separation and Electrochemical Detection in Capillary Electrophoresis. Mora, M. F.; Felhofer, J.; Ayon, A.; Garcia, C. D., Anal. Letters 2008, 41, 312-334.
  13. Development of a Lab-on-a-Chip Biosensor for Glucose Based on a Packed Immobilized Enzyme Reactor. Blanes, L. M., Mora, M. F.; Ayon, A.; do Lago, C. L.; García, C. D., Electroanalysis 2007, 19 2451 – 2456.
  14. Effect of the Surfactant Structure in the Analysis of Phenolic Compounds using Microchips and Electrochemical Detection. Ding, Y.; Mora, M. F.; Merrill, G. N.; Garcia, C. D., Analyst 2007, 132, 997-1004.
  15. Electrophoretic Effects of the Adsorption of Anionic Surfactants to Poly(dimethylsiloxane)-Coated Capillaries. Mora, M. F.; Giacomelli, C. E.; Garcia, C. D., Anal. Chem. 2007, 79 (17), 6675-6681.
  16. Application of Microchip-Capillary Electrophoresis and Pulsed Electrochemical Detection to the Analysis of Biologically Relevant Phenolic Compounds. Mora, M. F.; Ding, Y.; Mejia, E.; Garcia, C. D., J. Capill. Electrophor. Microchip Technol. 2007, 10, 7-18.
  17. Electrophoretic Separation of Environmentally Important Phenolic Compounds Using Montmorillonite-coated Fused-silica Capillaries. Mora, M. F.; García, C. D., Electrophoresis 2007, 28 (8), 1197-1203. Determination of Banned Sudan Dyes in Chili Powder by Capillary Electrophoresis. Mejia, E.; Ding, Y.; Mora, M. F.; Garcia, C. D., Food Chem. 2007, 102 (4), 1027-1033.
  18. Analysis of Alkyl Gallates and Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid using Plastic Capillary Electrophoresis -Microchips. Ding, Y.; Mora, M. F.; Garcia, C. D., Anal. Chim. Acta 2006, 561 (1-2), 126-132.
  19. Spectroelectrochemical Analysis of the Thionine Transfer Coupled to a Photoinduced Chemical Reaction Across the Water1,2-dichloroethane Interface. Iglesias, R. A.; Mora, M. F.; Baruzzi, A. M., J. Electroanal. Chem. 2005, 585 (1), 113-119.
  20. Electron-Transfer Processes at Electrodes Covered by Lipid Layers. Correlation with the Lipid Behavior at the Air-Water Interface. Mora, M. F.; Wilke, N.; Baruzzi, A. M., Langmuir 2003, 19 (17), 6876-6880.
Dr. Maria Fernanda Mora
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: 818-731-8800