Plenary Speakers

Professor Robert T. Kennedy is the Hobart H. Willard Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan. He earned a PhD at University of North Carolina in 1988 where his work focused on using open tubular LC to analyze single cells. After a post-doc in neuroscience he started his own research program at University of Florida in 1991 before moving to University of Michigan as the Hobart H. Willard Professor of Chemistry in 2002. His research has combined his interest in biology with chemical analysis, separations, and microfluidics. A theme of his group has been development of new chemical analysis tools that can be used at the nanoscale for several applications including screening of drugs, engineering enzymes, monitoring neurotransmitters in the brain, and studying the secretion of insulin and other hormones. His work has been recognized by several awards including the American Chemical Society Award in Chromatography, the Ralph Adams Award in Bioanalytical Chemistry, and two NIH MERIT awards. He has held several service posts including Department Chair and is presently Associate Editor of Analytical Chemistry.

Cherie Stabler

Professor Cherie Stabler is the Integra LifeSciences Term Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering at the University of Florida. She is also an Affiliate Member of the UF Diabetes Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology & Emory University and conducted her postdoctoral work in the Department of Surgery at Emory University, where she was supported by an individual JDRF Postdoctoral fellowship. Prior to moving to UF in 2015, she was an Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami, where she also served as the Director of the Tissue Engineering laboratory at the Diabetes Research Institute (2006-2014). Dr. Stabler has established an internationally recognized research and educational program focused on the generation of translational biomaterial platforms for cellular implants, with a particular emphasis on cell-based therapies Type 1 diabetes. Her novel bioactive materials are targeted at enhancing islet graft survival and utilizing local and translational approaches to dampen host immunological responses. Her work spans from designing new biomaterials to seeking FDA clearance for combinatory products. Her research has been published across a spectrum of journals and generated numerous patents, with research funding from NIH and nonprofit agencies. She is an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, as well as the Biomedical Engineering Society, a recipient of the 2008 NIH NIDDK Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder DP2 Award, a UF Term Professor (2019-2022), and the UF College of Engineering Teacher/Scholar of the Year (2019). In 2022, she was awarded the University of Florida Foundation Term Professorship award, which reflects her university-wide research impact. She has served as a member of the BTSS NIH study section, the ADA Grant Review Committee, the JDRF Encapsulation Consortia, and the NIH Human Islet Research Network (HIRN).

Facundo M. Fernández

Professor Facundo M. Fernández received his MSc in Chemistry from the College of Exact and Natural Sciences, Buenos Aires University in 1995 and his PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the same university in 1999.  In August 2000, he joined the research group of Prof. Richard N. Zare in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University.  His work focused on several aspects of Hadamard transform time-of-flight mass spectrometry with an emphasis on capillary-format separation methods.  In 2002, he joined the group of Prof. Vicki Wysocki in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Arizona to develop surface-induced dissociation for gas-phase peptide ion studies. In 2004 he joined the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he currently holds the position of Associate Chair for Research and Graduate Training, Regents’ Professor and Vasser-Woolley Chair in Bioanalytical Chemistry. He is the author of 200+ peer-reviewed publications and numerous invited presentations at national and international conferences in the field of mass spectrometry, metabolomics, and analytical chemistry. He is also the academic director for the mass spectrometry cores at Georgia Tech where he oversees a portfolio of numerous mass spectrometers from most major vendors, together with the instruments in his research group.  He has received several awards, including the NSF CAREER award, the CETL/BP Teaching award, the Ron A. Hites best paper award from the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, and the Beynon award from Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, among others. He serves on the editorial board of The Analyst and as an Associate editor for the Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry and Frontiers in Chemistry. His current research interests include the field of metabolomics and the development of new ionization, imaging, machine learning and ion mobility spectrometry tools for probing composition and structure in complex molecular mixtures.