Joel Finbloom started his scientific career in 2008 at the National Institutes of Health, where he was a summer fellow in the Cytokine Biology Section of NIAID under the mentorship of Dr. Kathryn Zoon, researching new types of cellular therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy. Joel then received his BA in chemistry from Northwestern University, while conducting research in the laboratory of Professor Samuel Stupp, developing dynamic bioinspired materials for drug delivery applications. He earned his PhD in chemistry at the University of California Berkeley, where he was an US National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow 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 is completing a Health Innovation Via Engineering (HIVE) postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California San Francisco, working in the lab of Professor Tejal Desai. During Joel's postdoc, he developed nanomaterials-based strategies to advance antimicrobial drug delivery and the treatment of cystic fibrosis lung infections, as well as created new injectable scaffolds for applications in regenerative medicine.
In January 2023, Joel joined the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia as an Assistant Professor of Nanomedicine and Chemical Biology. A central theme of Joel's research is how to better design the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials to direct interactions with biological systems and improve biomedical applications.
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.