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Dr Fabrice Gielen



Telephone: 01392 727457

Extension: (Streatham) 7457

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Research specialisms:

  • microfluidics
  • high-throughput screening
  • drug discovery
  • directed evolution
  • 3D cell cultures


2008-2011 Ph.D. in Chemistry, Imperial College London, UK.
2007-2008 MRes in protein membrane chemical biology, Imperial College London, UK    
2004-2006 MEng. in Micro and Nanotechnology for Integrated Systems, Phelma, Grenoble, FR


Fabrice holds an MEng degree in micro and nanotechnology for integrated systems and an MRes degree in protein and membrane chemical biology. His PhD at Imperial College London in the laboratory of Prof. Joshua Edel focussed on the study of cellular membrane dynamics by developing microfluidic cell trapping platforms using dielectrophoresis and high-resolution fluorescence spectroscopy.

He joined Prof. Florian Hollfelder’s lab as a post-doc in 2011 with a view to applying microfluidic tools to important biological questions such as the interrogation of protein-protein interactions, the evolution and discovery of enzymes (e.g. from the metagenome), or the discovery of novel small molecule drugs.

He is co-founder of Drop-Tech Ltd, a start-up that develops and help commercialize droplet-on-demand products (e.g. the Mitos Dropix, sold by Dolomite Microfluidics).

Research interests:

The trend towards ever faster, cheaper and more efficient ways of discovering drugs or catalysts has been concomitant with miniaturization of assay volumes. One direction of research is the encapsulation of reagents with volumes down to picoliters using water-in-oil microemulsions.

My research focuses on the development of high-throughput screening platforms for molecular and cellular assays with special emphasis on drug screening and directed evolution. We use droplet microfluidics to rapidly encapsulate thousands to millions of (single) cells before rapidly identifying improved phenotypes with bespoke high-throughput optical tools.


● Royal Society research grant (‘Identification and isolation of single cells in microfluidic droplets’)

● BBSRC TRDF (Co-I, ’Ultra-Sensitive and Ultra-Fast Absorption Spectrometer for Micro-Droplet-based Enzyme Evolution Experiments’)

● BBSRC TRDF (Co-I, ’Functional Phenotype Flow Cytometer’)

● Center for biomedical modelling and analysis seed corn (PI, ‘Massively parallel gene expression analysis of neurodegenerating neurons using microfluidic droplets’)