current group members

David Cliffel


Dr. Cliffel's research group was established at Vanderbilt in September 2000, after he left a post-doctoral assistantship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



Postdoctoral Associates

Dusty Miller


Dusty Rose Miller, Ph.D., graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Biomolecular Science and Engineering Program in 2015 where she taught biophysical chemistry and investigated biological adaptations to underwater adhesion in Prof. Waite's lab. As an undergraduate at UC Irvine, she taught organic chemistry and researched the innate immune system in Prof Tenner's lab. She has been working in the Cliffel lab as a postdoctoral scholar since September 2016 on two projects: 1) Creating organotypic cultures and electrochemical detection methods for toxicological testing of drugs and environmental toxins and 2) using photosystem I (PSI) and Photosystem II (PSII), the fundamental nanoscale machines that drive photosynthesis, to fabricate biohybrid photovoltaic devices and self-contained nanocircuitry for solar energy conversion.

Dr. Miller's CV


Graduate Students

Aaron Daniel


Originally from Hartford, KY, Aaron received his B.S. in Chemistry from Western Kentucky University in Spring 2012; he joined the Cliffel Lab in Spring 2013. His current research involves the synthesis and characterization of vanadium dioxide nanoparticles. Vanadium dioxide is a unique material that undergoes a reversible phase transition when heated beyond 68°C. This phase change greatly alters the material's optical and electric properties, which can be exploited in a variety of applications such as sensors and detectors.

Anna Davis


Originally from Texas and Georgia, Anna recieved an A.A. in Mathematics from Georgia Perimenter College and a B.S. in Chemistry from University of North Georgia. After joining the group in Spring 2014, she began her work to develop instrumentation for monitoring cellular bioenergetics and evaporation in Organs on a Chip from submicroliter samples and automating the measurements and analysis.

Anna Davis's CV  

Margaret Calhoun


Margaret graduated from the University of North Texas in 2016 with a B.S. in Chemistry with a Certificate in Forensic Science. Her current work involves studying soluble electron shuttles utilized by S. oneidensis for dissimilatory metal reduction, and fabricating submicron electrodes.



Dilek Dervishogullari


Originally from Cyprus, Dilek received her B.A in Chemistry and French from Grinnell College in Iowa in 2016. Her current work in Cliffel lab involves interfacing Photosystem I (PSI) with Poly Viologen derivatives in a silicon-based solid-state photovoltaic device. Poly viologens are a unique class of organic polymers that have been shown to accept electrons from photo absorbers such as PSI.


Ethan McClain


Ethan received his B.S in chemistry from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2016. His current work in the Cliffel lab involves the recreation of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) using the NeuroVascular Unit (NVU) to better understand how the BBB forms and functions, as well as to evaluate drug and toxin penetration across the barrier.


Sara Melow


Originally from Salem, Oregon, Sara received her B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics from Elmira College in 2016. She currently works on the optimization of instrumentation for organs on a chip specifically in dealing with the liver and fetal membrane for later application in toxicological testing.


Chris Stachurski


Chris received his B.S. in Chemistry from Furman University in 2015. His current research involves extracting and implementing Photosystem I (PSI), the primary protein complex in plants responsible for conducting photosynthesis, into novel solar cell devices in a time and cost effective manner. By minimizing techniques, materials, and prerequisite chemistry and laboratory knowledge, his goal is to ultimately create a field deployable kit to be either used in schools as an educational tool or in rural settings off the grid.


rotation students

Sophie Click


undergraduate students


Choongwon Jin

ChoongwonComing Soon....