Mathies is a physical chemist who received a BS from the University of Washington, Ph. D. from Cornell University, and postdoctoral training at Yale before moving to UC Berkeley in 1976 where he is now emeritus Professor of Chemistry https://sites.google.com/site/themathieslab/. He has published extensively (>470 papers and >50 patents) on photochemistry, biotechnology and microfluidics. He pioneered the development of microfabricated capillary electrophoresis devices and microfabricated integrated sample preparation and detection methods for lab-on-a-chip analysis systems applied to DNA sequencing, diagnostics, forensics, pathogen detection and space exploration. The combination of high sensitivity laser-induced fluorescence detection and microfabricated capillary electrophoresis led to the development of the Mars Organic Analyzer prototype. This instrument provides part-per-billion sensitivity for the detection of organic amines, amino acids, aldehydes, ketones, organic acids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in solar system exploration. Coupled with integrated microfluidic sample processing, this instrument is the basis for current NASA projects to develop the Enceladus Organic Analyzer (EOA) to chemically explore the ice plumes emanating from Enceladus, an icy moons of Saturn. Mathies is also working with a team of scientists and engineers to develop the Microfabricated Organic Analyzer for Biosignatures instrument (MOAB) for a potential Europa Lander mission. The overall goal of these efforts is to discover chemical evidence for extraterrestrial life in our solar system.
See http://eoa.ssl.berkeley.eduand http://astrobiology.berkeley.edu