Rebecca Abergel is an assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley. Her research group, the BioActinide Chemistry Group, is a part of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Chemical Sciences Division.
The multidisciplinary research undergone in the group is at the interface of coordination chemistry, analytical chemistry, photophysics, biological chemistry, health physics, pharmacology, and molecular and cellular biology. We study the effects of heavy element exposure and contamination on different biological systems in addition to the coordination chemistry and metabolic properties of lanthanide and actinide complexes formed with synthetic and biological ligands. Our goals are to gain a better understanding of the biological coordination chemistry and toxicity mechanisms of the f-elements and to develop specific strategies for decontamination, remediation, and separation. Other applications include the development of new antimicrobial strategies that target metalacquisition systems and the design of advanced alpha-immuno therapeutic and diagnostic agents.