Joel A. Finbloom PhD

Assistant Professor

Profile Type
Accepting Graduate Students
Active Recruitments

The Finbloom lab is actively recruiting graduate students! If you are interested, please contact Dr. Finbloom with a cover letter and CV at


Dr. Joel Finbloom is an Assistant Professor within the Nanomedicine and Chemical Biology research theme at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The Finbloom lab designs bioinspired materials that interface with microbial communities to advance human health. By working at the intersection of chemical biology, nanotechnology, and bioengineering, the Finbloom lab will tackle critical challenges in the pharmaceutical sciences - treating antibiotic resistant bacterial infections and improving the oral delivery of probiotics.

Dr. Finbloom started his scientific career at the NIH in 2008, where he worked for four summers in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under the mentorship of Dr. Kathryn Zoon. Dr. Finbloom received his BA in chemistry in 2013 from Northwestern University, while conducting research in the laboratory of Professor Samuel Stupp. There, Dr. Finbloom developed stimuli-responsive peptide nanomaterials for cancer drug delivery. Dr. Finbloom earned his PhD in chemistry in 2018 from the University of California Berkeley, working in the lab of Professor Matthew Francis to combine the fields of biomaterials and chemical biology for applications in protein modification and nanomedicine. Dr. Finbloom then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Professor Tejal Desai at the University of California San Francisco, where he developed nanomaterials-based strategies for antimicrobial drug delivery and regenerative medicine. A central theme throughout Dr. Finbloom’s interdisciplinary research is how to better design the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials to direct interactions with biological systems and improve biomedical applications.

Other Websites

Laboratory Website -


JA Finbloom#, P Raghavan, M Kwon, BN Kharbikar, MA Yu#, TA Desai#. “Codelivery of synergistic antimicrobials with polyelectrolyte nanocomplexes to treat bacterial biofilms and lung infections.” Science Advances. 2023. 9, 8039 #co-corresponding authors

JA Finbloom, B Demaree, AR Abate, TA Desai. “Networks of high aspect ratio particles to direct colloidal assembly dynamics and cellular interactions.” Adv. Funct. Mater. 2020, 30, 2005938.

JA Finbloom, F Sousa, MM Stevens, TA Desai. “Engineering the drug carrier biointerface to overcome biological barriers to drug delivery.” Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 2020, 167, 89-108.

S Ahadian, JA Finbloom, et al.”Micro and nanoscale technologies in oral drug delivery”. Adv. Drug. Deliv. Rev. 2020, 157, 37-62.

JA Finbloom*, IL Aanei*, JM Bernard*, SH Klass, SK Elledge, K Han, T Ozawa, TP Nicolaides, MS Berger, MB Francis. “Evaluation of three morphologically distinct virus-like particles as nanocarriers for convection-enhanced drug delivery to glioblastoma.” Nanomaterials. 2018, 8; 1007-1019.  *co-first authors

JA Finbloom, K Han, CC Slack, AL Furst, MB Francis. “Cucurbit[6]uril-promoted click chemistry for protein modification.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139; 9691-9697.

JA Finbloom, CC Slack, CJ Bruns, K Jeong, DE Wemmer, A Pines, MB Francis. “Rotaxane-mediated suppression and activation of cucurbit[6]uril for molecular detection by 129Xe hyperCEST NMR.” Chem. Commun. 2016. 52; 3119-22.

TJ Moyer*, JA Finbloom*, C Feng, DJ Toft, VL Cryns, SI Stupp.  “pH and amphiphilic structure direct supramolecular behavior in biofunctional assemblies.”  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014. 136; 14746-52. *co-first authors


University of California President’s Fellowship for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting on Interdisciplinary Research. 2021

UCSF Health Innovation Via Engineering Postdoctoral Fellowship. 2020-2022

First Place Poster Presentation. Vail Scientific Summit for Regenerative Medicine. 2019

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. US Dept of Defense. 2015-2018

UC Berkeley Amgen Fellowship in Organic Chemistry. 2013


JA Finbloom. “Biointerface Design of Nanoparticles Enables Codelivery of Synergistic Antimicrobials to Treat Bacterial Biofilms and Lung Infections.” Oral presentation at the Canadian Biomaterials Society Meeting. Halifax, NS. Jun 2023

JA Finbloom, MA Yu, TA Desai. “Engineering material biointerfaces to advance the treatment of cystic fibrosis lung infections.” Virtual oral presentation at the BMES National Meeting. Oct 2021.

JA Finbloom. “Storming bacterial biofilm fortresses with nanotechnology.” Oral presentation at the UCSF Postdoc Slam TED Talk Competition. San Francisco, CA. Sep 2019.

JA Finbloom, KO Rivera, T Miclau, CS Bahney, TA Desai. “Injectable nanowire scaffolds for the treatment and repair of infected open fractures.” Poster presentation at the Vail Scientific Summit on Advances in Regenerative Medicine. Vail, CO. Aug 2019. *Awarded First Prize*

JA Finbloom, TA Desai. “Tunable nanowire scaffolds for regenerative engineering.” Invited oral presentation at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Molecular Foundry Annual User Meeting. Berkeley, CA. Aug 2019.

JA Finbloom, CC Slack, K Han, DE Wemmer, A Pines, MB Francis. “Rotaxane probes for applications in molecular detection with Xe hyperCEST NMR.” Oral presentation at the ACS National Meeting. San Francisco, CA. Apr 2017.

Media Coverage

Dr. Finbloom attended the 2021 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting on Interdisciplinary Research. Young scientists and Nobel laureates met to discuss new approaches to interdisciplinary research. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 meeting was held online, and Dr. Finbloom was invited to attend the 2022 Chemistry Meeting in person.…

Dr. Finbloom is one of three postdocs selected for the inaugural cohort of UCSF Health Innovation Via Engineering Fellows.…

Contact Details


Office 5518, Pharmaceutical Sciences Building

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