Adam Abate, PhD

Phone: +1 415 476-9819
Fax: +1 415 514-1028
1700 4th Street, Rm 303C
UCSF Box 2532
San Francisco, CA 94158
United States

Educational programs

UCSF centers, institutes, and research programs

External affiliations

Technology Founder, Consultant, GnuBIO, Inc.
Founder, Chairman of the Board, Mission Bio

What I do

I use dro­­plet-based microfluidics for directed evolution and massively parallel single cell analysis.

Departmental research area

My research expertise

soft matter physics, droplet-based microfluidics, single cell analysis, genomics, next-gen sequencing prep techniques, PCR-activated cell sorting, directed evolution, enzyme engineering, digital biology


PhD, Physics of Soft Materials, University of Pennsylvania, 2006
MS, Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, 2004
BA, Physics, Harvard College, Harvard University, 2002


Dr. Adam Abate is a physicist who brings a unique research program to the campus. His research employs microfluidics for high-throughput biological applications. He has developed microfluidic methods to create emulsions that consist of droplets of very precise and consistent sizes and to manipulate the processing and contents of individual droplets in different ways. The droplets are used to create micro-compartments, which can be loaded with single cells and other active materials, such as drugs, nutrients, and assay reagents. By chaining together different microdevice components, the droplets can be used as tiny "test tubes" for performing chemical and biological reactions. This allows multiple, independent reactions to take place at the rate of thousands per second, while using minuscule amounts of total reagent. Adam is using this approach for directed evolution, genetic sequencing, and cell sorting.