Gerard Marriott

The Marriott Lab is recognized for its innovative research programs at the interface of bioengineering, chemistry and biophysics. Its technology-driven research programs are advanced through long-standing interests in the design and synthesis of optical probes and biosensors and their application to sensing technologies and microscope imaging techniques.

Notable firsts for the lab include: the introduction of time-resolved delayed luminescence imaging microscopy; rational design of synthetic and genetically-encoded optical switch probes for high-contrast in vivo imaging using OLID- and OLID-FRET; caged proteins and optical control of protein activity with high spatiotemporal resolution; genetically encoded probes for quantitative fluorescence anisotropy, FRET and lifetime-based imaging of protein interactions in living cells and model organisms; optical switch probes to reversibly control protein interactions using light; engineering human platelets and exosomes as living vehicles for long-term, in vivo imaging of early-stage tumours, and targeted release of drugs to manage tumours; a new concept in the design of drug-releasing contact lenses that slowly release timolol and Xiidra during passive exposures to natural daylight; and the design of ELISAs for point-of-care diagnostic devices.

Highlights of recent research publications include:

  • Mechanoluminescent sensors, fluorescent probes and actuators (2015, 2020, 2021)
  • Piezoelectric crystals for in vivo imaging of stress distributions in load-bearing devices (2020)
  • Engineering human platelets and exosomes for in vivo imaging and drug delivery (2016, 2021)
  • Daylight-triggered drug release from contact lenses (2019, 2021)
  • New ELISA-based platforms for POC diagnostics (2020)
  • Design of NIR-I and NIR-II probes for in vivo imaging (2017, 2020)

Gerard Marriott received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1987, where his research advisor was Gregorio Weber. His academic appointments have included the following roles:

  • 1987–90: Postdoctoral Fellow (with Dr. Thomas Jovin)
    Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen, Germany
  • 1990–91: Postdoctoral Associate (with Kazuhiko Kinosita)
    Department of Physics, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan
  • 1992–99: C3 Professor
    Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany
  • 1999–2005: Associate Professor
    Department of Physiology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • 2005–09: Professor
    Department of Physiology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • 2009–present: Professor
    Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley

Research Thrusts

Research Areas



  • UC Berkeley | Bioengineering