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Dr. Gabriel Montaño: "I wasn’t born with a chip, I earned it!"


Join us Friday, November 13 at 3:00 p.m. for this unforgettable talk with Dr. Gabriel Montaño, "I wasn’t born with a chip, I earned it!"

Dr. Montaño will share his journey to find himself and how his life experiences developed a perceived “chip on his shoulder." Living as a minority with a STEM major has taught Dr. Montaño the key to finding the strength and potential in life.

To sign up for this event please email Liahla Roberts at

Speaker Bio

Dr. Gabriel Montaño is a native New Mexican born and raised in Gallup, NM and has spent his academic and professional careers in the southwest. Gabriel attended New Mexico State University where he received his Bachelors of Science in Biology

in 1997 and was introduced to research working in the lab of Dr. Peter Houde. He then attended Arizona State University where he completed his PhD in the lab of Dr. Robert Blankenship in 2002. Upon completion of his PhD., Gabriel accepted a postdoctoral appointment in biomaterials design with Dr. Andy Shreve at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was an Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Fellow. In 2005, Gabriel accepted a position as a Technical Staff Member with the newly developed Department of Energy-Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT) where he remained until the fall of 2017.

In the fall of 2017, Gabriel and his wife Inès began faculty positions in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Physics & Astronomy, respectively at Northern Arizona University (NAU) moving to Flagstaff, AZ with their 2-year old son Eusevio. Gabriel led the creation of the Center for Materials Interfaces in Research and Applications (¡MIRA!) and continues to serve as ¡MIRA! Chief Scientist. In addition, he led the establishment of the Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science at NAU and serves as Department Chair. In the spring of 2019, Dr. Montaño was also selected to serve as the NAU Diversity Fellow and oversees diversity initiatives at NAU.

Dr. Montaño’s lab investigates membrane biophysics and non-equilibrium bio- inspired materials. In particular, they are interested in bio- and bio-synthetic interfaces and supramolecular structure/function relationships. Many biological processes rely on complex interfacial interactions to drive function ranging from infectious diseases to organ function and complex processes such as photosynthesis. Understanding and mimicking such interactions are the focus of the Montaño team. Gabriel is as devoted to outreach initiatives as he is to his research, in particular to enhancing diversity in the Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. Among his outreach efforts, Gabriel has served as a Board Member and as President of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), as a member of numerous committees and Task Forces including the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) STEM task force the Minority Affairs Committee of the Biophysical Society and currently leads the Hubs of Innovation Task Force for the National Institutes of Health. He has dedicated his career to demonstrating to aspiring scientists the possibility of being an effective, high-impact research scientist while making a difference through outreach initiatives that can help current and future generations of scientists.