Laura Rodríguez Arco is a postdoctoral fellow (Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación) at the Department of Applied Physics, working in the group “Physics of Interfaces and Colloid Systems”. She graduated in Physics at the University of Granada in 2014. Her PhD was funded by a PhD fellowship from the Andalusia government and the Spanish PhD Fellowship for Training of University Lecturers (FPU for its initials in Spanish). During her PhD she visited the group of Dr. Georges Bossis at CNRS and the University of Nice (France) for six months. After her PhD she stayed at UGR for some months before moving to the University of Bristol (UoB) in 2015 to join the group of Prof. Stephen Mann FRS as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) Fellow. In 2017 she started working at University College London (UCL) in the group of Prof. Giuseppe Battaglia. In 2020 she returned to UGR as a Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación fellow.
During her PhD she specialized in the design and mechanical characterization of magnetic field-responsive materials. She also collaborated with Fagor Electrodomesticos®. After that, she prepared magnetic biomaterials generated by tissue engineering. Her MSCA project at the UoB dealt with the design and construction of magnetic micromachines based on artificial cell design. At UCL she engineered polymer compartments (polymersomes) used as nanoreactors or in drug delivery. Her long term aim is to set up a research line devoted to the design of materials inspired in artificial cells and remotely controlled by external forces. In 2020, she has been awarded a grant as principal investigator by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation with that aim. She has participated in 10 research and 2 pre-competitive development (EU TEMPUS) grants, overall funding of ~4 million €. She has published 22 articles, 2 invited reviews/reports, and 2 book chapters, including publications in high impact factor journals such as Nat Mater, Nat Comm, Angew Chem Int Ed, Biomaterials or Nanoscale. She enjoys attending conferences, and was the scientific secretary of the ERMR2014, held in the city of Granada in 2014. She has reviewed manuscripts in JCR journals and been an evaluator of Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships. She has also co-supervised the work of early career researchers such as undergraduates or master’s students at UGR, UoB and UCL.
In addition to research, she also enjoys teaching (she has taught 17.5 ECTS credits) and public engagement activities. She has participated in teaching innovation projects and a Tutorial Action Plan. She was also part of PERFORM, a Horizon 2020 project aiming to engage secondary students with science.