Dr. Maggie A. Witek received her MSc. and Engineering degree from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology at Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice, Poland in 1997. She earned her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Michigan State University in 2002 under tutelage of Prof. Greg M. Swain. Her doctoral work focused on the development of microcrystalline and nanocrystalline boron-doped diamond thin film electrodes for electrochemical detection of biogenic compounds.
Dr. Witek joined Prof. Steven A. Soper’s research group in the fall of 2002 in the Department of Chemistry at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Her postdoctoral work focused on controlled biological cell transport via electromigration in thermoplastic microfluidic devices and development of the on-chip solid-phase extraction platform for nucleic acid isolation.
In 2004 Dr. Witek joined the NSF EpSCOR funded Center of BioModular Multiscale Systems (CBM2) at LSU as a Research Associate. She continued research on applications of polymer-based, lab-on-a-chip devices for biomedical applications, such as the separations, high throughput solid-phase nucleic acid purification and molecular testing (i.e., PCR, LDR, microarrays). Dr. Witek established a working group for students, post-doctoral fellows, and professors organizing Professional Development Seminar Series in the Department of Chemistry and CBM2. Monthly meetings for chemistry, biochemistry, and engineering fellows ranged in different topics, from traditional research seminars to informal discussions with young faculty sharing their academic experiences, inviting entrepreneurs to talk about opportunities in industrial-academic collaborations, and hands-on workshops on resume writing and effective presentation skills. This working group allowed for scholars to discuss new research ventures and build a network throughout the university.
In 2011 Dr. Witek joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill as an Assistant Research Professor. The main focus of her work at UNC was collaboration with oncologists at the UNC School of Medicine and development of the assay for isolation of low abundant subpopulations of circulating tumor cells from clinical samples using antibody modified microfluidic devices.
Dr. Witek is currently an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Her research involves microfluidic-based isolation of liquid biopsy markers, including circulating tumor cells followed by molecular profiling and sequencing of these cells’ DNA/RNA; selection of extracellular vesicles and cell free DNA for stroke and cancer diagnostics. She continues her work in the NIH/NIBIB funded Center of BioModular Multiscale Systems for Precision Medicine as an investigator and coordinator of the Center’s Collaborative and Service Projects. As a result of her research efforts, Dr. Witek has published over 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters.
Dr. Witek developed a diverse background from extensive collaborations with chemists, biologists, and engineers at LSU, oncologists at the UNC School of Medicine and KU Medical Center in Kansas City, KS. She uses her expertise to organize training and dissemination programs in the CBM2 for individuals with various levels of technical competency in the micro/nanofluidic field. She designs training efforts to service the highly technical community via technical workshops, a research experience in the lab for undergraduate students, and hands-on activities that impact education of K-12 students.