The Illinois Science and Technology Coalition named Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology Paul Garris and Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry Christopher Mulligan to their inaugural “Researchers to Know” list for 2018.

Each year, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition examines innovation and its contribution to the state economy. The new list highlights university researchers in their field who have made a significant impact and are driving innovation in the state.

headshot of Paul Garris

Paul Garris

Garris has spent almost 35 years investigating dopamine neuroscience at the basic science and biomedical levels and developing microsensor approaches for neurochemical monitoring. He has been involved in developing microsensors, instrumentation, and data analyses to support fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV), an electroanalytical technique for neurochemical monitoring with exquisite temporal and chemical resolution. Garris worked with the Department of Neurosurgery and Division of Engineering at Mayo Clinic Rochester to develop his wireless FSCV device into a human compatible instrument called Wireless Instantaneous Neurotransmitter Concentration Sensing System (WINCS) that recorded neurochemistry in the human brain during surgery for deep brain stimulation.

Over his career, Garris has authored 83 peer-reviewed publications and nine book chapters and reviews. He has given invited presentations at national and international conferences. Garris has received research grants from a variety of agencies, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundations (NSF), Department of Defense, American Heart Association, and Whitehall Foundation, totaling over $5 million and has contributed to education grants totaling over $1 million.

headshot of Christopher Mulligan

Christopher Mulligan

Mulligan has more than 15 years of experience in developing miniaturized analytical devices, with specific expertise in portable and miniaturized mass spectrometric (MS) instrumentation development, novel ionization methods, and application development. He has authored 24 peer-reviewed publications in associated areas, including several that are highly cited and/or invited contributions to special topics issues, over 75 presentations at national/regional scientific conferences, and 2 patents for MS technology.

An author on seminal publications regarding novel, “ambient” ionization methods and their coupling to portable MS instrumentation, Mulligan’s research program at Illinois State University seeks to demonstrate the impact and practicality of portable MS systems for use in crime scene investigation, law enforcement, and environmental pollutant monitoring.

Mulligan’s research program has garnered $1.5 million in federal grant funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ). He has been recognized for his research contributions. He has conducted field research with portable MS systems with the Army Corp of Engineers, Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) at Research Triangle Institute, U.S. National Guard Civil Support Teams, and various local and state level police agencies.