Dr. Aaron Wheeler receives Ricardo Aroca Award for contributions in Analytical Chemistry 

Dr. Aaron Wheeler has recently been honoured with the Ricardo Aroca Award. This esteemed award is bestowed upon a scientist residing in Canada who has made outstanding contributions to the realm of analytical chemistry while actively engaged in research within the country (https://www.cheminst.ca/awards/csc/arcoca/). 

At the University of Toronto, Dr. Wheeler leads the Wheeler research group, which focuses on advancing lab-on-a-chip techniques to address challenges in chemistry, biology, and medicine. Leveraging an array of tools such as microfabrication, fluorescence microscopy, chemical separations, mass spectrometry, and in vitro cell culture and analysis, the group explores innovative solutions. A pivotal technology employed by the Wheeler research group is digital microfluidics (DMF), where discrete liquid droplets are manipulated on the surface of an insulated array of electrodes. DMF provides an unprecedented level of control over microchemical reactions, with applications ranging from chemical synthesis to clinical sample preparation and tissue engineering. 

Since joining the University of Toronto in 2005, Dr. Wheeler has significantly contributed to the field, publishing over 100 peer-reviewed articles with more than 17,500 citations in analytical chemistry. His work has been featured in prestigious journals such as Nature Communications, Science Translational Medicine, and Scientific Reports. Furthermore, Dr. Wheeler’s research has garnered recognition and funding from esteemed sources, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Institute of Health Research, and the University of Toronto Connaught Fund. 

In addition to his prolific publication record, Dr. Wheeler holds multiple patents related to the development of digital microfluidics, showcasing his innovative contributions to the field.  

“Dr. Aaron Wheeler’s receipt of the Ricardo Aroca Award is a testament to his exceptional contributions to analytical chemistry. His pioneering work in digital microfluidics has not only advanced our understanding of microchemical reactions but has also propelled our institute to new heights. Congratulations to Dr. Wheeler, a true cornerstone of research in our institute, on this well-deserved honor.” said Dr. Milos Popovic, Director of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering.