Rebecca Abergel

Rebecca Abergel

Associate Professor of Chemistry & Nuclear Engineering

Office: 4109 Etcheverry Hall
Phone: (510) 643-9984

Lab Address:
One Cyclotron Road, MS 70A-1150
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Berkeley, CA 94720
Lab Phone: (510) 486-5335

Research Group

Research Interests

Nuclear Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and Chemical Biology

Research in Abergel’s group is at the interface of nuclear chemistry, coordination chemistry, biological chemistry, health physics, pharmacology, and molecular and cellular biology. We study the coordination chemistry and metabolic properties of lanthanide and actinide complexes formed with synthetic and biological ligands, as well as the effects of heavy element / radioisotope exposure and contamination on different biological systems.

Fundamental characterization studies allow for exploration of the influence of f-orbital bonding on differences in lanthanide and actinide energetic and coordination features, including structural, kinetic, thermodynamic, electrochemical, magnetic, and optical properties. Our goals are to gain a better understanding of the coordination chemistry and biological chemistry of the heavy elements and to develop specific strategies for decontamination, waste management, remediation, separations, and new light conversion processes. Other applications include the development of new antimicrobial strategies that target metal acquisition systems and the design of advanced alpha-immuno therapeutic and diagnostic agents with emerging medical isotopes.


  • B.Sc. École Normale Supérieure de Paris / Université Pierre & Marie Curie (2002)
  • Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (2006)
  • Postdoc, UC Berkeley & Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (2007-2008)
  • Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2009-2018)
  • Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering, UC Berkeley (2018-2021)
  • Cooley’s Anemia Foundation Young Investigator Award (2009)
  • Radiation Research Society Junior Faculty NCRP Award (2013)
  • Berkeley Lab Women at the Lab Award (2013)
  • Berkeley Lab Director’s Award for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (2013)
  • MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 – France (2014)
  • DOE Early Career Award (2014)
  • ACS WCC Rising Star award (2017)
  • KAIST Nuclear & Quantum Engineering Pioneer Lecturer (2019)
  • AAAS Fellow (2019)
  • Hellman Faculty Fellow (2020)
  • DOE Secretary of Energy Achievement Honor Award - National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory (2020)
  • DOE Secretary of Energy Achievement Honor Award - COVID-19 Clinical Testing Teams (2020)
  • Bakar Faculty Fellow (2021)
  • UC Berkeley Kenneth N. Raymond Lectureship in Inorganic Chemistry (2022)
  • Berkeley Lab Director's Award for Exceptional Achievement in Tech Transfer (2022)
  • Radiation Research Society Vice-President Elect (2023)