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Luis A. Colón

Colon, LuisA. Conger Goodyear Professor
Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Education
Office: 578 Natural Sciences Complex
Phone: (716) 645-4213
Fax: (716) 645-6963


B.Sc., University of Puerto Rico at Cayey (1981)
Ph.D., UMASS-Lowell (1991)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University (06/1991-06/1993)

Awards and Honors:

NSF Minority Research Initiation Award (1994)
Fellow, The Whitaker Foundation (1994-1997)
NSF Award for Special Creativity (1999-2001)
Editor, Analyst (01/2001–06/2007)
Faculty of the Year Award, Compact for Faculty Diversity and AGEP (2003)
The Optimista Award, The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (2005)
Inductee, The Hispanic Scholarship Fund Alumni Hall of Fame (2005)
Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry (2005)
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Mentor Award (2009)
ACS Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Promotion of Diversity in Chemical Sciences (2010)
Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award (Inaugural Award), University at Buffalo (2012)
The Geoffrey Marshall Mentoring Award, Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (2012)
The 82nd Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal, WNY-ACS (2012)
A.A. Benedetti-Pichler Award, The American Microchemical Society (2012)
Proclamation of “Luis Colón Day,” City of Buffalo, Hispanic Heritage Council (Jun 13, 2015)
U.S.A. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), The White House and NSF (Recognition Event, Jun 16, 2015)
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2015)
ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences (2016)
Fellow, American Chemical Society (ACS) (2016)
Outstanding Achievements in Separation Science, Eastern Analytical Symposium Award (2016)


Separation science and measurements: micro/nano-chemical analysis, capillary electrophoresis, liquid chromatography, chromatographic materials and their physicochemical characterization, column technology, silica and carbon-based nanoparticles, nanomaterials in chemical analysis, bioanalytical chemistry.

Research Summary:

The focus of our research is in the field of analytical chemistry, with particular interest on separation science; this includes the development of chromatographic media for chemical separations, detection schemes for monitoring mass-limited samples (i.e., micro scale), the use of nanotechnology in separations, and the development of new strategies to separate and analyze complex chemical or biochemical sample mixtures, such as biofluids, intracellular components, protein digests, and pharmaceutical drugs, among others.

One current research effort is centered on column technology for liquid chromatography; after all, it is within the column that the chromatographic process takes place, making the column the “heart” of the separation system. We are interested in the synthesis and physicochemical characterization of new separation media with high chemical stability, and how such characteristics influence chemical separations (i.e., selectivity). Our chromatographic materials are synthesized in different formats (i.e., particles, thin films, and monoliths), which are suitable for HPLC, supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC), and solid phase extraction. As an example, we have synthesized organo-silica nanoparticles to explore the limits of particle size and their potential use in capillary electrochromatography and HPLC. The use of submicron particle sizes also led to research in the area of ultrahigh pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC), using pressures as high as 50,000 psi. We are also exploring the potential use of nanomaterials (e.g., carbon dots and nanodiamonds) assembled on the organo-silica supports to act as the stationary phase for chromatography.

Another area of study is the implementation of fast separation methodology with applicability to proteomics and high throughput analysis. We also use various separation technologies (e.g., LC/MS, LC/ICP/MS) to analyze environmentally relevant samples (e.g., food, fresh water, and supplements) or of biological origin (e.g., saliva, cell lysates, and tear fluid). The latter sample type allows us to explore the potential of such fluids as a mean to sample chemical species suitable for clinical analysis/diagnosis. Our efforts on developing new methodology to analyze entities of biochemical interest (proteins, DNA, drugs, metal ion complexes, etc.) have impacts in many areas (e.g., environmental, biomedical, pharmaceutical, etc.). One particular area of interest is the development of new approaches to analyze intracellular content that can facilitate investigations associated with the elucidation of biochemical pathways.

Selected Recent Publications:

  1. Vicente, G.; Colón, L.A., “Separation of Bioconjugated Quantum Dots Using Capillary Electrophoresis,” Anal. Chem. 2008, 80, 1988-1994.
  1. Rivera, J.G.; Choi, Y.S.; Vujcic, S.; Wood, T.D.; Colón, L.A., “Enrichment/Isolation of Phosphorylated Peptides on Hafnium Oxide Prior to Mass Spectrometric Analysis,” Analyst 2009, 134, 131-133.
  1. Brice, R.W.; Zhang, X.; Colón, L.A., “Fused-Core, Sub-2 µm Packings, and Monolithic HPLC Columns: A Comparative Evaluation,” J. Sep. Sci. 2009, 32, 2723-2731.
  1. Li, L.; Colón, L.A., “Hydrosilylated Allyl-Silica Hybrid Monolithic Columns,” J. Sep. Sci. 2009, 32, 2737-2746.
  1. Baker, J.S.; Colón, L.A., “Influence of Buffer Composition on the Capillary Electrophoretic Separation of Carbon Nanoparticles,” J. Chromatogr. A 2009, 1216, 9048-9054.
  1. Baker, J.S.; Vinci, J.C.; Moore, A.D.; Colón, L.A., “Physical Characterization and Evaluation of Superficially Porous HPLC Columns,” J. Sep. Sci. 2010, 33, 2547-2557.
  1. Celiz, M.D.; Colón, L.A., Watson, D.F.; Aga, D.S., “A Study on the Effects of Humic and Fulvic Acids on Quantum Dot Nanoparticles using Capillary Electrophoresis with Laser Induced Fluorescence Detection,” Environ. Sci. Technol. 2011, 45, 2917-2924.
  1. Baker, J.S.; Nevins, J.; Coughlin, K.; Colón, L.A.; Watson, D.F., “Influence of Complex-Formation Equilibria on the Temporal Persistence of Cysteinate-Functionalized CdSe Nanocrystals in Water,” Chem. Mater. 2011, 23, 3546-3555.
  1. Vinci, J.C.; Colón, L.A., “Fractionation of Carbon-Based Nanomaterials by Anion-Exchange HPLC,” Anal.  Chem. 2012, 84, 1178-1183.
  1. Vinci, J.C.; Ferrer, I.M.; Seedhouse, S.J.; Bourdon, A.K.; Reynard, J.M.; Foster, B.A.; Bright, F.V.; Colón, L.A., “Hidden Properties of Carbon Dots Revealed After HPLC Fractionation,” Phys. Chem. Lett. 2013, 4, 239-243.
  1. Vinci, J.C.; Colón, L.A., “Surface Chemical Composition of Chromatographically Fractionated Graphite Nanofiber-Derived Carbon Dots,” Microchem. J. 2013, 110, 660-664.
  1. Vinci, J.C.; Ferrer, I.M.; Guterry, N.W.; Colón, V.M.; Destino, J.F.; Bright, F.V.; Colón, L.A., “Spectroscopic Characteristics of Carbon Dots (C-dots) Derived From Carbon Fibers and Conversion to Sulfur-Bridged C-dots Nanosheets,” Appl. Spectrosc. 201569, 1082-1090.
  1. Xue, Z.; Vinci, J.C.; Colón, L.A., “Nanodiamond-Decorated Silica Spheres as a Chromatographic Material,” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 20168, 4149-4157.
  1. Borges-Muñoz, A.C.; Colón, L.A., “Evaluation of an Amide-Based Stationary Phase for Supercritical Fluid Chromatography,” J. Sep. Sci. 2016, 39, 3469-3476.
  1. He, P.; Colón, L.A.; Aga, D.S., “Determination of Total Arsenic and Speciation in Apple Juice by Liquid Chromatography Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry: An Experiment for the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory,” J. Chem. Educ. 2016, in press (online – DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00076)