About AVS > Governance & Roster > Directors > Caitlin Howell


Director (2024-2025)

Caitlin Howell

University of Maine
E-mail: caitlin_howell @ avs.org

CAITLIN HOWELL is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Maine and leader of the Howell Biointerface and Biomimetics lab, which focuses on the understanding and control of biological systems at interfaces with a focus on microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. She also serves as the Associate Director for the University of Maine’s Center for Undergraduate Research.

Caitlin received her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Under the direction of Michael Grunze, her work focused on the use of nonlinear optical spectroscopy and XPS to understand the organization of biological molecules at interfaces.

Upon completion of her degree, she joined the group of Joanna Aizenberg at Harvard University as a Postdoctoral Fellow studying biological surface interactions with bio-inspired materials. Her work earned her a promotion to Technology Development Fellow at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, where she focused on developing, analyzing, and translating new biointerface-based technologies to the market. Caitlin joined the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Maine in 2016, where she and her team work to draw inspiration from Nature, working across the disciplines of biology, chemistry, and material science to address major issues in human and environmental health through engineering interfaces.

Caitlin has been an AVS member since 2008 and is an active member of the Biointerface Division, having served as a Member-at-Large (2017-2018), Chair (2018-2019), Program Chair, (2019-2021), and Awards Coordinator (2021-2022). She currently acts as an Associate Editor for Biointerphases (2022-present).