Marbella received a BS in biochemistry from Duquesne University in 2009 and a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016 under the direction of Prof. Jill Millstone. She was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow and the Charles and Katharine Darwin Research Fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Clare Grey, FRS, at the University of Cambridge from 2016-2018. In July 2018, she joined the Chemical Engineering faculty at Columbia University.
Specifically, Marbella is interested in developing new approaches to characterize amorphous/disordered phases, interfacial phenomena, and dynamic processes using in situ/operando NMR/MRI. NMR and MRI offer a molecular-level description of the structure and motion in complex systems, such as battery electrodes, flexible electronics, and smart glass. Uniquely, NMR/MRI measurements can be performed as the device is operating, allowing the correlation between atomic-scale processes and macroscopic performance output. These new insights provide the basis to reimagine and achieve new technologies for fields ranging from energy storage to chemical production – for example, the development of safe, high energy density wearables as well as the improvement of selectivity in heterogeneous catalysts.