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Margaret Gardel is the Horace B. Horton Professor of Physics and Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. She joined the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago in 2007 after earning her ScB in physics and mathematics from Brown University in 1998, PhD from Harvard University in 2004, and completing postdoctoral research as a Pappalardo Fellow at MIT and at Scripps Research Institute from 2004-2007.

Her awards include a Packard Fellowship, Sloan Fellowship, and the NIH Pioneer Award. In 2013 she was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2019 she became a professsor at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering.