Susan Daniel

Susan Daniel

Associate Professor
Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
256 Olin Hall


Susan Daniel received her Ph.D. from Lehigh University in the Department of Chemical Engineering (2005). She specialized in the area of surface science, studying the effect of surface wettability gradients on the motion of liquid droplets when they coalesce with other droplets or are subjected to vibration. In 2005, Dr. Daniel joined Texas A&M University, Department of Chemistry, as a Postdoctoral Associate. There she expanded her expertise to the area of biological interfaces. Specifically, Dr. Daniel used solid-supported lipid bilayers as mimics of the cell membrane for the development of biosensors and microfluidic assays for interrogating biological phenomena. In 2007, Dr. Daniel joined Cornell University as an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. In 2014, she was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Research in her group focuses on understanding how the organization of molecules at a surface impacts the interactions. Her group investigates phenomena at both biological interfaces and chemically patterned surfaces that interact with soft matter- liquids; polymer; and biological materials like cells, viruses, proteins, and lipids. In the pursuit of these studies, her group also develops precision imaging and experimental platforms to carry out their investigations.

Research Interests

Research in the Daniel group focuses on transport and dynamics at biological interfaces and solid surfaces. On the biological side, we are primarily interested in understanding the roles of membrane lipids and protein-lipid interactions on biological function. Our research within this area can be divided into two more specific themes: 1) the study of host-pathogen interactions, and in particular, the virus infection process, and 2) the investigation of cell membrane organization and the identification of critical lipid-protein interactions necessary for biological function. Our group is also interested in dynamics of liquid drops with chemically-patterned solid surfaces. In this work, we are interested in understanding the fundamental interfacial behaviors of wetting, adhesion, and contact angle hysteresis on the transport of liquids on solid surfaces.

Teaching Interests

Dr. Daniel teaches a sophomore-level course, ENGDR 2190: Mass and Energy Balances, in the fall semester. In the spring semester, she teaches a graduate level course, CHEME 7130: Physical and Chemical Kinetics. In addition, she also teaches a graduate level course, CHEME 7920: Principles and Practices of Graduate Research.

Selected Publications

  • Longley, J.E., E. Dooley, D.M. Givler, W.J. Napier, M.K. Chaudhury, Susan Daniel. 2012. "Ratcheting Motion of Sessile Droplets Induced by Shape Deformation on Surface Energy Gradients." Langmuir 28: 13912-13918.
  • Costello, D. A., J. K. Millet, C. -Y. Hsia, G. R. Whittaker, Susan Daniel. 2013. "Single Particle Assay of Coronavirus Membrane Fusion with Proteinaceous Receptor-embedded Supported Bilayers." Biomaterials 34: 7895-7904.
  • Daniel, Susan, L. Chao, M. J. Richards, C. -Y. Hsia. 2013. "Separating and Sorting Membrane-bound Species Based on Chemical Affinity for Lipid Rafts." Analytical Chemistry 85: 6696-6702.
  • Daniel, Susan, D. A. Costello, C. -Y. Hsia, T. Porri, J. K. Millet. 2013. "Membrane Fusion-competent Virus-like Proteoliposomes and Proteinaceous Supported Bilayers Made Directly from Cell Plasma Membranes." Langmuir 29: 6409-6419.
  • Millet, J K., M E. Goldstein, R N. Labitt, H L. Hsu, S. Daniel, G R Whittaker. 2016. "A camel-derived MERS-CoV with a variant spike protein cleavage site and distinct fusion activation properties." Emerging Microbes & Infections 5 (12): e126-e126.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • 2012 Denice Denton Emerging Leader Award (Anita Borg Institute) 2012
  • NSF CAREER Award (National Science Foundation) 2012
  • 2011 ASEE Outstanding Teaching Award, St. Lawrence Section (American Society for Engineering Education) 2011
  • Recipient of President's Council of Cornell Women Affinito-Stewart Award 2009
  • Zellman Warhaft Commitment to Diversity Award (Cornell College of Engineering) 2014


  • B.S. (Chemical Engineering), Lehigh University, 1999
  • M.S. (Chemical Engineering), Lehigh University, 2001
  • Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering), Lehigh University, 2005

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