Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Chemistry, Stanford University, 2017
  • M.A., Education, Loyola Marymount University, 2011
  • B.S., Biochemistry, Loyola Marymount University, 2010
Academic Appointments
  • Lecturer, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Loyola Marymount University, 2010-2011
Professional Honors
  • Stanford Chemistry Safety in Teaching and Research Award, 2016
  • Stanford Chemistry Evelyn Laing McBain Award for significant research progress, 2016
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 2012-2015
  • Scholar of the Year, Loyola Marymount University, 2010
  • Rhodes Scholarship Finalist, 2010Exponent Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee Member
Professional Affiliations
  • American Chemical Society

Dr. Vargas specializes in polymer synthesis and characterization, with an emphasis on materials for biomedical applications. She has diverse experience in the fields of organocatalysis, biodegradable polymers, drug delivery, and in vitro and in vivo testing of biopolymers.

A chemist by training, Dr. Vargas is skilled in organic synthesis and small molecule characterization using NMR, FTIR, and UV-Vis spectroscopy, as well as chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques such as GC-MS, HPLC, LC-MS, and MALDI-TOF. She also has practical knowledge characterizing polymeric nanoparticles using size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), dynamic light scattering, and zeta potential measurements.

Dr. Vargas was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University, where she developed biodegradable block copolymers for small molecule and nucleic acid drug delivery. Her research leveraged organocatalytic polymerization techniques to access functionalized polycarbonates and polyesters. She designed cellular and in vivo assays to measure the delivery efficiency and cytotoxicity of the resulting biomaterials using fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, and bioluminescent imaging. She also previously interned at W.L. Gore & Associates, where she developed analytical testing methods used in coated stent manufacturing.