Giselle Sandi, PhD

Associate Professor                      
Department of Microbial Pathogens and Immunity, Rush Medical College
Role: Faculty
Joined Rush in 2013


In 1994, I received my PhD in electrochemistry and joined Argonne National Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow. For over 19 years, I led fundamental research at Argonne in the areas of energy storage, materials for hydrogen storage, electrocatalytic membranes, nuclear forensics, sensor development and nanoscale engineering. I was also an adjunct

professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where I mentored several graduate students, many of whom are now faculty members at national and international institutions. I also founded a postdoctoral program which, under my direction, was ranked No. 5 in the country by The Scientist magazine and expanded to include the mentoring of junior faculty. The UChicago Argonne LLC Board of Governors honored me with the Pinnacle of Education Award for my contributions and leadership in establishing Argonne’s postdoctoral program. I am also the recipient of the 2004 Luminary Award for Excellence in Science, Engineering and Leadership, granted by the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference, as well as several awards from the Chicago Chapter of the Electrochemical Society. I was appointed as the Women in Science and Engineering Program initiator of Argonne in 2012. Through this program, I provided support for the success of women in science and pushed for gender equity for women scientists. I was also a founding member and past president of and advisor to Argonne’s Hispanic Latino Club, which was developed to mentor middle school students and to help researchers serve as role models to students who are interested in STEM career opportunities.

What inspired you to get into your field?

Science is fascinating because it is always evolving. To be able to pass knowledge on to new generations has been an amazing experience.

What excited you about your work at Rush?

The energy and passion of young investigators and the commitment of senior faculty (researchers, clinicians, educators) to move medicine and health sciences to a new level and benefit society have always been what has excited me about working at Rush.

What is your opinion of mentoring and sponsorship?

I have been very fortunate to be on both sides of the relationship for a long time. I cannot imagine having succeeded at my career and life goals without the guidance of a mentor or the help of a sponsor. The rewards are mutual, and I strongly believe in paying it forward.

Do you have tips or advice you would recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?

On the scientific side, be sure to learn and understand fundamental concepts because they will be the foundation upon which you will build your career. On the administrative side, listen and learn from many different people. Be open to suggestions and flexible in your approaches.

What are your hobbies? How do you like to spend your free time?

My family is the center of my life, so I try to spend as much time with them as I possibly can. I enjoy long walks, reading all types of books, traveling, movies, theater, classical music and having a nice cup of coffee with a friend.