Gabriela Marcu
Assistant Professor
College of Computing and Informatics
Drexel University

Rush Building, Room 414
30 N. 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

gmarcu -at-

I am an Assistant Professor in the College of Computing and Informatics and a Research Fellow with the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University. I hold a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University, and a BS in Informatics from the University of California, Irvine. 

I direct the Empathic Design and Technology Research Group. My research seeks to improve coordination and decision-making in health and social services through technology. I am particularly interested in the contexts of behavioral intervention, mental health, and special education. I design and evaluate new technologies by working closely with community partners. I use primarily qualitative methods to study and shape the role of technology in social interactions and organizational workflow.

My research interests include:

  • human-computer interaction
  • ubiquitous computing
  • computer-supported cooperative work
  • mobile health (mHealth)
  • electronic health records


  • health equity and social justice
  • behavioral intervention
  • ethnography, empathy, and understanding users
  • participatory design and empowering users
  • community-based participatory research and action research

I am also passionate about diversifying participation in computing and changing the culture of our field. Read about my outreach efforts here.

Current Activities

  • CHI 2017 Program Committee – Health, Accessibility, and Aging Subcommittee
  • PervasiveHealth 2017 Doctoral Consortium Co-Chair
  • Faculty Advisor, Women in Computing Society (WiCS) at Drexel
  • Faculty Advisor, Drexel University Computer Science Teachers (DUCSTeach)
  • Pushback Initiative, led by Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, supporting the rights of girls and young women of color to education in Philadelphia


Sep 21 |  Excited to be a co-investigator on a project funded by the NIH Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Initiative, focused on identifying risk factors for autism spectrum disorder by testing for chemicals in lost baby teeth. My research group is developing custom tools to support data collection, monitoring, and coordination across nine institutions in the Drexel-led study. [media release]

Aug 12 | Co-organized Robot Springboard tech camp for middle school girls. [photo][media coverage]

Jun 25 | Selected for a Drexel Ventures Innovation Fund Award for our project "Lilypad: A ubiquitous real-time decision support system for behavioral health providers".

Jun 16 | Our didactic panel "Interactive Systems in Healthcare" was accepted to AMIA 2016 [pdf].

Mar 11 | Congratulations to Meghan Plank and Nishtha Dalal, two undergraduate research assistants working on the Bounce project, who won 1st place in the ACM Student Research Competition at CHI 2016 with their amazing work "Bounce: A Mobile Behavioral Intervention Technology for Breast Cancer Survivors". [paper][poster][photo][media release]

Mar 1 | Our submission "TreatYoSelf: Empathy-driven behavioral intervention for marginalized youth living with HIV" has been accepted to PervasiveHealth 2016 [paper].


Nov 1-3 | CTS 2016 in Orlando

Nov 12-14 | AMIA 2016 in Chicago

Nov 28-Dec 2 | San Jose

May 6-11 | CHI 2017 in Denver

May 23-26 | PervasiveHealth 2017 in Barcelona


Fall | INFO 110: Human-Computer Interaction

Winter | INFO 110: Human-Computer Interaction

Spring | INFO 215: Social Aspects of Information Systems