We are interested in making unique combinations of biological molecules and polymers to develop materials that combine the exquisite specificity and functionality of biological molecules with the physical toughness and engineering ability of polymers. We have chosen block copolymers as mimics for lipid molecules and membrane proteins as the functional protein elements.
The short term goal of our group is to understand protein polymer interactions and develop devices and membranes inspired by cell membranes. The longer term goal is to emulate these native biological structures with robust polymeric or engineered protein structural elements.
Given the PI's background in industrial research into membranes, we are very interested in improving current synthetic membranes used in the process, water, energy, and biotech industries. We are utilizing innovative methods to study structure of and transport across these membranes and developing new methods to control fouling and improve efficiency.
November 2016: Our review paper on biomimetic approaches for linking redox proteins to electrodes was accepted by Energy and Environmental Science and is online. Great job Patrick, Emelia and Megan! I still cannot believe you guys put this very detailed paper together in 2-3 months. You can check out the accepted manuscript here.
October 2016: Our proposal to host a Faraday Discussions conference on Artificial Channels has been accepted. These discussions are important gatherings of experts in a research subspecialty and shows the growing influence of a particular research area. See more details in this cool video here. Collaborator Mihail Barboiu will be the chair and Manish will be the Deputy Chair.
October 2016: Four new graduate students join our group. Welcome Cory, Derrick, Rebeca, and Woochul! Read about them on the People page.
September 2016: Our collaborative paper with the Zimmer, Nixon and Bulone groups showing that a single isoform of plant (poplar) cellulose synthase is sufficient for cellulose microfibril formation was published in PNAS! Read it here.
September 2016: Patrick's paper on PSI in block copolymers and on block copolymer conductive interfaces linked to electrodes is published in Journal of Materials Chemistry A (after a long journey). Read it here.
July 2016: Several members of our lab visited the exciting Gordon Research Conference on Membranes: Materials and Processes.