February 21, S. “Thai” Thayumanavan, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Untitled63:00 PM in Room 205, 8 St. Mary’s Street

Refreshments served at 2:45 PM

Responsive Nanoassemblies

Abstract: Non-covalent encapsulation of guest molecules and their triggered release is of paramount importance in the filed of drug delivery. Achieving such release characteristics would have significant implications in applications such as drug delivery and bio-sensing.  For example, using proteins as trigger is interesting since protein imbalances are primary bases for most of the human diseases. Custom-designed macromolecules have been utilized for this purpose due to their unique ability of sequestering guest molecules and release them in response to a specific biological trigger.  The talk will outline examples of systems that are responsive to enzymes, proteins, and peptides.

Biography: S. “Thai” Thayumanavan is a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  He obtained his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  After a postdoctoral stint at Caltech in Optical Materials Chemistry, he started his independent career at Tulane University in New Orleans.  After 4 years at Tulane, he moved to UMass Amherst in 2003.  Thayumanavan’s research interests are highly interdisciplinary.  His research group is involved in designing novel molecules and materials, especially nanoscale materials, which are of interest in biomedical and renewable energy applications.  In the biologically relevant nanomaterials area, he is interested in designing nanoscale assemblies that respond not only to secondary biological stimuli such as pH, temperature and redox conditions, but also to the primary imbalances in biology, i.e. enzymatic activities and protein concentrations.  In addition, he also designs polymeric assemblies that can detect the presence of disease biomarkers in complex mixtures.  In the renewable energy area, he is interested in designing polymers that have the optimal combination of light absorbing and charge transporting characteristics desired for organic photovoltaics.

Faculty Host: Xi Lin

Student Host: Constantinos Katevatis