Molecular Design and Modification of Material Surfaces
There is much current interest in developing polymer surfaces that are adaptive and responsive to various stimuli. The goal of this research is to create surface-active polymers that deliver various photoactive functional groups and polymers to the surface.
Biophysics and Soft Matter Physics
Soft matter denotes polymers, gels, self-assembled surfactant structures, colloidal suspensions, and many other complex fluids. These are strongly fluctuating, floppy, fluidlike materials that can nonetheless exhibit diverse phases with remarkable long-range order. In the last few decades, statistical physics has achieved a sound understanding of the scaling and universality characterizing large length scale properties of much synthetic soft condensed matter. More recently, ideas and techniques from soft condensed matter physics have been applied to biological soft matter such as DNA, RNA, proteins, cell membrane surfactant assemblies, actin and tubulin structures, and many others.
Genomic research is focused in five areas: human disease mapping, bioinformatics approaches to enhancing disease gene discovery, improvement in the chemistry and engineering of genomic technologies, whole genome sequencing and characterization, and post-genomic technologies.
Interfacial Engineering and Electrochemistry
We are interested in a large number of problems that are often characterized as belonging to "electrochemical engineering" as well as the emerging field of microfludics. Applications in electrochemical engineering include electrochemical metallization processes, corrosion, fuel cells, batteries, and waste-treatment processes. Applications in the area of microfluidics include sensors and "labs on a chip." Research efforts are focused mainly on basic issues concerning the design and control of electrochemical systems. A particular application involves studies of both feature and wafer scale phenomena in the copper metallization process that has been introduced into the computer industry for advanced, on-chip interconnects.
Protein and Metabolic Engineering
Research in protein engineering involves the enhancement of proteins and peptides for the improvement of specific applications using a variety of molecular biology tools and techniques. Metabolic Engineering refers to the modeling and improvement of networks of enzymes that function together in a metabolic pathway.