Molecules are like us, each one having its own personality. The focus of our research at this stage is to understand the personality of different types of molecules so that we can combine them to achieve desired functions that do not necessarily, or directly, relate to the chemical structure of the individual molecules. Our primary goal is to use this knowledge to construct functional soft nanomaterials that can specifically interact with cells of interest. To this end, we work on the design, fabrication, characterization, and biomedical applications of nanomaterials of soft matter, with an emphasis on rational engineering of the nano-bio interface. We are particularly interested in developing polymeric, peptidic and drug-based nanomaterials that offer specific chemical, physical and mechanical signals to targeted cells.
We also have interests in the fundamental assembling behaviors of light-harvesting molecules and hope to understand how these types of molecules coordinate to achieve efficient light harvesting and effective intermolecular electron transport.