Chemical Society Seminar: Nathan Gianneschi - Biomimetic Materials as Therapeutics

Tuesday, November 21, 2023 13:00to14:30
Maass Chemistry Building OM 10, 801 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 0B8, CA


Precision polymer chemistry, combined with advanced methods for the detailed characterization of complex materials, has provided the basic tools for the development of new classes of materials capable of mimicking biological macromolecules in form and function. We have taken a multidisciplinary approach to study natural systems including melanin and proteins, and then to develop methods for mimicking those materials with living polymerization methods. These include oxidative polymerization, controlled radical polymerization, and ring-opening metathesis polymerization for accessing highly functionalized, and functional synthetic biomacromolecular structures. In this presentation, we will describe these materials; both a proteomimetic polymer and a synthetic melanin-based therapeutic. We will describe their development, design and optimization for the study, and potential treatment of a range of diseases from neurodegenerative disease, myocardial infarction and cancer to Age-Related Macular Degeneration. In addition, we will discuss their potential utility in wound healing, especially in the case of melanin-mimetic materials for topical application after injury to the skin.



Nathan C. Gianneschi received his B.Sc(Hons) at the University of Adelaide, Australia in 1999 under Louis Rendina. In 2005 he completed his Ph.D at Northwestern University, with Chad Mirkin. Following a Dow Chemical postdoctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute with Reza Ghadiri, in 2008 he began his independent career at the University of California, San Diego where, until June 2017, he was Teddy Traylor Scholar and Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, NanoEngineering and Materials Science & Engineering. In July of 2017, Gianneschi moved his research group to Northwestern University where he is currently Jacob & Rosaline Cohn Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science & Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering. The Gianneschi group takes an interdisciplinary approach to nanomaterials research with a focus on multifunctional materials with interests that include biomedical applications, programmed interactions with biomolecules and cells, and basic research into nanoscale materials design, synthesis and characterization. For this work he has been awarded the NIH Director's New Innovator Award, the NIH Director's Transformative Research Award and the White House's highest honor for young scientists and engineers with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Prof. Gianneschi was awarded a Dreyfus Foundation Fellowship, is a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and is an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow.

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