Chemistry Graduate Program
Faculty Advisor: David Schwartz
My research is focused on using genomic DNA as a scaffold for organic synthesis and materials development. I will add reactive groups (prosthetic groups) to DNA to create a “molecular cloud” of chemicals. We will then fold the DNA in a prescribed manner using techniques similar to DNA origami to bring our prosthetic groups into proximity in a predetermined order so that they can react to form complex molecules and materials. This is at the forefront of synthetic biology and synthetic chemistry, leveraging cutting-edge genome analysis technologies such as nanocoding and genome capture to fold and observe the cloud. It will also involve advanced synthetic organic chemistry to alter the DNA with prosthetic groups and then react the prosthetic groups with one another in the desired manner.