Summary: Sustainability, Materials Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry, Green Chemistry and Materials Degradation in the Environment

Minimum Classes: Pak lab frequently employs high school student, high school teachers, undergraduate students of all levels. As an INBRE fellow, it is helpful to have completed Organic Chemistry and/or Inorganic Chemistry courses, but not required.

Projects: Preparation and study of organic and organic-inorganic hybrid materials for drug delivery and other applications Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) are highly crystalline porous organic-inorganic hybrid materials with extremely high surface areas. In recent years, MOFs have been studied for their potential utilities in gas separation, environmental remediation, and drug delivery applications to name a few. An INBRE fellow would be involved in syntheses of novel ligands and related MOFs along with investigation of fundamental behaviors of MOFs such as structure, stability, and their host-guest chemistry of potential drug molecules.

Preparation and study of polymers and oligomers for drug delivery and other applications Polymers and oligomers (polymers with a very few repeat units) are important biomedical materials with variety of applications. Some polymers and oligomers have been used in drug delivery, such as cancer therapeutics and mRNA, some have been used as biocompatible coating materials in implants, and some have been used as medical adhesives or biodegradable suture. An INBRE fellow would be involved in syntheses and characterization of novel polymers and oligomers while examining their structure-property-relationships in terms of their physical and chemical properties under a variety of conditions.

Mechanistic degradation study of end-of-life plastics Environmental contamination by end-of-life plastics has become a serious problems in our society. Despite significant efforts to increase recycling and replacing common plastics with biodegradable alternatives, the amount of end-of-life plastics accumulating in the landfills and environment is increasing with no end in site. An INBRE fellow would be involved in investigation of degradation mechanisms of various plastics and their potential consequences. As part of the project, a fellow would be trained in syntheses and characterization of organic compounds and analyze their degradation behaviors under a variety of conditions.


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