School of Engineering


Showing 1-40 of 40 Results

  • Monther Abu-Remaileh

    Monther Abu-Remaileh

    Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Genetics

    BioThe Abu-Remaileh Lab is interested in identifying novel pathways that enable cellular and organismal adaptation to metabolic stress and changes in environmental conditions. We also study how these pathways go awry in human diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration and metabolic syndrome, in order to engineer new therapeutic modalities.

    To address these questions, our lab uses a multidisciplinary approach to study the biochemical functions of the lysosome in vitro and in vivo. Lysosomes are membrane-bound compartments that degrade macromolecules and clear damaged organelles to enable cellular adaptation to various metabolic states. Lysosomal function is critical for organismal homeostasis—mutations in genes encoding lysosomal proteins cause severe human disorders known as lysosomal storage diseases, and lysosome dysfunction is implicated in age-associated diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration and metabolic syndrome.

    By developing novel tools and harnessing the power of metabolomics, proteomics and functional genomics, our lab will define 1) how the lysosome communicates with other cellular compartments to fulfill the metabolic demands of the cell under various metabolic states, 2) and how its dysfunction leads to rare and common human diseases. Using insights from our research, we will engineer novel therapies to modulate the pathways that govern human disease.

  • Zhenan Bao

    Zhenan Bao

    K. K. Lee Professor, and Professor, by courtesy, of Materials Science and Engineering and of Chemistry

    BioZhenan Bao joined Stanford University in 2004. She is currently a K.K. Lee Professor in Chemical Engineering, and with courtesy appointments in Chemistry and Material Science and Engineering. She is the Department Chair of Chemical Engineering from 2018. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors. She founded the Stanford Wearable Electronics Initiative (eWEAR) and is the current faculty director. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Precourt Institute, Woods Institute, ChEM-H and Bio-X. Professor Bao received her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from The University of Chicago in 1995 and joined the Materials Research Department of Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies. She became a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in 2001. Professor Bao currently has more than 700 refereed publications and more than 100 US patents. She served as a member of Executive Board of Directors for the Materials Research Society and Executive Committee Member for the Polymer Materials Science and Engineering division of the American Chemical Society. She was an Associate Editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Chemical Science, Polymer Reviews and Synthetic Metals. She serves on the international advisory board for Advanced Materials, Advanced Energy Materials, ACS Nano, Accounts of Chemical Reviews, Advanced Functional Materials, Chemistry of Materials, Chemical Communications, Journal of American Chemical Society, Nature Asian Materials, Materials Horizon and Materials Today. She is one of the Founders and currently sits on the Board of Directors of C3 Nano Co. and PyrAmes, both are silicon valley venture funded companies. She is Fellow of AAAS, ACS, MRS, SPIE, ACS POLY and ACS PMSE. She was a recipient of the ACS Award of Chemistry of Materials 2022, MRS Mid-Career Award in 2021, AICHE Alpha Chi Sigma Award 2021, ACS Central Science Disruptor and Innovator Prize in 2020, ACS Gibbs Medal in 2020, the Wilhelm Exner Medal from the Austrian Federal Minister of Science in 2018, the L'Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Award North America Laureate in 2017. She was awarded the ACS Applied Polymer Science Award in 2017, ACS Creative Polymer Chemistry Award in 2013 ACS Cope Scholar Award in 2011, and was selected by Phoenix TV, China as 2010 Most influential Chinese in the World-Science and Technology Category. She is a recipient of the Royal Society of Chemistry Beilby Medal and Prize in 2009, IUPAC Creativity in Applied Polymer Science Prize in 2008, American Chemical Society Team Innovation Award 2001, R&D 100 Award, and R&D Magazine Editors Choice Best of the Best new technology for 2001. She has been selected in 2002 by the American Chemical Society Women Chemists Committee as one of the twelve Outstanding Young Woman Scientist who is expected to make a substantial impact in chemistry during this century. She is also selected by MIT Technology Review magazine in 2003 as one of the top 100 young innovators for this century. She has been selected as one of the recipients of Stanford Terman Fellow and has been appointed as the Robert Noyce Faculty Scholar, Finmeccanica Faculty Scholar and David Filo and Jerry Yang Faculty Scholar.

  • Stacey Bent

    Stacey Bent

    Vice Provost for Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs, Jagdeep & Roshni Singh Professor in the School of Engineering, Senior Fellow at Precourt and Professor, by courtesy, of Materials Science & Eng, of Electrical Eng and of Chemistry

    BioThe research in the Bent laboratory is focused on understanding and controlling surface and interfacial chemistry and applying this knowledge to a range of problems in semiconductor processing, micro- and nano-electronics, nanotechnology, and sustainable and renewable energy. Much of the research aims to develop a molecular-level understanding in these systems, and hence the group uses of a variety of molecular probes. Systems currently under study in the group include functionalization of semiconductor surfaces, mechanisms and control of atomic layer deposition, molecular layer deposition, nanoscale materials for light absorption, interface engineering in photovoltaics, catalyst and electrocatalyst deposition.

  • Matteo Cargnello

    Matteo Cargnello

    Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Materials Science and Engineering

    BioMatteo Cargnello is Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Terman Faculty Fellow. His group research interests are in the preparation and use of uniform and tailored materials for heterogeneous catalysis and photocatalysis and the technological exploitation of nanoparticles and nanocrystals. Reactions of interest are related to sustainable energy generation and use, control of emissions of greenhouse gases, and better utilization of abundant building blocks (methane, biomass). Dr. Cargnello received his Ph.D. in Nanotechnology in 2012 at the University of Trieste (Italy) and he was then a post-doctoral scholar in the Chemistry Department at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) before joining the Faculty at Stanford.

  • Lynette Cegelski

    Lynette Cegelski

    Associate Professor of Chemistry and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur research program integrates chemistry, biology, and physics to investigate the assembly and function of macromolecular and whole-cell systems. The genomics and proteomics revolutions have been enormously successful in generating crucial "parts lists" for biological systems. Yet, for many fascinating systems, formidable challenges exist in building complete descriptions of how the parts function and assemble into macromolecular complexes and whole-cell factories. We are inspired by the need for new and unconventional approaches to solve these outstanding problems and to drive the discovery of new therapeutics for human disease.

    Our approach is different from the more conventional protein-structure determinations of structural biology. We employ biophysical and biochemical tools, and are designing new strategies using solid-state NMR spectroscopy to examine assemblies such as amyloid fibers, bacterial cell walls, whole cells, and biofilms. We would like to understand at a molecular and atomic level how bacteria self-assemble extracellular structures, including functional amyloid fibers termed curli, and how bacteria use such building blocks to construct organized biofilm architectures. We also employ a chemical genetics approach to recruit small molecules as tools to interrupt and interrogate the temporal and spatial events during assembly processes and to develop new strategies to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Overall, our approach is multi-pronged and provides training opportunities for students interested in research at the chemistry-biology interface.

  • Ying Chih Chang

    Ying Chih Chang

    Adjunct Professor

    BioDr. Ying Chang is an Adjunct Professor of the Department of Chemical Engineering, an affiliate member of Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostic Center of the School of Medicine, and a Co-Director of the Taiwan-Stanford Partnership program, LEAP, at Stanford University. She is also a Research Fellow at the Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, and an Adjunct Professor at the Center of Liquid Biopsy at Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan. Formerly, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California-Irvine, Irvine, CA. Prior to her academic appointments, Dr. Chang had worked in various industrial R&D laboratories including as a Senior Engineer for the hard drive media at Maxmedia California, San Jose, CA (now Seagate), a Postdoctoral Scientist for the materials design of GeneChip at Affymetrix Corp, Santa Clara, CA (now Thermal Fisher Scientific). Her recent invention in circulating tumor cells platform has led to a startup company, Cellmax Life in 2013. Highlights of her research include integrated nanomaterials, microfluidics, and bioreactors to control stem cell fates for tissue engineering and liquid biopsy for cancer diagnostics and precision medicine. Dr. Chang received her BS from National Taiwan University and PhD from Stanford University in Chemical Engineering.

  • Jennifer R. Cochran

    Jennifer R. Cochran

    Shriram Chair of the Department of Bioengineering, Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMolecular Engineering, Protein Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Cell and Tissue Engineering, Molecular Imaging, Chemical Biology

  • Joseph M. DeSimone

    Joseph M. DeSimone

    Sanjiv Sam Gambhir Professor of Translational Medicine, Professor of Chemical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Chemistry, of Materials Science and Engineering, and of Operations, Information and Technology at the Graduate School of Business

    BioJoseph M. DeSimone is the Sanjiv Sam Gambhir Professor of Translational Medicine and Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. He holds appointments in the Departments of Radiology and Chemical Engineering with courtesy appointments in the Department of Chemistry and in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

    The DeSimone laboratory's research efforts are focused on developing innovative, interdisciplinary solutions to complex problems centered around advanced polymer 3D fabrication methods. In Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, the lab is pursuing new capabilities in digital 3D printing, as well as the synthesis of new polymers for use in advanced additive technologies. In Translational Medicine, research is focused on exploiting 3D digital fabrication tools to engineer new vaccine platforms, enhanced drug delivery approaches, and improved medical devices for numerous conditions, with a current major focus in pediatrics. Complementing these research areas, the DeSimone group has a third focus in Entrepreneurship, Digital Transformation, and Manufacturing.

    Before joining Stanford in 2020, DeSimone was a professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and of chemical engineering at North Carolina State University. He is also Co-founder, Board Chair, and former CEO (2014 - 2019) of the additive manufacturing company, Carbon. DeSimone is responsible for numerous breakthroughs in his career in areas including green chemistry, medical devices, nanomedicine, and 3D printing. He has published over 350 scientific articles and is a named inventor on over 200 issued patents. Additionally, he has mentored 80 students through Ph.D. completion in his career, half of whom are women and members of underrepresented groups in STEM.

    In 2016 DeSimone was recognized by President Barack Obama with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest U.S. honor for achievement and leadership in advancing technological progress. He has received numerous other major awards in his career, including the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (1997); the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention (2005); the Lemelson-MIT Prize (2008); the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2009); the AAAS Mentor Award (2010); the Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment (2017); the Wilhelm Exner Medal (2019); the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2019 U.S. Overall National Winner); and the Harvey Prize in Science and Technology (2020). He is one of only 25 individuals elected to all three branches of the U.S. National Academies (Sciences, Medicine, Engineering). DeSimone received his B.S. in Chemistry in 1986 from Ursinus College and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1990 from Virginia Tech.

  • Alexander Dunn

    Alexander Dunn

    Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy lab is deeply interested in uncovering the physical principles that underlie the construction of complex, multicellular animal life.

  • Curtis Frank

    Curtis Frank

    W. M. Keck, Sr. Professor in Engineering, Emeritus

    BioThe properties of ultrathin polymer films are often different from their bulk counterparts. We use spin casting, Langmuir-Blodgett deposition, and surface grafting to fabricate ultrathin films in the range of 100 to 1000 Angstroms thick. Macromolecular amphiphiles are examined at the air-water interface by surface pressure, Brewster angle microscopy, and interfacial shear measurements and on solid substrates by atomic force microscopy, FTIR, and ellipsometry. A vapor-deposition-polymerization process has been developed for covalent grafting of poly(amino acids) from solid substrates. FTIR measurements permit study of secondary structures (right and left-handed alpha helices, parallel and anti-parallel beta sheets) as a function of temperature and environment.

    A broadly interdisciplinary collaboration has been established with the Department of Ophthalmology in the Stanford School of Medicine. We have designed and synthesized a fully interpenetrating network of two different hydrogel materials that have properties consistent with application as a substitute for the human cornea: high water swellability up to 85%,tensile strength comparable to the cornea, high glucose permeability comparable to the cornea, and sufficient tear strength to permit suturing. We have developed a technique for surface modification with adhesion peptides that allows binding of collagen and subsequent growth of epithelial cells. Broad questions on the relationships among molecular structure, processing protocol, and biomedical device application are being pursued.

  • Gerald Fuller

    Gerald Fuller

    Fletcher Jones Professor in the School of Engineering
    On Leave from 10/01/2021 To 12/31/2021

    BioThe processing of complex liquids (polymers, suspensions, emulsions, biological fluids) alters their microstructure through orientation and deformation of their constitutive elements. In the case of polymeric liquids, it is of interest to obtain in situ measurements of segmental orientation and optical methods have proven to be an excellent means of acquiring this information. Research in our laboratory has resulted in a number of techniques in optical rheometry such as high-speed polarimetry (birefringence and dichroism) and various microscopy methods (fluorescence, phase contrast, and atomic force microscopy).

    The microstructure of polymeric and other complex materials also cause them to have interesting physical properties and respond to different flow conditions in unusual manners. In our laboratory, we are equipped with instruments that are able to characterize these materials such as shear rheometer, capillary break up extensional rheometer, and 2D extensional rheometer. Then, the response of these materials to different flow conditions can be visualized and analyzed in detail using high speed imaging devices at up to 2,000 frames per second.

    There are numerous processes encountered in nature and industry where the deformation of fluid-fluid interfaces is of central importance. Examples from nature include deformation of the red blood cell in small capillaries, cell division and structure and composition of the tear film. Industrial applications include the processing of emulsions and foams, and the atomization of droplets in ink-jet printing. In our laboratory, fundamental research is in progress to understand the orientation and deformation of monolayers at the molecular level. These experiments employ state of the art optical methods such as polarization modulated dichroism, fluorescence microscopy, and Brewster angle microscopy to obtain in situ measurements of polymer films and small molecule amphiphile monolayers subject to flow. Langmuir troughs are used as the experimental platform so that the thermodynamic state of the monolayers can be systematically controlled. For the first time, well characterized, homogeneous surface flows have been developed, and real time measurements of molecular and microdomain orientation have been obtained. These microstructural experiments are complemented by measurements of the macroscopic, mechanical properties of the films.

  • Xiaojing Gao

    Xiaojing Gao

    Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

    BioHow do we design biological systems as “smart medicine” that sense patients’ states, process the information, and respond accordingly? To realize this vision, we will tackle fundamental challenges across different levels of complexity, such as (1) protein components that minimize their crosstalk with human cells and immunogenicity, (2) biomolecular circuits that function robustly in different cells and are easy to deliver, (3) multicellular consortia that communicate through scalable channels, and (4) therapeutic modules that interface with physiological inputs/outputs. Our engineering targets include biomolecules, molecular circuits, viruses, and cells, and our approach combines quantitative experimental analysis with computational simulation. The molecular tools we build will be applied to diverse fields such as neurobiology and cancer therapy.

  • Daniel Herschlag

    Daniel Herschlag

    Professor of Biochemistry and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering and of Chemistry

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur research is aimed at understanding the chemical and physical behavior underlying biological macromolecules and systems, as these behaviors define the capabilities and limitations of biology. Toward this end we study folding and catalysis by RNA, as well as catalysis by protein enzymes.

  • Ngan F. Huang

    Ngan F. Huang

    Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Surgery Research) and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Huang's laboratory aims to understand the chemical and mechanical interactions between extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and pluripotent stem cells that regulate vascular and myogenic differentiation. The fundamental insights of cell-matrix interactions are applied towards stem cell-based therapies with respect to improving cell survival and regenerative capacity, as well as engineered vascularized tissues for therapeutic transplantation.

  • Thomas Jaramillo

    Thomas Jaramillo

    Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, of Photon Science and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy

    BioRecent years have seen unprecedented motivation for the emergence of new energy technologies. Global dependence on fossil fuels, however, will persist until alternate technologies can compete economically. We must develop means to produce energy (or energy carriers) from renewable sources and then convert them to work as efficiently and cleanly as possible. Catalysis is energy conversion, and the Jaramillo laboratory focuses on fundamental catalytic processes occurring on solid-state surfaces in both the production and consumption of energy. Chemical-to-electrical and electrical-to-chemical energy conversion are at the core of the research. Nanoparticles, metals, alloys, sulfides, nitrides, carbides, phosphides, oxides, and biomimetic organo-metallic complexes comprise the toolkit of materials that can help change the energy landscape. Tailoring catalyst surfaces to fit the chemistry is our primary challenge.

  • Chaitan Khosla

    Chaitan Khosla

    Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professor and Professor of Chemistry and, by courtesy, of Biochemistry

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch in this laboratory focuses on problems where deep insights into enzymology and metabolism can be harnessed to improve human health.

    For the past two decades, we have studied and engineered enzymatic assembly lines called polyketide synthases that catalyze the biosynthesis of structurally complex and medicinally fascinating antibiotics in bacteria. An example of such an assembly line is found in the erythromycin biosynthetic pathway. Our current focus is on understanding the structure and mechanism of this polyketide synthase. At the same time, we are developing methods to decode the vast and growing number of orphan polyketide assembly lines in the sequence databases.

    For more than a decade, we have also investigated the pathogenesis of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, with the goal of discovering therapies and related management tools for this widespread but overlooked disease. Ongoing efforts focus on understanding the pivotal role of transglutaminase 2 in triggering the inflammatory response to dietary gluten in the celiac intestine.

  • Danielle Mai

    Danielle Mai

    Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

    BioDanielle J. Mai joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Stanford in January 2020. She earned her B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the guidance of Prof. Charles M. Schroeder. Danielle was an Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Bradley D. Olsen's group at MIT, where she engineered materials with selective biomolecular transport properties, elucidated mechanisms of toughness and extensibility in entangled associative hydrogels, and developed high-throughput methods for the discovery of polypeptide materials. The Mai Research Group integrates precise biopolymer engineering with multiscale experimental characterization to advance biomaterials development and to enhance fundamental understanding of soft matter physics.

  • Meagan Mauter

    Meagan Mauter

    Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering and Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment

    BioProfessor Meagan Mauter is appointed as an Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and as a Center Fellow, by courtesy, in the Woods Institute for the Environment. She directs the Water and Energy Efficiency for the Environment Lab (WE3Lab) with the mission of providing sustainable water supply in a carbon-constrained world through innovation in water treatment technology, optimization of water management practices, and redesign of water policies. Ongoing research efforts include: 1) developing automated, precise, robust, intensified, modular, and electrified (A-PRIME) water desalination technologies to support a circular water economy, 2) identifying synergies and addressing barriers to coordinated operation of decarbonized water and energy systems, and 3) supporting the design and enforcement of water-energy policies.

    Professor Mauter also serves as the research director for the National Alliance for Water Innovation, a $110-million DOE Energy-Water Desalination Hub addressing water security issues in the United States. The Hub targets early-stage research and development of energy-efficient and cost-competitive technologies for desalinating non-traditional source waters.

    Professor Mauter holds bachelors degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering and History from Rice University, a Masters of Environmental Engineering from Rice University, and a PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from Yale University. Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford, she served as an Energy Technology Innovation Policy Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and as an Associate Professor of Engineering & Public Policy, Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

  • David Myung, MD, PhD

    David Myung, MD, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsNovel biomaterials to reconstruct the wounded cornea
    Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for corneal and ocular surface regeneration
    Engineered biomolecule therapies for promote corneal wound healing

    Telemedicine in ophthalmology

  • Jian Qin

    Jian Qin

    Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

    BioJian Qin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Stanford University. His research focuses on development of microscopic understanding of structural and physical properties of soft matters by using a combination of analytical theory, scaling argument, numerical computation, and molecular simulation. He worked as a postdoctoral scholar with Juan de Pablo in the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and with Scott Milner in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota under the supervision of David Morse and Frank Bates. His research covers self-assembly of multi-component polymeric systems, molecular origin of entanglement and polymer melt rheology, coacervation of polyelectrolytes, Coulomb interactions in dielectrically heterogeneous electrolytes, and surface charge polarizations in particulate aggregates in the absence or presence of flow.

  • Elizabeth Sattely

    Elizabeth Sattely

    Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering

    BioPlants have an extraordinary capacity to harvest atmospheric CO2 and sunlight for the production of energy-rich biopolymers, clinically used drugs, and other biologically active small molecules. The metabolic pathways that produce these compounds are key to developing sustainable biofuel feedstocks, protecting crops from pathogens, and discovering new natural-product based therapeutics for human disease. These applications motivate us to find new ways to elucidate and engineer plant metabolism. We use a multidisciplinary approach combining chemistry, enzymology, genetics, and metabolomics to tackle problems that include new methods for delignification of lignocellulosic biomass and the engineering of plant antibiotic biosynthesis.

  • Eric S.G. Shaqfeh

    Eric S.G. Shaqfeh

    Lester Levi Carter Professor and Professor of Mechanical Engineering
    On Leave from 10/01/2021 To 12/31/2021

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI have over 25 years experience in theoretical and computational research related to complex fluids following my PhD in 1986. This includes work in suspension mechanics of rigid partlcles (rods), solution mechanics of polymers and most recently suspensions of vesicles, capsules and mixtures of these with rigid particles. My research group is internationally known for pioneering work in all these areas.

  • Hyongsok Tom  Soh

    Hyongsok Tom Soh

    Professor of Radiology (Early Detection), of Electrical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering and of Bioengineering

    BioDr. Soh received his B.S. with a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science with Distinction from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. From 1999 to 2003, Dr. Soh served as the technical manager of MEMS Device Research Group at Bell Laboratories and Agere Systems. He was a faculty member at UCSB before joining Stanford in 2015. His current research interests are in analytical biotechnology, especially in high-throughput screening, directed evolution, and integrated biosensors.

  • Andrew Spakowitz

    Andrew Spakowitz

    Professor of Chemical Engineering, of Materials Science and Engineering and, by courtesy, of Applied Physics

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsTheory and computation of biological processes and complex materials

  • Alfred M. Spormann

    Alfred M. Spormann

    Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, of Chemical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Biology

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMetabolism of anaerobic microbes in diseases, bioenergy, and bioremediation

  • James Swartz

    James Swartz

    James H. Clark Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering and of Bioengineering

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsProgram Overview

    The world we enjoy, including the oxygen we breathe, has been beneficially created by biological systems. Consequently, we believe that innovative biotechnologies can also serve to help correct a natural world that non-natural technologies have pushed out of balance. We must work together to provide a sustainable world system capable of equitably improving the lives of over 10 billion people.
    Toward that objective, our program focuses on human health as well as planet health. To address particularly difficult challenges, we seek to synergistically combine: 1) the design and evolution of complex protein-based nanoparticles and enzymatic systems with 2) innovative, uniquely capable cell-free production technologies.
    To advance human health we focus on: a) achieving the 120 year-old dream of producing “magic bullets”; smart nanoparticles that deliver therapeutics or genetic therapies only to specific cells in our bodies; b) precisely designing and efficiently producing vaccines that mimic viruses to stimulate safe and protective immune responses; and c) providing a rapid point-of-care liquid biopsy that will count and harvest circulating tumor cells.
    To address planet health we are pursuing biotechnologies to: a) inexpensively use atmospheric CO2 to produce commodity biochemicals as the basis for a new carbon negative chemical industry, and b) mitigate the intermittency challenges of photovoltaic and wind produced electricity by producing hydrogen either from biomass sugars or directly from sunlight.
    More than 25 years ago, Professor Swartz began his pioneering work to develop cell-free biotechnologies. The new ability to precisely focus biological systems toward efficiently addressing new, “non-natural” objectives has proven tremendously useful as we seek to address the crucial and very difficult challenges listed above. Another critical feature of the program is the courage (or naivete) to approach important objectives that require the development and integration of several necessary-but- not-sufficient technology advances.

  • William Abraham Tarpeh

    William Abraham Tarpeh

    Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, by courtesy, of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment

    BioReimagining liquid waste streams as resources can lead to recovery of valuable products and more efficient, less costly approaches to reducing harmful discharges to the environment. Pollutants in effluent streams can be captured and used as valuable inputs to other processes. For example, municipal wastewater contains resources like energy, water, nutrients, and metals. The Tarpeh Lab develops and evaluates novel approaches to resource recovery from “waste” waters at several synergistic scales: molecular mechanisms of chemical transport and transformation; novel unit processes that increase resource efficiency; and systems-level assessments that identify optimization opportunities. We employ understanding of electrochemistry, separations, thermodynamics, kinetics, and reactor design to preferentially recover resources from waste. We leverage these molecular-scale insights to increase the sustainability of engineered processes in terms of energy, environmental impact, and cost.

  • Robert Waymouth

    Robert Waymouth

    Robert Eckles Swain Professor of Chemistry and Professor, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering

    BioRobert Eckles Swain Professor in Chemistry Robert Waymouth investigates new catalytic strategies to create useful new molecules, including bioactive polymers, synthetic fuels, and sustainable plastics. In one such breakthrough, Professor Waymouth and Professor Wender developed a new class of gene delivery agents.

    Born in 1960 in Warner Robins, Georgia, Robert Waymouth studied chemistry and mathematics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia (B.S. and B.A., respectively, both summa cum laude, 1982). He developed an interest in synthetic and mechanistic organometallic chemistry during his doctoral studies in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology under Professor R.H. Grubbs (Ph.D., 1987). His postdoctoral research with Professor Piero Pino at the Institut fur Polymere, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, focused on catalytic hydrogenation with chiral metallocene catalysts. He joined the Stanford University faculty as assistant professor in 1988, becoming full professor in 1997 and in 2000 the Robert Eckles Swain Professor of Chemistry.

    Today, the Waymouth Group applies mechanistic principles to develop new concepts in catalysis, with particular focus on the development of organometallic and organic catalysts for the synthesis of complex macromolecular architectures. In organometallic catalysis, the group devised a highly selective alcohol oxidation catalyst that selectively oxidizes unprotected polyols and carbohydrates to alpha-hyroxyketones. In collaboration with Dr. James Hedrick of IBM, we have developed a platform of highly active organic catalysts and continuous flow reactors that provide access to polymer architectures that are difficult to access by conventional approaches.

    The Waymouth group has devised selective organocatalytic strategies for the synthesis of functional degradable polymers and oligomers that function as "molecular transporters" to deliver genes, drugs and probes into cells and live animals. These advances led to the joint discovery with the Wender group of a general, safe, and remarkably effective concept for RNA delivery based on a new class of synthetic cationic materials, Charge-Altering Releasable Transporters (CARTs). This technology has been shown to be effective for mRNA based cancer vaccines.

  • Roseanna N. Zia

    Roseanna N. Zia

    Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
    On Leave from 10/01/2021 To 12/31/2021

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy lab unifies mesoscale physics and chemistry with cellular-level biology through novel theoretical modeling and large-scale computational simulations. We work in four areas: 1) constructing micro-continuum theory of complex fluids; 2) mechanistically explaining non-equilibrium phase transitions in colloidal systems; 3) modeling confined and large-scale hydrodynamically-interacting colloidal suspensions; and 4) modeling the physics of living cells.