Niveen M. Khashab
Professor, Chemistry<br/>Chair, Chemistry Program
1- Bioengineering/Biomedical Thrust
Supramolecular assembled capsules (SACs) are designed to aid in the problem of intracellular delivery by improving targetability and controlling the release of cargo, such as CRISPR-Cas9 and RNA, on-demand. Solving the problem of delivery will not solely drastically improve the quality of therapeutic approaches such as chemotherapy but will also revolutionize the vaccination industry by designing “personalized vaccines or personalized medicine” that protect individuals from various diseases. Moreover, with the decoding of the human genome and the major strides that we see today towards Digital Health, the ability to synthetically mimic a natural function is an inevitable evolutionary step as precise data points will be available to better perfect synthetic designs.
2- Industrial Separations and Nanocomposites Thrust
Intrinsically porous materials (IPMs) are a promising alternative to zeolites, covalent organic frameworks (COFs) and porous coordination polymers (PCPs) as sorbents for energy intensive separations as they are made from discrete organic molecules with accessible “built-in” pores or windows. These stable systems are easily prepared and scaled-up in addition to being solution processable, which makes them very attractive for industrial translation. IPMs can be employed using liquid-liquid extraction mechanisms without the need for extensive distillations, which can be directly translated into industrial commodities for CO2 and benzene isomers separation. This will ultimately promote environmentally friendly and energy-efficient industrial separations and can effectively contribute the Circular Carbon Initiative (CCI).