Molecular Design as an Enabler of Technological Innovation

02/06/2020 @ 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Asia/Singapore Timezone

CA2DM Homely Atmosphere Online Seminars (CHAOS)

Speaker: Professor Guillermo Carlos Bazan
Affiliation: Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore
Abstract Details:
The ability to synthesize precisely-defined molecular materials allows one to understand basic physical phenomena underlying properties of interest and enables new technologies.

A journey of discovery will be described with origins centered on our interest in understanding how electrostatic interactions can be used to modulate the photophysics and electronic structure of conjugated polyelectrolytes. This foundational work led to the design of optically-amplified biosensory platforms and a commercial program that led to cytometry reagents that are now widely used in medical research fields. Through the ability to tailor optoelectronic and self-assembly processes, molecular semiconductors were designed that are the basis of transparent organic solar cell development programs. Extension of molecular architectures so that they contain predefined ionic and hydrophobic domains, namely conjugated oligoelectrolytes (COEs), were strategically developed with the view of facilitating extracellular electron transfer in microorganisms. These findings led to the idea of “Living Composites”, which combine a soft conductive gel matrix with electrogenic bacteria. While early in the development program, it is envisioned that the three-dimensional aspect of the composites will accelerate progress in bioelectrochemical technologies relevant for energy production, wastewater remediation, and electrosynthesis.

As a final point of discussion, we will show how the modulation of membrane properties afforded by COEs has provided us with a new type of potentially transformative platform for developing new antibiotics. Above all, the goal of the presentation is to illustrate how the synthesis of new molecules provides the connection between what may appear at first sight to be unrelated technological challenges.

About the Speaker:
Guillermo Bazan is a Professor at the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, National University of Singapore since January this year. Prior to relocating to Singapore, he was Professor of Chemistry and Materials, University of California, Santa Barbara since 1998. He was Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Rochester for 6 years before his position at University of California. And he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology from 1990 to 1992 .

Academic Qualifications
• 1986-1990 Ph.D., Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
• 1982-1986 B.Sc., (Summa cum Laude), Chemistry, University of Ottawa

Research Interests
Living materials, transmembrane electron transfer, organic semiconductors, conjugated oligoelectrolyte antibiotics.

Education and Outreach
Four spin-off companies are associated with his laboratories and the students in his group. They include Sirigen (purchased by Becton Dickinson), NEXT Energy (winner of the Most Disruptive Technology Award by the Pacific Coast Business Times), Apeel Technologies (fastest growing company in Santa Barbara) and Xiretsa (established in 2019). Prof. Bazan holds over sixty-five patents. Thirty-five of his previous students and postdoctoral associates now lead successful academic positions.

Major Awards/Recognition
• 2019 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher
• 2017 ISI Highly Cited Scientists in Materials Science
• Frontiers in Chemistry Named Lecture, Case Western Reserve University
• Thomson Reuter “Most Influential Scientific Minds”, 2015
• Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2014
• Top 50 Material Scientists by Citation and Impact, Thompson Reuters, 2011
• Macromolecules Advisory Board, 2009
• Professor of the Chang Jiang Scholars Professor, 2009
• Advanced Materials Editorial Advisory Board, 2008
• Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2007
• American Chemical Society Cope Scholar Award, 2006
• Bessel Award, Humboldt Foundation, 2005
• NSF Special Creativity Award, 2003
• Union Carbide Innovation Award, 1998
• Closs Lecturer, University of Chicago, 1997
• Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 1996-1998

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