Energy, clean water, and medicine are the three most prominent global problems for sustainability. Control of surface interactions via organic thin films is critical to saving energy, providing clean water, and engineering better medicines and diagnostics. My research program will have a strong emphasis on multidisciplinary collaborations with biologists, chemists, and mechanical engineers. I will initially focus on the following topics:
1) At the meso- to macro-scale, controlling biofilm formation and cell assembly on a surface to direct tissue repair and fight fouling, chronical infection and antibiotic resistance;
2) At the mesoscale, controlling the transport of clusters of molecules for new membrane design;
3) At the molecular scale, directing the assembly of functional molecules at the interface to fabricate inexpensive and rapid diagnostic devices for personalized medicine.
This focus will require a highly interdisciplinary approach, a deep understanding of surface science and engineering, polymer and material science, nanotechnology and a good grasp of the current technology in the chemical and biomedical engineering areas. My Ph.D. training in fouling mitigation of seawater desalination membranes and post-doctoral research in biomaterials in clinical applications bring together experience in each of these fields.
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