(6ao) Control and Manipulation of Molecular Interactions for Nanobiotechnology, Energy, and Biopharmaceutical Applications: Control of Self-Assembly in Micro- and Nano-Scale Systems

Authors: 
Yazdan Panah, N., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Molecular Interactions are the basis of the nature, from the early evolution of life. Control of self-assembling systems, and control and manipulation of molecular interactions provide new opportunities for the engineering of novel materials for the vast variety of applications. Amino acids, nucleotides, sugars, and lipids as the building blocks of life formed through chemical reaction and interaction of molecules. Investigation of molecular interactions in a complex matrix yields the definition of control parameters for manipulating the structure, and design of desired organizing processes. The underlying design principles could also be applied to engineer materials and systems with a robustness and adaptability approaching that of biological systems. Understanding the mechanism of materials formation at a molecular level, with the bottom-up engineering of self-assembly systems enables manufacturing materials and devices with novel optical, mechanical, and electronic properties. Control of self-assembly processes is key to the manufacture of materials with unique properties. However, controlling and manipulation of self-assembly of the systems are highly challenging due to high-dimensional and stochastic nonlinear dynamics of the systems and supramolecular interactions, limited sensors for real-time measurements, and implementing the control mechanism in atomic and molecular length scale.


Postdoctoral Project:Molecular Interactions, Process Modeling, and Continuous Manufacturing of Pharmaceutical Agents

I am trying to apply Next Generation Algorithms to investigate nucleation and crystallization of pharmaceutical molecules from solution and for continuous crystallization.


Postdoctoral Supervisors:Prof. Bernhardt Trout, Prof. Allan Myerson

Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


PhD Dissertation:  Solid-phase Crystallization, Molecular Interactions in a Complex System of Proteins and Sugars and Manipulating Particles’ Microstructure


PhD Supervisor:Prof. Tim Langrish, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The University of Sydney


Grants, Publications, Awards:2 successful Research Grants; 1 Book Chapter; 14 first author peer-reviewed Journal Papers; 1 US Patent; Numerous peer-reviewed Conference Presentations; 11 Prestigious Awards.


Professional Experience:5 years Industrial Experience, Process Design Engineer.

My professional background will help me in designing the courses full of practical examples from chemical industries to foster better understanding of the topics by students.


Teaching Experience:

- Lecturer (3 semesters): Chemical Engineering Foundation for Master of Professional Engineering.

Prepared lecture notes and teaching materials, taught the course, manage the class of 20-25, graded homework and assignments.

- Teaching Assistant (7 semesters): Reaction Design and Kinetics, Separation Processes, Thermodynamics, Process Engineering Economics and Design.

   Helped student with course materials, grade homework and final exams, helped with term projects, and conducting private tutoring sessions. Average class size of 40.

- Co-supervisor and Mentor (4 years):

- Co-supervised and mentored 4 undergraduate students for their fourth year research thesis.

- Research mentor and co-supervisor for 3 PhD and master students.


Future Direction:

My research core is the study of Molecular Interactions of large and small molecules, Assembly, and Self-assembly in Micro- and Nano-scale Systems. I would like to use this bottom-up approach in the field of Nanbiotechnology, Energy, Biopharmaceutical, and Novel Material application. The fundamental investigation in the molecular and biomolecular domains will be employed for designing novel technique to address multi scale issues. I would like to incorporate the fundamental study’s results in developing predictive models to selectively tailor novel materials and properties, and processes with high impact for industry and science. This interdisciplinary research of supramolecular self-assembly and supramolecular interactions will aim for rational synthesis of materials through molecular design, wherein I am interested in fundamental interactions at material interfaces. Few application examples would be: developing of Nanostructured Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion; Application of Conducting Polymer and inorganic devices in Biomedical Application; Controlling Nucleation, Crystallization, and Polymorphism in Organic Semiconductor Thin Films; Materials for Bioelectronics; Virus/Bacteria-Based Method for Directed Synthesis of Nanowires and Nanostructures.