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  • Professor Valentin Rodionov
    09/22/17 -
    10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

    Special Seminar: Professor Valentin O. Rodionov

    Special Seminar

"Functional Surfactants and Macromolecular Architectures for Catalysis, Encapsulation, and Transport"

Nature's enzymes are extremely efficient catalysts. Their remarkable properties result from precise preorganization of the local solvent environment and functional groups around the catalytic sites, and close participation of metal ions, prosthetic groups, and cofactors. De novo design of functional proteins is still out of reach of modern chemistry, to a significant extent due to the complexity of the problem of protein folding. However, the globular structures and nanoscale dimensions of natural biopolymers provide useful boundary conditions for the rational design of enzyme mimics. Micelles and emulsion droplets are some of the simplest and most versatile systems of this kind. In this presentation, I shall discuss several examples enzyme-inspired macromolecules and functional surfactants, both organocatalytic and bearing metal catalytic sites, reported recently by our group. The catalytic activities and properties of such systems are often unattainable with small-molecule versions of the same catalytic moieties.

Valentin Rodionov research graphic

Professor Rodionov

Professor Rodionov began his undergraduate studies in 1997 at the Higher Chemical College of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 2000, after moving to the United States, he was accepted to the University of Maryland and promoted directly into the graduate program without having to complete an undergraduate degree. He earned his master's degree in 2002 and enrolled in the doctorate program at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA.

At Scripps, Rodionov worked under the guidance of Professors M.G. Finn and K.B. Sharpless. His thesis project was focused on mechanistic investigation of copper (I) catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition, and provided the first glimpse of the inner workings of this most widely used "click" reaction (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2005, 44, p. 2210; and J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, p. 12696). As a postdoctoral fellow with Professor J.M.J. Fréchet at the University of California, Berkeley, Rodionov applied the powerful “click” chemistry approach to the development of enzyme-inspired catalytic polymers (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, p. 2570).

Since late 2010, Rodionov has been an assistant professor of Chemical Science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. His group’s research interests are broadly focused on catalysis with soft materials and nanoscale systems capable of emergent behavior. The most active research directions of Rodionov group are:

  • Tailored Soft Materials for Catalysis and Transport/Encapsulation,
  • Controlled Nanoenvironments for Catalysis,
  • Emergent/Dynamic Autocatalytic Systems, and
  • Molecular Catalysts for Water Oxidation.
  • Event Details

    Location: Kate & Michael Bárány Conference Room (117/119 Smith Hall)
    Host: Professor Marc Hillmyer
    Speakers:
    • Professor Valentin Rodionov
    • Valentin Rodionov
    • Chemical Science, Physical Science & Engineering Division
    • King Abdullah University of Science & Technology
    • Thuwal