Mentor: Dr. Brent Sumerlin
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
"I became interested in trying research in high school because I thought it would be an interactive way for me to try my hand at real science. In addition, I plan to go to graduate school, so research will be an excellent preparation for my future."
- Hyperbranched Polymers
- Biodegradable Polymers
- Presdient's Honor Roll
- Dean's List
- Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Instrument Zoo
Hobbies and Interests
Synthesis of Hyperbranched Polypeptide Copolymers
My research focuses on developing a one-pot route to synthesize polypeptide hyperbranched copolymers through ring-opening polymerization of N-carboxyanhydrides (NCA). Hyperbranched and dendritic polymers have been widely researched recently, as branched structures often have lower solution and melt viscosities as compared to linear structures. In addition, branching allows for an increase in the number of end-group functionalities in a polymer. Previous syntheses of hyperbranched polypeptides have only been obtained through multi-step reaction procedures with protecting group chemistry. To solve this issue, we have developed a strategy to create an NCA inimer (a monomer that can also initiate polymerization) in situ, similar to self-condensing vinyl polymerization (SCVP). This approach will allow the polymerization of any NCA monomer to create hyperbranched polypeptides in a one-pot procedure.