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Kokkoli Research GroupDepartment of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS)

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Group News

May 2015

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5-22-2015-2s.jpgWe enjoyed a beautiful summer day after a group lunch.

We welcome Amanda Kummeth (Chemistry, Colgate University) to our group for the summer.

Aadarsh Padiyath, the high school student that worked with Rachel over the summer of 2014, was selected as a MN Scholar of Distinction in Science for his project "Increasing Cancer-Specific Drug Delivery using Targeted Liposomes". Congratulations!

April 2015

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Christina will be attending graduate school in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT in the Fall. She will be graduating summa cum laude this semester. Congratulations!

February 2015

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The OVPR's (Office of the Vice President for Research) research and innovation blog, Inquiry, highlighted our transdisciplinary MnDRIVE project on DNA nanotechnology: Tiny technology to deliver big disease treatments.

Aadarsh Padiyath Science Poster 2-27-2015.jpgAadarsh Padiyath, the high school student that worked with Rachel over the summer, presented his project "Increasing Cancer-Specific Drug Delivery using Targeted Liposomes" at the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair. His poster was selected as a finalist for the International Science & Engineering Fair (to be held in Pittsburgh in May), and the MN State Science Fair (to be held in March). His research paper was awarded 3rd place out of 174 papers. Congratulations Aadarsh, we are proud of your achievement!

January 2015

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Congratulations to Kamlesh for his new job as a Scientist at Novel Laboratories, Inc., in their specialty product division!

Orono_Girls_Science_Club_1-13-2015-s.jpgEfie was invited by the Orono Girls Science Club (Orono, MN) at one of their meetings to talk about Chemical Engineering and our group's work. The girls, grades 4th-7th, had the opportunity to think like engineers and work on a S'mores packaging activity (thanks to Rachel and Carolyn for recommending it).

December 2014

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Tim and Efie graduation photo.jpg


Tim successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis "Self-assembly of ssDNA-amphiphiles into micelles, nanotapes and nanotubes". Congratulations Tim!

November 2014

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Tim's paper "DNA Nanotubes and Helical Nanotapes via Self-Assembly of ssDNA-Amphiphiles", Soft Matter, 2015, 11 (1), 109-117, made the list of Soft Matter's most downloaded articles. Congratulations Tim.

October 2014

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We welcome Dr. Huihui Kuang to our group. Huihui has expertise in the design and characterization (in vitro & in vivo) of biodegradable polymers bearing nucleobase pairs.

September 2014

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Garrett's_defense_9-26-14.jpgGarrett successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis "Synthesis, Characterization, and Applications of Porous and Hierarchically-Porous Silica Nanostructures". Congratulations Garrett! Good luck in Praxair Technology, Inc. as a Development Specialist.

August 2014

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Prof. Havazelet Bianco-Peled from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa, Israel visited our group and presented her group's work on bioadhesive interfaces.

Efie discussed our work on DNA nanotechnology at the "Drug Carriers in Medicine & Biology" Gordon Research Conference.

July 2014

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Efie's proposal on "DNA Nanotechnology: Developing and Analyzing a New Tool for Sensing and Targeting Disease" was selected for funding through the MnDRIVE Transdisciplinary Research Program. Nearly $6 million was awarded to 12 projects through a competitive peer-reviewed process. Efie and her co-investigators from other UMN departments will use breakthrough DNA nanotechnology to engineer and evaluate materials that can address major challenges in our health and food system. Read more.

June 2014

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Efie discussed our DNA nanotubes and nanotapes via self-assembly of ssDNA-amphiphiles work at the "Bioinspired Materials" Gordon Research Conference.

Ajay leaves the group to work at 3M as a Senior Product Development Engineer. Congratulations and good luck!

We welcome Lucero Ramirez (Chemistry, University of Texas at Pan American), Javier Topete (Chemistry & Biology, University of Texas at Pan American) and Aadarsh Padiyath (Woodbury High School) to our group for the Summer.

May 2014

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Rachel received an award at the UMN Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial and Materials Engineering (IPRIME) Annual Meeting from the Biomaterials and Pharmaceutical Materials program for her poster Peptide-Targeted Liposomal Gene Delivery for Cancer Therapy. Congratulations.

April 2014

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Wenjie will be attending graduate school in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Congratulations.

Congratulation to Rachel for winning the Sigma Xi Graduate Research Poster Award for her poster Biomimetic Peptide-Targeted Liposomal Gene Delivery for Cancer Therapy at the UMN Doctoral Research Showcase.

January 2014

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Our alumna Alison Tisdale (M.S. 2009) was accepted to MIT's graduate program after a successful career at Eleven Biotherapeutics. Congratulations Alison.

December 2013

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Brett successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis "Development and Characterization of Aptamer-Amphiphiles Against Fractalkine for Targeted Drug Delivery". Congratulations Brett! Good luck in your new job as Research Chemical Engineer at Bend Research.

The 1st graduate of the group, Anastasia Mardilovich Behr (Ph.D. 2006), visited us with her family. It was really great to see her and husband Michael again and to meet their 2-year-old daughter Zoe.

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Wenjie received a competitive Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) award for her project Aptamer-Amphiphile Nanotapes for Targeted Drug Delivery. Congratulations Wenjie.

November 2013

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We welcome Mike into our group.

Wenshi received a competitive Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) award to Test and Analyze the Effect of Lyso-PR_b Peptide-Amphiphiles on Drug Release Rates from Liposomes Upon Mild Hyperthermia. Congratulations Wenshi.

August 2013

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Maroof successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis "A platform for next-generation cancer therapies: multi-targeted non-viral vectors for site-specific gene delivery and expression". Congratulations Maroof! Good luck with your post doc at the University of California, Berkeley.

June 2013

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We welcome Lucero Ramirez (Chemistry, University of Texas at Pan American). She joins us through the MRSEC REU program.

May 2013

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Matt successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis "Degradable Polymersomes for Targeted Drug Delivery". Congratulations Matt!

Rachel received a competitive UMN Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for her work Targeted Liposomal Gene Delivery for Cancer Therapy. She also received an award at the UMN Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial and Materials Engineering (IPRIME) Annual Meeting from the Biomaterials and Pharmaceutical Materials program for her poster Preparation and Characterization of Liposome-Encapsulated Plasmid DNA for Gene Delivery. Congratulations Rachel.

We welcome two undergraduate summer students into our group, Vasiliki (ChBE University of Pennsylvania) and Wenshi (CEMS UMN).

Recently Joined Group Members