PhD defenses.

Implementation of Dynamic Covalent Chemistries for the Physical Enhancement of Polymeric Materials

Abstract: Polymers have become a ubiquitous part of our lives, filling diverse applications ranging from aerospace to children’s toys. With over three hundred million tons of plastics being produced annually, it is crucial to increase their usable lifespan and reduce their relegation to waste. As such, it is necessary to move away from traditional commodity polymers and steer towards new structural designs that resist deterioration and failure. For wider adoption, these new structural designs should be thermally stable, resistant to additives, and resist/repair damage.

Reactive Oxygen Species Formation from Ambient Particles and Their Roles in Chemical Aging

Abstract: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) including hydroxyl radical (OH·), superoxide anion (O2·-), ozone (O3) and oxygenated organic radicals play an important role in atmospheric and physiological processes. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), including benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), are among the most prominent toxic compounds that can be found in indoor and outdoor environments.

Developing Macrocyclic β-Hairpin Peptide Mimics to Elucidate the Structures of Aβ Oligomers in Alzheimer’s Disease

Abstract: The oligomers formed by the β-amyloid peptide Aβ are unstable and exhibit significant variation in their stoichiometry and structure. This variation complicates efforts to understand how Aβ oligomers affect neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Frustratingly, high-resolution structures of the oligomers formed by full-length Aβ have largely remained elusive.

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