Professor Chengde Mao's research lies at the interface between chemistry, biology, nanotechnology and materials science.
It falls into two general themes:
- developing nanotechnology with biochemical approaches
- applying nanotechnology to address fundamental problems in chemistry and biology.
Current projects include using self-assembled DNA structures as templates in soft lithography to develop novel nanofabrication methods, fabricating nano/microstructured systems to mimic the nuclear environment of the cell and develop experimental and theoretical methods for structural analysis, and imaging and chemical/enzymatic probing of in vitro model systems to understand the Holliday junction.
An REU student working with the Mao group is expected to work on programmed DNA self-assembly. He/she will develop new ways to assemble short, synthetic DNA oligonucleotides into pre-designed nanostructures. Anticipated REU mentor would be Ms. Mo Li, a very successful, fourth year graduate student in the Mao group.