Professor Appel's research program integrates concepts and approaches from supramolecular chemistry, natural/synthetic materials, and biology to pursue innovative interdisciplinary science and engineering to tackle two areas of critical importance to society: advanced materials and health. The key to understanding the relationship between structure and function in chemistry, biology and materials science, lies often in molecular self assembly. The notion is one of great interest and potential as it describes the appearance of order from disorder and provides a means to pursue the connection between reductionistic simplicity and perceived emergence in chemical systems. We aim to investigate the application of molecular recognition motifs in materials science and biology to meet the need for complex, dynamic cell culture environments and to develop novel biomimetic materials, taking advantage of the beautiful synergism between physical properties, aesthetics, and low energy consumption typical of natural systems.
Department: Materials Science and Engineering