Schroeder Group Research

We study the dynamics of polymers, proteins, and soft materials using single molecule techniques. Our recent work has focused on: (1) extending the field of single polymer dynamics to new materials, including topologically complex polymers such as rings and branched polymers, (2) developing the Stokes trap, which is a new method to manipulate multiple particles using only fluid flow, (3) single molecule studies of TALE proteins, which are a key tool for gene editing and genome engineering, and (4) studying the assembly properties of optoelectronic materials such as pi-conjugated oligopeptides.

Recent News

  • July 2016  – We are collaborating with a multi-university team to develop sequence-defined synthetic polymers by engineering and repurposing the translation apparatus. The work is funded by a MURI award from the Department of Defense. The full news story is here.
  • June 2016 – Anish Shenoy was awarded 3rd place prize in the Langmuir Graduate Student Awards Session for his talk on the Stokes trap at the 90th ACS Colloid & Surface Science Symposium. Congrats to Anish!
  • June 2016 – Our recent paper on TALE proteins has been accepted at Nature Chemical Biology.
  • June 2016 – Danielle Mai has been invited to give a seminar at the 2016 Distinguished Young Scholars Seminar (DYSS) series at the University of Washington. Congrats to Danielle on this honor!
  • May 2016 – Danielle Mai has been invited to give a talk on her research at the 2016 Gordon Research Seminar on Polymer Physics in July 2016. Danielle will present a talk at the GRS entitled “Single Molecule Dynamics of Branched DNA Polymers”.
  • May 2016 – Kaiwen Hsiao receives the Outstanding Student Research Award at the 20th Annual 2016 GLCACS (Great Lakes Chinese American Chemical Society) Conference. Congrats to Kaiwen!
  • May 2016 – Danielle Mai successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “Single Molecule Studies of Branched Polymer Dynamics”. Danielle has accepted a postdoctoral position at MIT. Congrats to Danielle!
  • May 2016  Our recent paper on the Stokes trap has been highlighted in Nature Physics.
  • May 2016 – Kaiwen Hsiao has been selected to present her research in the Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research session at 2016 AIChE in San Francisco, CA. Congrats to Kaiwen!
  • April 2016 – Luke Cuculis is a newly minted PhD from the Schroeder group. Luke successfully defended his thesis entitled “Single Molecule Investigation of TALE Protein Search Dynamics”. He is taking a position at BCG in August 2016. Congrats to Luke!
  • April 2016 – Anish Shenoy was selected to present his research in the Langmuir Graduate Student Awards Session at the 90th ACS Colloid & Surface Science Symposium at Harvard in June 2016. Congrats and best of luck to Anish!
  • April 2016 – Peter Zhou was awarded a 2016-17 Mavis Future Faculty Fellowship (MF3) from the College of Engineering at Illinois. Congrats to Peter!
  • March 2016 – Dan Reilly is a newly minted PhD from the Schroeder group. Dan successfully defended his thesis entitled “Advances in Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Microscopy for Biological Imaging and Polymer Characterization” Congrats to Dan!
  • March 2016 – Our paper on the Stokes trap appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • March 2016 – Anish Shenoy, Bo Li, Danielle Mai, Kaiwen Hsiao, and Peter Zhou returned from giving talks at the APS March Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. Welcome back!
  • March 2016 – Danielle Mai was awarded a Travel Award for Excellence in Graduate Research from the APS Forum on Graduate Student Affairs (FGSA). Congrats to Danielle!
  • March 2016 – Charles returns from a very nice visit to Missouri University of Science and Technology. Many thanks to Joontaek Park for hosting a great visit.
  • February 2016 – Charles returns from a nice visit to the Department of Physics at the University of Ottawa. Many thanks to Vincent Tabard-Cossa for an excellent visit.
  • February 2016 – Our manuscript on ring polymer dynamics in flow is accepted to Macromolecules. Congrats to Kaiwen!
  • February 2016 – Peter Zhou successfully passes the MatSE PhD Qualification Exams. Congrats to Peter!
  • January 2016 – Charles returns from giving talks at TU Eindhoven in the Netherlands and FORTH/University of Crete in Greece. Many thanks to wonderful hosts Patrick Anderson and Jaap den Toonder at TU Eindhoven and Dimitris Vlassopoulos in Crete for excellent visits!
  • January 2016 – Charles and Subha Kumar return from a productive visit to Dow Chemical in Midland, MI.
  • January 2016 – Shivani Patel successfully passed the Quantitative Qualification Exam in ChBE. Congrats to Shivani!
  • December 2015 – Luke Cuculis was awarded Second Place Prize for his talk “Direct observation of TALE search dynamics reveals a novel helical zip-line mechanism” at the Center for the Physics of Living Cells (CPLC) and the Biophysics Program’s 12th Semi-Annual Symposium at Illinois. Congrats to Luke!
  • November 2015 – Charles returns from giving a seminar at Brown University. Many thanks to Petia Vlahovska for the invitation and an excellent visit!
  • November 2015 – Dan Reilly, Danielle Mai, and Anish Shenoy return from giving talks at the 2015 AIChE Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. Welcome back!
  • October 2015 – Kaiwen Hsiao and Charles return from giving talks at the 2015 Society of Rheology Meeting in Baltimore, MD. Welcome back!
  • October 2015 – Danielle Mai receives the Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the College of Engineering at Illinois, awarded by the Lam Research Corporation. Congratulations Danielle!
  • October 2015 – Danielle Mai receives First Place Prize for her talk on “Single Molecule Dynamics of Branched DNA Polymers” in the 14th Annual ChBE Graduate Research Symposium. Congrats to Danielle!
  • October 2015 – Shivani Patel joins the Schroeder group as a first year graduate student in ChBE. Welcome Shivani!
  • October 2015 – Our manuscript on development of new dendrimer-based fluorescent probes appears in Analytical Chemistry. Congrats to Dan!
  • August 2015 – Songsong Li successfully passes the MatSE PhD Qualification Exams. Congrats to Songsong!
  • August 2015 – Kaiwen Hsiao successfully passes the PhD Preliminary Exam in ChBE. Congrats to Kaiwen!
  • August 2015 – Our manuscript on single molecule studies of ring polymers is published in Macromolecules. Congrats to Kaiwen Hsiao and Chris Brockman!
  • July 2015 – Dr. Bo Li joins the group at the Shen Postdoctoral Fellow in ChB. Be recently finished his PhD in MatSE with Professor Zhiqun Lin at Georgia Tech. Welcome Bo!
  • July 2015 – Dr. Kejia Chen joins the group after finishing her PhD with Professor Steve Granick in MatSE at Illinois. Welcome Kejia!
  • June 2015 – Our manuscript on TALE proteins appears in Nature Communications. Congrats to Luke!
  • May 2015 – Charles returns from giving at talk at the Microfluidics Gordon Research Conference in Mt. Snow, VT.
  • May 2015 – Utsav Agrawal is a successfully defends his PhD thesis and will join Intel Corporation in Portland, Oregon. Congratulations to Utsav!
  • May 2015 – Songsong Li joins the group as a PhD student in MatSE at Illinois. Welcome Songsong!