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 ring polymers, branched polymers, and copolymers (2) soft material dynamics, including vesicle fusion and coalescence using 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

  • August 2016 – Our paper on single polymer dynamics in large amplitude oscillatory extensional flow has been accepted at Physical Review Fluids. Congrats to Peter Zhou!
  • August 2016 – Charles returns from giving a keynote talk at the International Congress on Rheology (ICR 2016) in Kyoto, Japan and from attending a workshop on “New Aspects of Micro and Macroscopic Flows in Soft Matter” at OIST in Okinawa, Japan. Thanks to Amy Shen for organizing a particularly awesome visit to Okinawa! And to Simon Haward for a great snorkeling adventure.
  • July 2016  – We are collaborating with a multi-university team to develop sequence-defined synthetic polymers by engineering the translation apparatus. The work is funded by a MURI award from the Department of Defense, with fellow team members Mike Jewett, Andy Ellington, Jeff Moore, and Eric Gaucher. 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. See the news article here.
  • 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!