Research in the Francis group is focused on the development of new synthetic methods for site-specific protein modification. These new reactions are then applied to the construction of protein-based materials with useful optical and therapeutic functions. Current areas of research include (1) the development of nanoscale carriers for drug molecules and imaging agents using chemically modified viral capsids, (2) the generation of artificial light harvesting systems using the tobacco mosaic virus capsid, (3) the synthesis of new materials for the removal of heavy metals from water using metallothionein-polymer conjugates, and (4) the attachment of living cells to device surfaces through DNA-based adhesion.
Research Expertise and Interest
materials chemistry, drug delivery, organic chemistry, Protein modification, artificial photosynthesis, water purification