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Welcome to the Kirshenbaum Lab

We are inspired by the beauty and complexity of biological polymers to develop new approaches in the design of macromolecules. Although chemists have successfully synthesized polymers with a wide variety of functional groups, they have not attained the sequence-specificity and monodispersity of proteins and nucleic acids. Conversely, protein chemists have been constrained by the lack of chemical diversity in the set of monomers specified by the genetic code. Research in the Kirshenbaum lab seeks to overcome these obstacles. We are creating new classes of macromolecules that integrate the desirable characteristics of biopolymers and synthetic polymers. Our goals are to find new avenues for the study of self-organization in macromolecules and to create innovative research tools for molecular pharmacology, biomedical imaging, and materials science.

Stacked Cyclic Peptoids
The X-ray crystal structure of a cyclic N-substituted glycine "peptoid" oligomer.

Research in the Kirshenbaum Lab has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the following organizations: