Vlasta Klima Balloun Professor
Iowa State University
2035 Sweeney Hall
Ames, IA 50011-9273
Our research is focused on the molecular design of nanoscale polymer systems and biomaterials to precisely control molecular architecture and functionality in these systems. The overall goal is to answer critical questions related to organization and dynamics occurring on length scales ranging from the nanometer to the micron-scale at surfaces of and interfaces between nanoparticles, inorganic materials (e.g., Si surfaces), cells, and biomolecules (e.g., drugs, proteins). The tools that we utilize include novel synthesis methodologies, precise functionalization of nanoparticles, and state-of-the-art surface/interfacial characterization.
Our current research thrusts are in the areas of functionalized nanoparticles for targeted vaccine and drug delivery, rational protein stabilization strategies using nanostructured biodegradable block copolymers, multifunctional nanoparticles for biosensing and enzymatic catalysis, and the development of combinatorial and high throughput technology for synthesis and testing of biomaterials. Our research is currently funded by NSF, NIH, DOD, HRSA, and the Roy J. Carver Foundation.
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 1996
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, 1992