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Faculty Experts

Boston College is home to many experienced and respected researchers that serve as experts as well as leading innovators in their respective fields.  On behalf of Boston College, the Office for Technology Transfer (OTTL) can help connect interested parties with the innovators.

Biology Chemistry Physics
Thomas C. Chiles
Amir Hoveyda Michael Naughton
Charles Hoffman Lawrence T. Scott Krzysztof Kempa
Thomas Seyfried Evan R. Kantrowitz Zhifeng Ren
Dong Cai Larry McLaughlin Willie J. Padilla
Kenneth C. Williams Marc L. Snapper

Dunwei Wang



Biology Department Innovators

Thomas C. Chiles

  1. Biology Chair and Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. understanding the bioenergetics underlying B lymphocyte growth and survival responses
    2. regulation of the cell cycle, as well as the identification of therapeutic strategies to inhibit the growth of human diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cells
    3. ongoing collaboration with faculty from the Physics Department (Drs. Ren and Kempa) pioneering the use of novel carbon nanotube structures for the delivery of macromolecules into primary mammalian cell cultures
  3. Past Inventions
    1. ultrasensitive, molecular imprinted nanosensors

Charles Hoffman

  1. Biology Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. glucose sensing, signal transduction, and transcriptional regulation in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe
  3. Developed Inventions
    1. inhibitors of cyclic AMP phosphodiesterases

Thomas Seyfried

  1. Biology Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. gene-environmental interactions in epilepsy and brain cancer
  3. Developed Inventions
    1. a novel brain tumor model system in the VM mouse strain

Dong Cai

  1. Biology Research Associate Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. nano-biotechnology with nanomaterials, especially carbon nanotubes and metallic nanoparticles
  3. Past Inventions
    1. ultrasensitive, molecular imprinted nanosensors

Kenneth C. Williams

  • Biology Professor
  • Research Interests
    • central nervous system microphages, neuroAIDS, AIDS pathogenesis, monocyte/macrophage biology
  • Past Inventions
    • new prognostic and monitoring marker for HIV-associated diseases


Chemistry Department Innovators

Amir H. Hoveyda

  1. Chemistry Chair and Joseph T. and Patricia Vanderslice Millennium Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. discovering, designing and developing new catalysts for chemical synthesis that are easily prepared, are stable to air and moisture and can be recycled
    2. developing efficient new chiral catalysts that can be used to synthesize important enantiomerically pure compounds for the preparation of biologically and medicinally active agents
  3. Developed Inventions
    1. design and synthesis of recyclable chiral metathesis catalysts


Lawrence T. Scott

  1. Chemistry Louise and Jim Vanderslice and Family Chair
  2. Research Interests
    1. design, synthesis and study of novel organic compounds such as of uniform single-walled carbon nanotubes and geodesic polyarenes like fullerenes, molecular bowls, baskets, and belts
  3. Developed Invention
    1. a chemical method for growing single-chirality, uniform-diameter carbon nanotubes

Evan R. Kantrowitz

  1. Chemistry Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. developing an understanding of the relationship between protein structure and function and in particular, how the protein structure relates to catalysis, metal binding, and cooperativity in enzyme systems
  3. Developed Invention
    1. a new class of inhibitors of fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase

Larry McLaughlin

  1. Chemistry Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. combining three related areas:
      1. preparing nucleoside analogues as potential antivirals
      2. understanding macromolecular recognition processes to better understand gene expression
      3. using nanoscale natural structures of DNA as crystallization scaffolds for multi-component systems, to sequester nanometer sized solutes or for controlled release of nanoscale pharmaceuticals
  3. Developed Inventions
    1. a new class of HIV chain terminators

Marc L. Snapper

  1. Chemistry Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. introducing new chemical transformations, building complex molecules with these new reactions, and using these compounds to study cellular function
  3. Developed Inventions
    1. a catalytic enantioselective silylations of alcohol

Dunwei Wang

  1. Chemistry Assistant Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. bridging the conventional disciplines of chemistry (in material synthesis), physics (property characterizations) and engineering (device constructions) by tackling the challenge of efficient solar energy conversion and utilization with novel nanoscale materials
  3. Developed Inventions
    1. a sophisticated nanoscale material for high efficiency photoelectrochemical H2O splitting and battery applications


Physics Department Innovators

Michael Naughton

  1. Physics Chair and Evelyn J. & Robert A. Ferris Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. the physics and chemistry of quasi one and quasi two dimensional electron systems
    2. low temperature, high magnetic field electrical and magnetic properties of organic conductors and superconductors, cuprate superconductors, low dimensional semiconductor structures and novel magnetic systems
  3. Developed Inventions
    1. nanoscale coaxial structures for use as photovoltaic cells and sensors
    2. nanotube cantilevers for nanoscale magnetic microscopy
    3. visual prosthetic devices based on nanoscale cometal arrays

Krzysztof Kempa

  1. Physics Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. electronic and electromagnetic properties of nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes, semiconductor nanowires, and semiconductor quantum structures
    2. photonic band gap crystals and composite dielectric and magnetic media made of nanostructures
    3. application of nanostructures and nanodevices in optoelectronics and biotechnology
  3. Developed Inventions
    1. apparatuses and methods for nanolithography and for optical switches using nano-optics
    2. nanoscale coaxial structures for use as photovoltaic cells and sensors

Zhifeng Ren

  1. Physics Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. the synthesis, characterization, functionalization, and applications of carbon nanotubes
    2. the synthesis, characterization, functionalization, and applications of semiconducting nanowires and nanoparticles
    3. field emission and flat panel displays
    4. energy storage
    5. ceramics
    6. superconductivity
  3. Developed Inventions
    1. reinforced carbon nanotubes, metal oxide nanostructures, and devices and methods for achieving enhanced field emission using nanostructures grown on cloth, among many other things
    2. nanoscale coaxial structures for use as photovoltaic cells and sensors

Willie J. Padilla

  1. Physics Assistant Professor
  2. Research Interests
    1. experimental studies of semiconductors, oxides, strongly correlated electron systems including high Tc superconductors and metamaterials
    2. laboratory’s experimental methods include far infrared spectroscopy and THz time domain spectroscopy
    3. the investigation of the symmetry of metamaterials and their relation to complex electromagnetic behavior by point group theoretical methods
  3. Developed inventions
    1. a conformally mapped photonic device where a composite metamaterial can deliver a complex set of instructions to a beam of light which can then guide electromagnetic waves in an arbitrary fashion