Berda Research Group

The overarching theme for research in our laboratory is the synthesis of well-defined nanostructures with an emphasis on complex architectures with the ability to adapt based on external stimuli, similar to biological systems. While this research is fundamental in nature, it represents an important initial step towards advanced nanoarchitectures that are capable of mimicking the complexity found in natural systems.

Our laboratory specializes in synthesizing single-chain nanoparticles (SCNP), which are organic nanoparticles formed by the intramolecular reaction of single polymer chains in highly dilute solution. Currently, our lab is working on identifying synthetic methodologies that impart interesting functionality or structural features in SCNP.


November 2017
Justin Cole's Polymer Chemistry paper “Single-chain nanoparticles containing sequence-defined segments: using primary structure control to promote secondary and tertiary structures in synthetic protein mimics,” was featured on the cover of issue 48. Check out the paper here: 10.1039/C7PY01133D. Learn more about this research and cover art here.

March 2017
Justin Cole successfully defended his dissertation, "Bio-inspired Synthetic Systems," for a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in August 2017. Congratulations, Justin!

March 2017
Ashley Hanlon sucessfully defended her dissertation, "Design and synthesis of polymeric nanostructures using single-chain technology and controlled architectures," for a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. Congratulations, Ashley!

20 May 2016
Congrats to graduating Berda group seniors! Mark Cashman will begin his Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering under Dr. E. Johan Foster at Virgina Tech, Ian Martin will begin his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Connecticut, and Jacob Lessard will begin his Ph.D. in Chemistry under Dr. Brent Sumerlin at the University of Florida.

20 April 2016
Jake Lessard's poster, "Pendant Group Effect on Single-Chain Nanoparticle Collapse via Intra-Chain Radical Polymerization," wins first place at the 2016 UNH Undgergraduate Research Conference Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering (ISE) Symposium.

31 December 2015 
Ashley Hanlon's Macromolecules paper “What is Next in Single Chain Nanoparticles,” was chosen as an ACS Editors Choice article and featured on the journal cover. Check out the paper here:

January 2015
Bryan Tuten sucessfully defends his dissertation, "Modular and Dynamic Approaches to the Formation of Single-Chain Polymer Nanoparticles," for a Ph.D. in Materials Science. He goes on to begin a postdoctoral fellowship under Dr. Christopher Barner-Kowollik at Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) in Karlsruhe, Germany. Congratulations, Bryan!

21 December 2015
Christopher Lyon sucessfully defended his dissertation, "Linear polymers bearing monomer units and intra-chain polymerization toward architecturally defined nanostructures," for a Ph.D. in Chemistry. He goes on to begin a postdoctoral fellowship at Penn State. Congratulations, Chris!

14 December 2015
Alka Prasher sucessfully defended her dissertation, "Palladium (0) and copper (I) catalyzed cross-coupling reactions: a facile route for the synthesis of polymer nanoparticles," for a Ph.D. in Chemistry. She begins a postdoctoral fellowship at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Congratulations, Alka!