Loading Events

« All Events

BioPACIFIC MIP Summer School Keynote 2024

July 15 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Plastics Redesign for Biorenewable Circularity

Brett A. Helms is a San Francisco-Bay Area native. He received his B.S. from Harvey Mudd College in 2000 and his Ph.D. in 2006 at the University of California, Berkeley with Jean M. J. Fréchet in designing branched polymer architectures for catalysis. His postdoctoral research was conducted at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven with E. W. (Bert) Meijer where his focus was on supramolecular chemistry. In 2007, he began his independent career at Berkeley Lab and has since risen to the rank of Senior Scientist. His research program there is devoted to materials discovery and development to solve outstanding challenges in energy and sustainability. He is the co-founder of two deep-tech Bay Area Start-Ups: Sepion Technologies and Cyklos Materials. One of the goals of a circular economy is to design-out waste by re-orienting industry around materials that can be reused and recycled. For polymers used in plastics, elastomers, and thermosets, those in use today were never designed to be recycled. As a result, they have accumulated in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems throughout the world in such alarming quantities that a global plastics treaty is under development, regulating future plastics use. If circularity is to be realized, new polymer chemistries are needed for deconstructing both simple and complex products, such that monomers, additives, fillers, and other materials may be reused without loss in performance or aesthetics. I will describe our efforts to address these challenges using polydiketoenamine resins (PDK), which undergo reversible polymerization using atom- and energy-efficient processes. I will describe how the building blocks of PDK resins can be produced from renewable feedstocks using biosynthesis using engineered proteins and microorganisms. These biorenewable PDK resins lay the groundwork for how to commodify polymers as highly valuable, renewable resources for a circular economy.

Dr. Brett Helms

Senior Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

July 15th, 2024 | 10:00 AM

CNSI Alfred E Mann Auditorium  (In-Person)

1601 Elings Hall, UCSB (Remote)

Serendipity Lights the Way

Javier Read de Alaniz joined the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC, Santa Barbara in 2009. He served as Associate Director of the California NanoSystems Institute from 2015-2023 and is currently the Director of BioPACIFIC MIP, a position he began in 2020. Born and raised in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Javier received his B.S. degree from Fort Lewis College (Durango, Colorado) in 1999, where he conducted undergraduate research under the direction of Professor William R. Bartlett. He obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of Professor Tomislav Rovis at Colorado State University in 2006, focusing on asymmetric catalysis. After completing his Ph.D., Javier moved to California, where he worked in the area of total synthesis with Professor Larry E. Overman at the University of California, Irvine. During that time, he received the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship. Our research group seeks creative, synthetic solutions to problems at the interface of chemistry and material science. We develop new methods for the construction of stimuli-responsive molecules and materials. In this seminar, I will discuss our groups effort to design bio-orthogonal chemistry with spatial control for biomaterial applications. Additionally, a new class of negative photochromic molecules termed DASA, their incorporation into materials and subsequent effort to unlock their potential to convert light directly into mechanical work and control material properties will be discussed.

Dr. Javier Read de Alaniz


July 15th, 2024 | 11:15 AM

1601 Elings Hall, UCSB (In-Person)

CNSI Alfred E Mann Auditorium (Remote)


July 15
10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Categories:


California NanoSystems Institute
View Organizer Website