Prof. M. G. Finn, chair of the School of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Georgia Institute of Technology, will be giving the 2017 Makhlouf Haddadin Lecture on Monday, Feb 6 at 4:00 PM in SLH. The title of Prof. Finn’s talk is “Click Reactions and Protein Nanoparticles: Building Functional Structures with Chemistry and Molecular Biology”. Prof. Finn is a prominent speaker and has been repeatedly nominated for the Noble Prize in Chemistry for his work on “Click Chemistry”.
Abstract: Many processes in cells and higher organisms require the presentation of molecular fragments over large areas or in complex combinations. Virus-like particles are robust and easily accessible nanoscale scaffolds that are well suited for such tasks of molecular presentation. Methods for the chemical and genetic modification of protein nanoparticles will be described, along with selective click reactions used for the attachment and detachment of cargo molecules and the construction of companion materials. The resulting functionalized structures have been applied to targets of selective cell binding and internalization, immunology, drug delivery, and catalysis.
Prof. M.G. Finn received his Ph.D. degree in 1986 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology working with Prof. K.B. Sharpless, followed by an NIH postdoctoral fellowship with Prof. J.P. Collman at Stanford University. He joined the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1988, where his group studied and developed a variety of transition metal-mediated synthetic methods. Prof. Finn moved to the Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute in 1998, and then to the School of Chemistry &
Biochemistry and the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2013. He assumed the chairmanship of this department in 2014.
Prof. Finn’s current interests include the use of virus particles as molecular and catalytic building blocks for vaccine and functional materials development, the discovery of click reactions for organic and materials synthesis, polyvalent interactions and advanced linker technologies in drug targeting, and the use of evolution for the discovery of chemical function. He is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of the Pediatric Technology Center, a joint enterprise of Georgia Tech and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, to bring new science and engineering to the aid of pediatric medicine. He holds the James A. Carlos Family Chair for Pediatric Technology.
Graduates from the Finn laboratory can be found in academic departments around the world, as well as in companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, and materials industries. He was the first recipient of the annual Scripps Outstanding Mentor Award, will receive a 2017 Arthur C. Cope Scholar award, and is Editor-in-Chief of the journal ACS Combinatorial Science.