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Donghui  Zhang 
Associate Professor
Bachelor's Degree(s): Peking University, 1998
PhD: Dartmouth College, 2003
PostDoc: University of Minnesota, 2003-2005
Phone: (225) 578-4893
Fax: (225) 578-3458
Office: 437 Chemistry & Materials Building

Area of Interest

Our group is interested in the development of new controlled polymerization methods that enable the synthesis of functional polymers with novel architectures and conformations, and the fundamental structure-property studies of these polymers. Insight obtained from the studies will provide feedback on the design of the polymer structure and ultimately facilitates their transition to practical applications. The multidisciplinary nature of the program entails various modern synthetic techniques and physical characterization methods, and requires an understanding of materials science and engineering. Current projects include (1) development of catalytic reactions towards peptidomimetic polymers (e.g., polypeptoids and polypeptides); (2) synthesis and characterization of functional polypeptoids and polypeptides; (3) solution properties of peptidomimetic polymers; (4) design and synthesis of water soluble peptidomimetic polymers for biotechnological applications. 

Awards & Honors

Phi Kappa Phi Non-tenured Faculty Award (2013)

LSU College of Science Faculty Research Award (2012)

NSF CAREER Award (2010)

Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (2009)

Selected Publications
  1. Lahasky, S. H.; Lu, L.; Huberty, W. A.; Cao, J.; Guo, L.; Garno, J. C.; Zhang, D.* Synthesis and Characterization of Thermo-responsive Polypeptoid Bottlebrushes. Polym. Chem. 2013, DOI:10.1039/C3PY01356A. [pdf]

  2. Lee, C.-U.; Li, A.; Ghale, K.; Zhang, D.* “Crystallization and Melting Behaviors of Cyclic and Linear Polypeptoids with Alkyl Side Chains.” Macromolecules 2013, 46, 8213-8223. [pdf]
  3. Tang, H.*; Zhang, D.* “Solid State Self-Assembly of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes and Poly(γ-benzyl-L-glutamate)s with Different Conformations.” J. Polym. Sci. A. Polym. Chem. 2013, 51, 4489-4497. [pdf]
  4. Lee, C. -H.; Lu, L.; Chen, J.; Garno, J. C.; Zhang, D.* "Crystallization-Driven Thermo-Reversible Gelation of Coil-Crystalline Cyclic and Linear Diblock Copolypeptoids. ACS Macro Lett. 2013, 2, 436-440. [pdf]


  5. Zhang, D.;* Lahasky, S. H.; Guo, L.; Lee, C.-U.; Lavan, M. Polypeptoid Materials: Current Status and Future Perspectives. Macromolecules 2012, 45, 5833-5841. [pdf]


  6. Guo, L.; Lahasky, S. H.; Ghale, K.; Zhang, D.* N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Mediated Zwitterionic Polymerization of N-substituted N-carboxyanhydrides towards Poly(α-peptoid)s: Kinetic, Mechanism and Architectural Control. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 9163-9171. [pdf]


  7. Lahasky, S. H.; Hu, X.; Zhang, D.* Thermoresponsive Poly(α-peptoid)s: Tuning the Cloud Point Temperatures by Composition and Architecture. ACS Macro Lett. 2012, 1, 580-584.[pdf]


  8. Lee, C.-U.; Smart, T. P.; Guo, L.; Epps, T. H., III; Zhang, D.* Synthesis and Characterization of Amphiphilic Cyclic Diblock Copolypeptoids from N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Mediated Zwitterionic Polymerization of N-Substituted N-Carboxyanhyrdride. Macromolecules 2011, 44, 9574-9585.[pdf]
  9. Lahasky, S. H.; Serem, W. K.; Guo, L.; Garno, J. C. Zhang, D.* Synthesis and Characterization of Cyclic Brush-Like Polymers by N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Mediated Zwitterionic Polymerization of N-Propargyl N-Carboxyanhyrdride and the Grafting-to Approach. Macromolecules 2011, 44, 9063-9074. [pdf]


  10. Li, X.; Guo, L.; Casiano-Maldonado, M; Zhang, D.; Westdemiotis, C.* Top-Down Multi-Dimensional Mass Spectrometry Methods for Synthetic Polymer Analysis. Macromolecules 2011, 44, 4555-4564. [pdf]


  11. Tang, H.; Lee, C. -U.; Zhang, D.* “Thermoreversible Gelation of Helical Polypeptide/Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes and their Solid-State Structures.” J. Polym. Sci. A. Polym. Chem. 2011, 49, 3228-3238. [pdf]


  12. Tang, H.; Li, Y.; Lahasky, S. H.; Sheiko, S. S.; Zhang, D.* Core-Shell Molecular Bottlebrushes with Helical Polypeptide Backbone: Synthesis, Characterization and Solution Conformations. Macromolecules 2011, 44, 1491-1499. [pdf]


  13. Tang, H.; Zhang, D.*  Multi-Functionalization of Helical Block Copoly(α-peptide)s with Orthogonal Chemistry. Polym. Chem. 2011, 2, 1542-1551. [pdf] - top 10 most accessed article in March 2011. Hot article featured in Polymer Chemistry blog.


  14. Guo, L. Zhang, D.*  Synthesis and Characterization of Helix-Coil Block Copoly(α-peptoid)s. ACS Symposium Series on Non-conventional Functional Block Copolymers. 2011, Ch.6, 71-79. [pdf]


  15. Guo, L.; Li, J.; Brown, Z.; Ghale, K.; Zhang, D.*  “Synthesis and Characterization of Cyclic and Linear Helical Poly(α-peptoid)s by N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Mediated Ring-Opening Polymerization of N-Substituted N-Carboxylanhydrides.” Biopolym.: Peptide Science 2011, 96, 596-603. [pdf]


  16. Tang, H.; Zhang, D.* “General Route towards Side-Chain-Functionalized alpha-Helical Polypeptides.” Biomacromolecules 2010, 11, 1585-1592. [pdf]


  17. Tang, H.; Zhang, D.* “Poly(gamma-benzyl-L-glutamate)-Functionalized Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes. Synthesis, Characterization and Materials Properties.” J. Polym. Sci. A Polym. Chem. 2010, 48, 2340-2350. [pdf]


  18. Guo, L.; Zhang, D.* “Cyclic Poly(alpha-peptoid)s and Their Block Copolymers from N-Heterocyclic Carbene- Mediated Ring-Opening Polymerization of N-Substituted N-Carboxylanhydrides.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 18072-18074. [pdf

A complete list of publications.