Vincent Rotello is the Charles A. Goessmann Professor of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, with an appointment in the Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He has been the recipient of the NSF CAREER and Cottrell Scholar awards, as well as the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, the Sloan Fellowships, and the Langmuir Lectureship, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and of the Royal Society of Chemistry (U.K.). He is currently an Executive Editor for Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews and Associate Editor for North America for the Journal of Materials Chemistry, and is on the Editorial Board of nine other journals. His research program focuses on using synthetic organic chemistry to engineer the interface between hard and soft materials, and spans the areas of devices, polymers, and nanotechnology/bionanotechnology, with over 340 papers published to date. He is actively involved in the development of new nanomanufacturing methods. In the area of bionanotechnology, his research includes programs in delivery, imaging, diagnostics and nanotoxicology.
1. Which projects are you working on at the moment?
We are working on a range of products in the areas of nanomaufacturing, drug/gene/protein delivery, and diagnostics.
2. What motivated you to specialise in studying nanoparticles?
What moves me in this research is the integration of small-molecule synthesis and supramolecular chemistry concepts and techniques with materials science. There’s all sorts of interesting things that happen when you go from one molecule to hundreds or thousands on a particle.
3. What are the hot topics in materials research at the moment?
The shift from empirical nanotechnology to the true understanding of nanoscale structure and dynamics.
4. What current problem would you like to see science provide a solution to?
Human health remains a crucial focus, with curing/preventing disease presenting a complex and multidisciplinary challenge.
5. What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your career?
Two things–seeing something new every day and playing a role in the development of young scientists
6. What’s the secret to being a successful scientist?
7. Which scientist past or present do you most admire?
I’m a sucker for the old school natural philosophers like da Vinci–it would have been nice to be able to do the “renaissance” thing.
8. If you weren’t a scientist, what would you be?
A chef–I can do well by myself in the kitchen.
Here’s a selection Professor Rotello’s recent articles in Journal of Materials Chemistry.
- Direct photopatterning of light-activated gold nanoparticles
- Direct patterning of quantum dot nanostructures via electron beam lithography
- Stability, toxicity and differential cellular uptake of protein passivated-Fe3O4 nanoparticles
- Accessibility of cylindrical channels within patterned mesoporous silica films using nanoparticle diffusion