Our research centers at the intersection of polymer chemistry, nanotechnology, and biomedical science. We focus on novel approaches in rational design, synthesis, and characterization of multifunctional polymeric materials as novel "smart" platforms of therapeutic value for controlled delivery and regenerative medicine, and for environmental application such as water clean-up. We apply bio-inspired strategies which involve synthesis and modification of water soluble macromolecules (synthetic and natural), and macromolecular assembly from aqueous solutions at physiological conditions. We investigate how the material chemistry translates into properties or structural/morphological changes of materials under various environmental conditions. Our expertise in cutting-edge polymer chemistry and synthetic organic chemistry is integrated with biology and materials science to cover various aspects of soft materials design and development. The strength of our interdisciplinary program provides the opportunity for students to be exposed to a broad range of analytical, optical, imaging, and scattering tools including the powerful state-of-the-art techniques used to address challenging problems at the atomic and molecular levels.
We are particularly interested in: Synthesis of novel stimuli-responsive polymers; Design of polymeric and bio-materials at nano- and micro-scales with tunable properties and functionalities of biomedical relevance; Development of multifunctional nanocomposites through controlled synthesis and assembly of stimuli-responsive polymers and functional nanostructures for environmental applications and biosensing; Probing mechanisms of polymer and protein assembly at water/solid and biomaterial/cell interfaces; advanced structural and compositional characterization of materials at the nanoscale including in situ Vibrational spectroscopy and Neutron scattering ; and exploration of materials performance in ecological and bio-environments through collaborative partnerships with universities, national labs, and industry.
Dr. Kharlampieva received her BS degree in Chemistry in 1995 from Chelyabinsk State University, Russia; and an MS in Organic Chemistry in 1996 from Chelyabinsk State University in Russia; and also an MS from Linguistics and Intercultural Communication Chelyabinsk State University in Russia, 2001. She went on to obtain her PhD degree in Polymer Chemistry in 2007 from the Stevens Institute of Technology; her dissertation research topic was Responsive Polyelectrolyte Multilayers. Dr. Kharlampieva joined the UAB Department of Chemistry faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2010.