Hightower Chair in Biopolymers
    MRDC 3508

    Dr. Paul S. Russo is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering with a joint appointment in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology with expertise in polymer, biopolymer and particle chemistry.

    His research interests are rooted in rodlike polymers, such as plant viruses, cellulose derivatives and aromatic backbone materials. Particular emphasis has been paid to molecular transport in complex fluids containing rods and to related measurement methods. Static and dynamic laser light scattering have been joined by fluorescence photobleaching recovery and pulsed field gradient NMR spectroscopy to measure diffusion in dilute and concentrated solutions, gels, and liquid crystals. Dialysis implementations of these techniques have permitted stability studies of the amyloid protein responsible for Alzheimer’s disease. Other materials of interest include organophilic polypeptides, which have been coupled to silica cores to yield hybrid particles that can carry hydrophobic payloads, such as enzymes. The same particles can also form colloidal crystals and linear arrays. Small-angle x-ray scattering plays a role in the characterization of these materials. Hydrophobic proteins are being used to template the synthesis of polymers in new and unusual shapes and to disperse oil following marine spills.

    After obtaining a Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota in Chemistry in 1981, Russo undertook postdoctoral studies in Polymer Physics the University of Massachusetts. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and served on the editorial advisory board for Macromolecules, the ACS journal of polymers. Paul has been married to Mary since 1976 and they have 2 children: Michael and Amy.

    • Bachelor's Degree(s): University of Wisconsin - River Falls, 1976
    • PhD: University of Minnesota, 1981
    • PostDoc: University of Massachusetts, 1981-83
    Research Interests

    Disease-inspired materials: applications of polymers and particles inspired by animal or plant diseases. Biological and synthetic polymers in dilute and concentrated solutions, gels, liquid crystals and dispersions. Microrheology, transport, polymer and particle characterization, stability and aggregation. X-ray and light scattering, chromatography with on-line detection, fluorescence photobleaching recovery. Outreach activities in chemical education leverage academic competition and art.