Prof. Steven C. Zimmerman from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign visited Xinjiang Technical Institute of Physics & Chemistry (XTIPC), the Chinese Academy of Sciences on June 12 and 13. During his visit, Prof. Zimmerman delivered an invited talk entitled Orthogonal Intermolecular Interactions for Use in New Materials and New Medicines.
In his lecture, Prof. Zimmerman began with an overview of divergent synthesis and convergent synthesis of dendrimers with latest progress and advances made in the field. He also spoke on the structures and properties of multiple hydrogen bonding formed by DNA and RNA base pairs and how to design their analogs and to utilize them to build supramolecular polymers and smart material.
Base on the mechanism of molecular recognition and first principle, Prof. Zimmerman proposed a possible cure for muscular dystrophy, a type of disease originates in aberrant DNA or RNA by developing small molecules that target CTG repeats in DNA or their CUG repeat RNA transcripts, both of which cause myotonic dystrophy type 1.
In Prof. Zimmerman’s work, smart molecules are designed to enter the cell nucleus, bind the target DNA or RNA specifically and operate to reverse the deleterious effects of the expanded repeats. Now the smart molecules has evolved to its 3rd generations which hold great promise to cure myotonic dystrophy type 1 base on their early results.
After the seminar, the faculty and students at XTIPC had in-depth discussions with Prof. Zimmerman.
Dr. Zimmerman is Roger Adams Professor of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests are in bioorganic, synthetic organic and physical organic chemistry.