I seek the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant grant to support my effort to establish a new independent research group lead by me in the Department of Chemistry at Aalto University School of Chemical Technology, Finland. I am a young Finnish researcher, who after finishing her doctoral studies in December 2004, moved to United States for her post-doctoral research and ever since has been successfully pursuing a research career in top US research environments currently in Yale University and before that in Princeton University.
Research in the Sammalkorpi group will apply computational and theoretical methods toward engineering drug delivery, biosensing, and separation membrane systems based on surfactant self-assembly. Amphiphilic surfactant aggregates and their capacity to change form, structure, and dynamics lie at the heart of many natural and synthetic processes. For example, lipid and detergent micelles, vesicles, and membranes play a key role both in cellular and synthetic molecular transport and regulation [Schmidt, Nature (2002); Hubbell, Science (2003)]. The same molecules form tunable coatings, lubrication layers, and novel nanoscale functional soft materials [Min et al., Nature Materials (2008); Hillmyer, Science (2007); van Hest, Nature (2009)]. My initial research will focus on two areas with common themes of molecular self-assembly and the key influence of aggregation on system dynamics: 1) small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery via micellar and vesicular carriers and 2) novel functional materials based on functionalized carbon nanotubes in amphiphilic surfactant aggregates.
I apply the Marie Curie Career Integration funds for 4 years to improve the chances of success I have on establishing this ambitious new line of research in the Department of Chemistry at Aalto University.
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