The Figg Group studies how to use synthetic polymers to understand biology. We are interested in developing polymers that interact with proteins. Towards this goal, we use protein chemistry (either specific protein sequences or overall compositions) to guide our polymer design.
For example, we are interested in developing polymers to study neurological diseases (e.g., Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS) resulting from misfolded (unnatural) proteins. Probing the structures and aggregation of misfolded proteins is challenging using current chemical/biological methods, leading to unknowns about how neurological diseases start and progress. To address this challenge, we use polymers designed to interact with misfolded proteins to study and identify their unknown properties.
- Figg, C. A.; Winegar, P. H.; Hayes, O. G.; Mirkin, C. A. Controlling the DNA Hybridization Chain Reaction. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 8596-8601. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jacs.0c02892
- Figg, C. A.; Hickman, J. D.; Scheutz, G. M.; Shanmugam, S.; Carmean, R. N.; Tucker, B. S.; Boyer, C.; Sumerlin, B. S. Color-Coding Visible Light Polymerizations to Elucidate the Activation of Trithiocarbonates using Eosin Y. Macromolecules 2018, 51, 1370-1376. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.macromol.7b02533
- Figg, C. A.; Carmean, R. N.; Bentz, K. C.; Mukherjee, S.; Savin, D. A.; Sumerlin, B. S. Tuning Hydrophobicity to Program Block Copolymer Assemblies from the Inside Out. Macromolecules 2017, 50, 935-943. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.macromol.6b02754
- Figg, C. A.; Simula, A.; Gebre, K. A.; Tucker, B. S.; Haddleton, D. M.; Sumerlin, B. S. Polymerization-Induced Thermal Self-Assembly (PITSA). Chem. Sci. 2015, 6, 1230-1236. https://pubs.rsc.org/am/content/articlehtml/2015/sc/c4sc03334e
- Weinberg Family Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2020
- ACS PMSE Division Future Faculty Scholar, 2019
- International Institute for Nanotechnology Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2018
- Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Science TL1 Postdoctoral Training Fellowship, 2018
- George and Josephine Butler Polymer Research Award, 2017
- M. A. Battiste Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, 2016
- B.A. in Chemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2013
- Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Florida, 2018
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Northwestern University, 2018-2021