Welcome to the SuNMIL Research Group
SuNMIL (Supramolecular Nano-Materials and Interfaces Laboratory) is a vibrant group of researchers that combine multiple backgrounds and integrate various disciplines to create and investigate novel materials that tackle the experimental investigation of supramolecular interfaces.
Inspiration comes from Nature, where one of the most common interfaces, the one formed by a generic protein and water, has yet to be fully understood. Indeed, at such interfaces, proteins present molecular-sized patches of varying hydrophobicity or hydrophilicity. This patchiness is prevalent in Nature but its role is mysterious and hence a fertile ground for a curious scientist.
In SuNMIL we combine fundamental science research on solid-liquid interfaces with the creation of Nature-inspired materials that present patchy interfaces. The result is a research laboratory where studies about interfacial properties are combined with the development of novel materials for a wide range of applications. For example, when studying protein-like supramolecular interfaces, an obvious extension of the research is the study of the interactions between protein-inspired materials and all forms of biological matter. In turn, the knowledge so generated allows us to generate novel drug-delivery (or even drug design) approaches.
Part of the mission of these group is to attempt to tackle great unresolved challenges for mankind. In particular, we focus on problems that plague under-developed or developing countries. For example, millions of people die every year because of viral diseases, most in developing countries, comparatively little is done to address this problem. For this reason, in recent years we have developed a line of research on supramolecular approaches to design novel antivirals (Nature Materials ’18).
As explained above, in our laboratory, the research themes are broad and yet linked by a common thread, similarly all forms of diversity are welcomed and fostered we are simply linked by an honest enthusiasm for science in all of its forms.