Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering and Deputy Director for Education and Outreach
Eckhardt Research Center
5640 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
Much of de Pablo’s work entails conducting supercomputer simulations to understand and design new materials from scratch and to find applications for them.
He is a leader of simulations of polymeric materials, including DNA dynamics — how DNA molecules arrange and organize themselves and interact with other DNA molecules. He also studies protein aggregation and its poorly understood relationship to various diseases, including type II diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders.
de Pablo joined the University of Wisconsin faculty in 1992 and served as the Howard Curler Distinguished Professor and Hilldale Professor of Chemical Engineering. He holds over 15 patents on multiple technologies, including nine jointly with IME Brady W. Dougan Professor of Molecular Engineering Paul Nealey and others, and is the author or co-author of approximately 350 publications.
The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors has identified one of de Pablo and Nealey’s collaborative inventions for directed self-assembly as a technology critical to the semiconductor industry’s miniaturization goals. Directed self-assembly provides engineers a means of coaxing organic materials to form patterns that direct the deposition of metals on integrated circuits.
A food manufacturer has licensed another of de Pablo’s patents for stabilizing proteins in bacteria or cells for long periods of time without refrigeration, but the patent also has potential pharmaceutical and medical applications. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Physical Society, de Pablo also has received the 2011 Charles Stine Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
de Pablo earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 1985. After completing his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1990, he conducted postdoctoral research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.
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