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Department of Chemistry  
Spring 2023 Seminar Series
Chemical functionalization and biomedical applications of fullerenes

Tuesday, January 31, 2023 
11:10am, in Room N104, Parsons Hall

Jianyuan Zhang

Dr. Jianyuan Zhang, PhD
Assistant Professor
Rutgers University



Fullerenes are elementary building blocks that can bridge the world of molecular chemistry and nanoscience. Endohedral metallofullerenes (EMFs) are relatives of fullerenes, with metal clusters and ions encapsulated inside a carbon cage. The special structures of EMFs make them a great interface for organic and materials chemists to operate on metal ions with organic approaches. In this talk, I will cover our effort to develop new chemistry to functionalize fullerenes and EMFs and their biomedical applications. The new chemistry developed includes an isocyanide-induced multicomponent reaction, and an inverse electron-demand Diels Alder addition.  The biomedical applications will feature a Gd EMF based MRI contrast agent system, C60-cyclodextrin conjugates for drug delivery to cell nucleus, and fullerene antioxidants.

Short Bio

Jianyuan Zhang received his B.Sc. degree from Beijing Normal University in 2007 and conducted one year of research at the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He then moved to Virginia Tech to study fullerene and metallofullerene properties under the supervision of Harry Dorn, and obtained in Ph.D in December 2013. As a postdoctoral researcher, he subsequently performed research at the University of Washington (2014-15) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2015-17). In 2017, he joined the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University – New Brunswick. His current research focuses on carbon nanomaterials and nanoparticles, with biomedical application of fullerenes and endohedral metallofullerenes important themes of his work.


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