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About Sankaran Thayumanavan

Principal Research Interests:
We are interested in the design and syntheses of mainly two classes of macromolecules, viz., dendrimers and polymers. The design of these macromolecules is inspired by specific applications that our group is interested in and sometimes by the sheer beauty of the structures that one can generate using organic syntheses as a tool box. The structures that we imagine are often inspired by the intricacies of the nature’s nature macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids.
Dendrimers, derived from the Greek word dendron (tree), are highly branched molecules that are built using iterative synthetic strategies. One of the most attractive aspects of dendrimers is that these molecules can be built as a pure single molecule even at very high molecular weights. Another interesting aspect of dendrimer is that they become globular at high molecular weights and therefore are useful as supramolecular hosts. We have developed a new design strategy to functionalize the interiors of these globular dendrimers to enhance the versatility of these molecules as hosts. In addition, we have also reported three different synthetic strategies to introduce sequences in dendrimers, i.e. these methodologies afford the capability to vary each monomer unit within a dendron or dendrimer. We are now working on several projects that demonstrate the capabilities of dendrimers in host-guest binding, catalysis, drug delivery, and other biological applications.


Present Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Honors and Awards

  • 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow
  • Recipient of the 2013 Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Scientific Co-Leader, Bioactive Delivery Concept Team, Mass Life Science Center, 2013
  • Member, International Advisory Boards, Polytech (India) and the Federation of Asian Polymer Societies, 2013
  • Fellow (elected), American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, 2011
  • Burlew Award, American Chemical Society, Connecticut Valley Section, 2008
  • Discussion Leader, “Chemistry of Supramolecules and Assemblies” Gordon Conference, 2005
  • Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award, 2002

Contact Information

1538 Lederle Grad Research Tower C
710 North Pleasant Street
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003
Tel: 413-545-1313


2010 (10)

2009 (15)