Faculty

Aaron Esser-Kahn

Aaron Esser-Kahn was born and raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He may tell you that he is from Detroit, but he is not. He attended the Cranbrook educational community from grades K-12. He traveled west to study chemistry at the California Institute of Technology where he first developed a taste for boundary breaking research in the Tirrell Lab.

After completing his degree, he traveled north to Berkeley for a PhD in chemistry as part of the collaborative Chemical-Biology Program and the Francis Lab.

Our research interests lie at the intersection of biology, chemistry and materials science. We believe in using the tools from each discipline for the task at hand. Our group’s current research focuses on three projects that function as extensions of this philosophy. First, we are currently working toward microvascular thermal and gaseous exchange units. We are using knowledge derived from biology to replicate structures adapted for gas capture. Second, we are creating materials for reprogramming the immune system. Using tools from materials chemistry, we are creating polymer facades designed to rewire the immune system toward desired targets. Third, we are working towards creating synthetic tissue scaffolds.

In Vitro and In Vivo Analyses of the Effects of Source, Length, and Charge on the Cytotoxicity and Immunocompatibility of Cellulose Nanocrystals
Weiss, A et al. ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng. 2021. doi: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.0c01618

Demonstration of the Photothermal Catalysis of the Sabatier Reaction Using Nickel Nanoparticles and Solar Spectrum Light
Steeves, T. and Esser-Kahn AP. RSC Adv., 2021,11, 8394-8397. doi: 10.1039/D0RA09939B

Bio-Inspired Mechanically Adaptive Materials Through Vibration-Induced Crosslinking
Wang, Z., Wang, J., Ayarza, J. et al. Bio-inspired mechanically adaptive materials through vibration-induced crosslinking. Nat. Mater. (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41563-021-00932-5

Receptor–Ligand Kinetics Influence the Mechanism of Action of Covalently Linked TLR Ligands
Kimani FW, Ajit J, Galluppi A, Manna S, Howitz WJ, Tang S, Esser-Kahn AP. ACS Chem. Biol. 2021, 16, 2, 380–388. Feb 1, 2021. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.0c00924

Pathogen-like Nano-assemblies of Covalently Linked TLR Agonists Enhance CD8 and NK Cell Mediated Anti-Tumor Immunity.
Saikat Manna, Sampa Maiti, Jingjing Shen, Wenjun Du, Aaron P. Esser-Kahn. ACS Cent. Sci. 2020, 6, 11, 2071–2078. Oct 27, 2020. doi: 10.1021/acscentsci.0c01001

From Glucose to Polymers: A Continuous Chemoenzymatic Process
Maiti, S., Manna, S., Banahene, N., Pham, L., Liang, Z., Wang, J., Xu, Y., Bettinger, R., Zientko, J., Esser‐Kahn, A.P. and Du, W. Angewandte Chemie Int Ed. Volume 59, Issue43 Pages 18943-18947. Oct 19, 2020. doi: 10.1002/anie.202006468

Small Molecule NF-κB Inhibitors as Immune Potentiators for Enhancement of Vaccine Adjuvants
Brittany A. Moser, Yoseline Escalante-Buendia, Rachel C. Steinhardt, Matthew G. Rosenberger, Britteny J. Cassaidy, Nihesh Naorem, Alfred C. Chon, Minh H. Nguyen, Ngoctran T. Tran, and Aaron P. Esser-Kahn. Front Immunol. 2020; 11: 511513. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.511513

Increased Vaccine Tolerability and Protection via NF-κB Modulation
B. A. Moser, R. C. Steinhardt, Y. Escalante-Buendia, D. A. Boltz, K. M. Barker, B. J. Cassaidy, M.G. Rosenberger, S. Yoo, B. G. McGonnigal, and A. P. Esser-Kahn. Science Advances 09 Sep 2020: Vol. 6, no. 37, eaaz8700. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz8700

100th Anniversary of Macromolecular Science Viewpoint: Piezoelectrically Mediated Mechanochemical Reactions for Adaptive Materials
Jorge Ayarza, Zhao Wang, Jun Wang, Chao-Wei Huang, and Aaron P. Esser-Kahn. ACS Macro Lett. 2020, 9, 9, 1237–1248 Aug. 17, 2020. doi: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.0c00477

Determining Whether Agonist Density or Agonist Number Is More Important for Immune Activation via Micoparticle Based Assay
Deak P, Kimani F, Cassaidy B, Esser-Kahn A. Determining Whether Agonist Density or Agonist Number Is More Important for Immune Activation via Micoparticle Based Assay. Front Immunol. 2020;11:642. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00642. eCollection 2020. PubMed PMID: 32328073; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7161694.

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