Esser-Kahn Group

We use chemistry and materials to answer unique questions across different fields. Our motto: chemistry everywhere. Our tools live at the intersection of chemistry, biology, and material science. We are interested in questions like, what makes a good vaccine a good vaccine? Trying to answer this fundamental question with chemical tools led to our work in bottom up vaccine design.

We also wonder: what is the world going to do with all the carbon dioxide we are producing and how can we invent new approaches for capturing and releasing it? Natural systems have been solving this problem for billions of years. We look to biology for inspiration on how to understand the fundamentals of design in carbon capturing systems, mass exchange devices, and harnessing unused energy. These ideas are just our current interests. Please check out our website where we explain some of the projects in greater detail. Come in. Click around and understand: who we are, what we are interested in, and how we operate. We are always interested in a good question or a new concept. If you need a chemistry collaborator, or have a chemical question, contact us. We are very interested in solving problems that are interdisciplinary. Thanks for stopping by.


Principal Investigator

Aaron Esser-Kahn

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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