Khatcher O. Margossian is an undergraduate pursuing BS degrees in chemistry and biological chemistry at the University of Chicago. He previously attended the Highly Gifted Magnet at North Hollywood High School in Los Angeles, where he participated in the US Department of Energy-sponsored National Science Bowl competition. When he started working at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering in April of 2012, he studied the complex coacervation of polypeptides. His current work has moved toward the characterization of synthetic soft material systems. He also serves as an undergraduate representative on PME’s Safety Committee.
His research uses powerful characterization tools, such as NMR, light scattering, microscopy, and zeta potential, to understand the properties of complex coacervates and how these materials react to changing chemical environments. Complex coacervates have a variety of industrial applications (e.g., as adhesives), and understanding their behavior has a direct impact on where and how they can be used. His work in synthetic systems will provide an idea of how coacervates behave under changing physiological contexts. Thus, the information from these studies can be applied to biomedical systems, in order to create targeted therapies against a wide range of ailments. His research lies at the interface between medicine and industry. By combining the most effective methods of both fields, it will be possible to design materials that can solve a wide range of natural and man-made problems.
D. Priftis, L. Leon, Z.Y. Song, S.L. Perry, K.O. Margossian, A. Tropnikova, J.J. Cheng and M. Tirrell. Self-Assembly of α-Helical Polypeptides Driven by Complex Coacervation. Angewandte Chemie Intl Edition. 2015. Vol. 54, Pg. 11128-11132.
Perry, Sarah L., et al. "Chirality-selected phase behaviour in ionic polypeptide complexes." Nature communications 6 (2015): 6052.