Dr. Rigoberto Hernandez, Johns Hopkins University
The nanoparticles we make today to address problems in energy and human health will enter the environment tomorrow. Will they be benign or will they lead to deleterious downstream effects to our environment? Will those impacts change as the nanoparticles are transformed through their interaction with organisms or the environment? The Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology is developing and benchmarking design principles for sustainable nanoparticles. Our group contributes the theoretical and computational frameworks to bridge the molecular scale structure and motion to macro and meso scale behavior of nanoparticles in complex environments. At the molecular to meso scale, this includes contact of nanoparticles with model membranes and other constituents found in the cellular matrix. Our toolkit includes molecular dynamics, enhanced sampling, nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, coarse-graining, and machine learning. We will describe the spiral feedback between simulation and experimental collaborators that we are using to construct design principles for creating devices optimized for high performance and minimal environmental impact.
Dr. Rigoberto Hernandez is the Gompf Family Professor of Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University. His theoretical and computational chemistry advances in transition state theory, multi scale molecular dynamics far from equilibrium, Janus particles, steered protein dynamics, and diversity equity have received numerous awards including the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, Research Corporation for Science Advancement Cottrell Scholar's TREE And IMPACT awards, and the Herty Medal. He has served as the Director of the Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE) since 2011, and was on the ACS Board of Directors from 2014 to 2019. He was born in Havana, Cuba, and was raised in Hialeah, FL. He has a PhD in theoretical chemistry from the University of California (Berkeley, CA) and a BSE in chemical engineering and mathematics from Princeton University (NJ). Follow him on twitter at @EveryWhereChem.