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McKelvey School of Engineering

Brown School

BME Dissertation Defense: Conor O’Neill

Monday, December 11, 2023 | 12:00 PM

Stephen F. & Camilla T. Brauer Hall, 3015
6548 Forest Park Pkwy, St. Louis, MO 63112, USA

Presenting on “Divergent Self-Assembly of Block Heterochiral Stereoisomer Arrays”

Conor O’Neill, PhD candidate, will defend their dissertation Monday, December 11th, 2023, at 12:00pm CST in Brauer Hall, room 3015 and via Zoom. Contact Conor O’Neill for Zoom link.

Abstract: The autonomous organization of parts into ordered architectures, or biomolecular self-assembly, is an elementary natural process that defines and guides the construction and function of living organisms. This phenomenon has emerged as a potent tool for the creation of novel biomaterials, with peptide-based approaches benefitting from intrinsic modularity, ease of de novo design and synthesis, biocompatibility, and chemical versatility. These properties enable methodical modifications that generate suprastructures with a wide variety of morphologies and functionalities, supporting a broad range of biomedical applications. Further, the chiral nature of amino acids permits synthesis of either left- or right-handed peptides; in recent years, this has advanced from complete D-substitution to the incorporation of both L- and D-residues into ‘heterochiral’ sequences. When peptides consist of multiple identical domains, segmenting chiral inversions according to these fundamental repeat units gives rise to ‘block’ heterochirality. Through combinatorial exploration of model cross-β peptides, this work furthers our understanding of chiral patterns and their powerful influence over hierarchical supramolecular assembly.

Thesis Mentor(s): Prof. Jai Rudra

Event Type



McKelvey School of Engineering


Science & Technology, Medicine & Health

Biomedical Engineering
Event Contact

Mimi Hilburg

Speaker Information

Conor O’Neill
Ph.D. Candidate
Washington University in St. Louis

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