Kumar Lab


We are interested in making unique combinations of biological molecules and polymers to develop materials that combine the exquisite specificity and functionality of biological molecules with the physical toughness and engineering ability of polymers.  We have chosen block copolymers as mimics for lipid molecules and membrane proteins as the functional protein elements.

The short term goal of our group is to understand protein polymer interactions and develop devices and membranes inspired by cell membranes.  The long term goal is to emulate these native biological structures with robust polymeric or engineered protein structural elements.

The Lab

Department of Chemical Engineering

Pennsylvania State University

9th  March 2013: Samantha Summers was awarded one of this year's Undergraduate Research Scholarships in the Department of Chemical Engineering (the Biofellowship).  Congratulations Sam!

6th  December 2012: Our team (Yuexiao, Patrick, Bryan, Mustafa, and Manuel) are runners up in the Dow Sustainability Innovation Challenge.  See more details here.  Great job!

5th  November 2012: Ashley Edwards from our group wins the Myriant Corporation Scholarship in Bio-Energy and Energy Sustainability. More details here.

22nd  October 2012: Hasin Feroz and Ben Schantz join our group. Welcome! More details on their accomplishments on the People page.

9th  April 2012: Yuexiao wins the American Water Works Association’s Larson Aquatic Research Support (LARS) scholarship.   the LARS scholarship provides support for doctoral and masters students interested in careers in the fields of corrosion control, treatment and distribution of domestic and industrial water supplies, aquatic chemistry, and/or environmental chemistry.

7th  October 2011: Patrick Saboe and Yuexiao Shen join the Kumar lab.  Welcome Patrick and Yuexiao. Read more about them on the People page.

31st August 2011: Manish presented our research on developing flat Aquaporin-rich membranes at the ACS fall conference in Denver in a special session titled “ Polymers for Water Treatment”.  There audience was quite receptive and excited about the idea with many questions and a prolonged discussion on strategies to scale such membranes. Abstract on Publications page.

1st August 2011: Manish Kumar joins PSU and is excited to start his lab.  He would like to get two students to join his lab this semester and undergraduates interested in biology and soft materials science.  The two projects that I am offering to current graduate students are listed on the Research page.

Recent News

Biomimetic Membranes for Energy and the Environment