Dr Gabriel Cavalli
Lecturer in Organic Materials Chemistry
Qualifications: BSc (Montevideo), MPhil (Montevideo), PhD (London)
Phone: Work: 01483 68 6837
Room no: 15 AZ 03
Dr Gabriel Cavalli
Dr. Gabriel Cavalli was born in Montevideo (Uruguay) .He graduated as a Bachelor in Chemistry from the Faculty of Chemistry ( Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo) in 1994 followed by a Master in Chemistry (MPhil) in Organic Synthesis and Applied Biocatalysis at the same institution in 1998 sponsored by PEDECIBA . During this period, Gabriel worked under the supervision of Prof. Gustavo Seoane on the use of bacteria for the synthesis of highly functionalised chiral synthons. This was followed by a PhD at the Department of Chemistry Imperial College, London (1988-2002) working on polymer synthesis under the supervision of Dr. Joachim Steinke. His doctoral research on the development of novel polyether supports for synthesis was a crossover between Organic and Polymer Chemistry.
At the end of his PhD, Gabriel went back to Montevideo for a fixed term academic position in Polymer Chemistry (2002-2004) and back again to the UK for postdoctoral research in March 2004. This time Gabriel joined the Basic Technology 4G Research Project "Four Billion Bases a Day: Practical Individual Genome Sequencing" at the School of Chemistry, University of Southampton working in a highly interdisciplinary project under the supervision of Prof Hywel Morgan, Dr. Cameron Neylon and Dr Peter Roach. During his time in Southampton, Gabriel worked on the functionalisation polymeric materials for the synthesis of oligonucleotide and peptide and the attachment of bio-analytically relevant proteins. He also started work on DNA hybridisation on microparticles and on the effect of the solid-support on hybridisation efficiency and selectivity.
Currently at Surrey, Gabriel’s research lies in the interface of polymer synthesis and (bio)nanotechnology as well as functional polymer systems.
When he wants to escape from the world of chemistry Gabriel takes refuge in the performing arts (acting, directing and singing both as a spectator and as a performer, recently exploring stand-up comedy with the first ever Bright Club Guildford), exploring world cuisine, reading history or philosophy (especially Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism) or putting the world to right over a glass of wine and a nice meal with friends (talking, talking, talking). This allows him to go back to his teaching and research with renewed passion while remaining sane (or so he would like to think..).
Research keywords: polymer chemistry, polymer synthesis, polymer nanotechnology, bionanotechnology, nanomedicine,polymer-protein conjugates, polymer-peptide conjugates, polymer-drug conjugates, polymer therapeutics
Gabriel took up his current position in Surrey in August, 2006. His research interests are the synthesis of chemically functional polymers with defined architectures, polymers for biomedical applications (polymer therapeutics and biocidal polymers), bio-inspired polymeric materials (peptide and protein-polymer conjugates) and biocatalytic polymer synthesis. In particular Gabriel is interested in hybrid materials that self-assemble into controlled nanostructures. By conjugation with synthetic polymers, Gabriel’s research aims to control the self-assembly of the peptides and proteins and fine-tune the nanostructures properties to adapt it to novel applications such as reinforced high-performance materials, novel adhesive formulations, novel drug delivery agents, smart biomaterials, biotechnology and synthesis biology.
Gabriel’s group is currently exploring strategies of protein-polymer conjugation to develop nanomedicines for cardiovascular disease in a project funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Recently this project has been highlighted on the BHF website.
Our group has links with the following researchers:
-Prof. Joseph Keddie (FEPS,SMI, Surrey)
-Dr. Cameron Neylon (ISIS Rutherford Appleton Laboratories and School of Chemistry University of Southampton)
-Dr. Karen Edler (Department of Chemistry, University of Bath)
-Dr Aline Miller (Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre, University of Manchester)
-Prof. Geoff Hunt (St. Mary's University College)
-Prof Gustavo Seoane, Dr. Alvaro Díaz, Dr. Sonia Rodríguez and Dr. Pilar Menendez (Facultad de Quimica, Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo).
- 'Straw N-halamines: Evaluation in single and multistage filtration systems.'. Carbohydr Polym, England: 92 (2), pp. 1934-1941. . (2013)
- 'Examining the thermo-mechanical properties of novel cyanate ester blends through empirical measurement and simulation'. Reactive and Functional Polymers, 72 (9), pp. 596-605. . (2012)
- 'N-halamines from rice straw'. Springer Cellulose, 19 (1), pp. 209-217.Full text is available at: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/7442/
The cellulosic part of rice straw was modified to develop N-halamine derivatives for disinfection. The process involved cross-linking of the cellulosic material with amino/amide/imide containing compounds; cyclic and acyclic. The structures of the prepared materials were identified using FTIR and solid state 13CNMR. The modified materials were halogenated to form N-halamines and the antimicrobial activity of each evaluated against examples of Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli) using a variety of methods; agar plate, blended agar, stirred flask and in columns. One of the N-halamines achieved a 9 log reduction against both E. coli and S. aureus in 4 h. In addition, no S. aureus growth was recorded on agar plates blended with 0.5 g of this same material.
- 'Quantifying the Effect of Polymer Blending through Molecular Modelling of Cyanurate Polymers.'. PLoS One, United States: 7 (9)Full text is available at: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/769624/
Modification of polymer properties by blending is a common practice in the polymer industry. We report here a study of blends of cyanurate polymers by molecular modelling that shows that the final experimentally determined properties can be predicted from first principles modelling to a good degree of accuracy. There is always a compromise between simulation length, accuracy and speed of prediction. A comparison of simulation times shows that 125ps of molecular dynamics simulation at each temperature provides the optimum compromise for models of this size with current technology. This study opens up the possibility of computer aided design of polymer blends with desired physical and mechanical properties.
- 'N-halamines from rice straw'. Cellulose, 19 (1), pp. 209-217. . (2012)
- 'New Approach To Produce Water Free of Bacteria, Viruses, and Halogens in a Recyclable System'. AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, 77 (3), pp. 847-853.doi: 10.1128/AEM.01645-10Full text is available at: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/7417/
- 'Metabolomic Profiling Can Differentiate Between Bactericidal Effects of Free and Polymer Bound Halogen'. WILEY-BLACKWELL JOURNAL OF APPLIED POLYMER SCIENCE, 119 (2), pp. 709-718.doi: 10.1002/app.32731
- 'Synthesis of beaded poly(vinyl ether) solid supports with unique solvent compatibility'. ELSEVIER SCI LTD POLYMER, 51 (14), pp. 2984-2992. . (2010)
- 'Macroscopic N-Halamine Biocidal Polymeric Beads'. JOHN WILEY & SONS INC JOURNAL OF APPLIED POLYMER SCIENCE, 116 (4), pp. 2396-2408.doi: 10.1002/app.31774
- 'Optimizing Halogenation Conditions of N-Halamine Polymers and Investigating Mode of Bactericidal Action'. JOHN WILEY & SONS INC JOURNAL OF APPLIED POLYMER SCIENCE, 113 (4), pp. 2404-2412.doi: 10.1002/app.30390
- 'Biocidal polymers (II): Determination of biological activity of novel N-halamine biocidal polymers and evaluation for use in water filters'. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV REACTIVE & FUNCTIONAL POLYMERS, 68 (10), pp. 1448-1458. . (2008)
- 'Diffractive micro bar codes for encoding of biomolecules in multiplexed assays'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 80 (6), pp. 1902-1909.doi: 10.1021/ac7018574
- 'Biocidal polymers (I): Preparation and biological activity of some novel blocidal polymers based on uramil and its azo-dyes'. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV REACTIVE & FUNCTIONAL POLYMERS, 68 (1), pp. 248-260. . (2008)
- 'Novel non-PEG derived polyethers as solid supports. 2. Solid-phase synthesis studies'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC JOURNAL OF COMBINATORIAL CHEMISTRY, 9 (6), pp. 1012-1027.doi: 10.1021/cc7000887
- 'Multistep synthesis on SU-8: Combining microfabrication and solid-phase chemistry on a single material'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC JOURNAL OF COMBINATORIAL CHEMISTRY, 9 (3), pp. 462-472.doi: 10.1021/cc060079p
- 'Covalent Attachment of Proteins to Solid Supports and Surfaces via Sortase-Mediated Ligation'. PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE PLOS ONE, 2 (11) Article number ARTN e1164 Full text is available at: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/2605/
- 'Non-PEG-derived polyethers as solid supports. 1. Synthesis, swelling studies, and functionalization'. Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry, 5 (5), pp. 637-644.doi: 10.1021/cc0200686
- 'Chemoenzymatic synthesis of chiral enones from aromatic compounds'. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD TETRAHEDRON-ASYMMETRY, 13 (22) Article number PII S0957-4166(02)00682-1 , pp. 2453-2459. . (2002)
- '(S)-Tricarbonyl[(1,2,3,4-eta)-(5R,6S)-1-chloro-5,6-dimethoxycyclohexa-1,3-diene]iron(0)'. MUNKSGAARD INT PUBL LTD ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA SECTION C-CRYSTAL STRUCTURE COMMUNICATIONS, 56, pp. 820-821. . (2000)
- 'Osmylation of chiral cis-cyclohexadienediols'. GAUTHIER-VILLARS/EDITIONS ELSEVIER NEW JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY, 23 (5), pp. 549-555.doi: 10.1039/a900732f
Gabriel has been involved in undergraduate teaching since 1994 and postgraduate teaching since 2002. His teaching interests are Organic and Polymer Chemistry, Nanotechnology and Bionanotechnology.
Since 2010 Gabriel has been involved in innovative methods and approaches to teaching jointly with Dr Ian Hamerton (Chemistry, Surrey) and Dr Simon Lygo-Baker (CEAD, Surrey). This involve the use of in-class workshops as part of a blended-problem based approach to teaching supported by the use of podcasts and online material as substitute of the traditional lecture with excellent results in increased student understanding and performance. This has been primarily focused on the advanced polymer teaching modules but is currently being extended to other courses. Gabriel and Ian were shortlisted for the Surrey VC Teaching Excellence Awards in 2010-2011 for this work.
Currently in Surrey, Gabriel is involved in teaching the following modules (specific topics shown in brackets):
CHE1035 Introduction to Organic Chemistry (Aromatic Chemistry and Practical Organic Synthesis)
CHE2026 Spectroscopy (Mass Spectrometry)
CHE2024 Intermediate Organic Chemistry (Practical Organic Synthesis)
CHE2028 Chemistry of Modern Materials (Polymer Chemistry)
CHE3004/CHEM006 Topics in Polymer Chemistry (Advanced Polymerisation Methods and Polymerisation Kinetics)
CHE3027: Nanochemistry and Nanotechnology (Polymer Nanotechnology)
CHEM010: Advanced Medicinal Chemistry (Polymer Therapeutics)
Chemistry Demonstrating Coordinator