Richard Gross

Professor, Constellation Chair, Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Professor Gross received his Ph.D. from 'Brooklyn Poly' (Polytechnic University) working on Polymer Stereochemistry and then did his postdoctoral research with Robert Lenz at UMASS Amherst on bacterial polyesters.  His work lies at the interface between Chemistry and Biology. Research activities by his group are united by the common theme of sustainability and green chemistry.  He is developing next-generation biobased chemicals and materials by processes that are safe and environmentally friendly.  Group members work in teams that combine competencies in green organic transformations, the use of enzyme catalysts that provide mild and selective approaches to synthesis, material science, regenerative medicine, colloids and advanced materials.  He enjoys addressing interdisciplinary problems through collaborations with faculty at RPI, other universities in the US and abroad.  Through collaborations his group addresses a wide range of challenges in the chemical sciences. Current research targets include dielectric structural materials for energy storage; biocomposites; amphiphilic polymers for delivery of fragrants/drugs/flavors; bioresorbable polyester implant materials; bioresorbable hydrogels for regenerative medicine; enzyme catalysts for polymer recycling/modification; peptide based materials for bioadhesives and antimicrobial applications; molecular editing of glycolipids to develop therapeutics. Working with physicists he is developing nanostructured bacterial cellulose matrices for battery separator membranes, scaffolding for network dispersed liquid crystals to fabricate switchable window devices and reinforcement matrices of biobased epoxy resins. Group members are working with biomedical engineers to develop tissue engineering matrices for regeneration of articular cartilage and spinal cord repair.  He also collaborates with metabolic engineers and molecular biologist for the design and synthesis of innovative biocatalysts for surfactant and polymer synthesis. Gross has about 600 publications that have been cited over 21,000 times (h-index 76, i10-index 276).  He has graduated over 40 Ph.D. students while enjoying his work with undergraduate and high school students.  

Education

Ph.D. Polytechnic University (Major: Chemistry)

Postdoctoral Research (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Research Focus
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Bio-based building blocks
  • Biocatalysis
  • Sustainability
  • Green Chemistry
  • Biosurfactants
  • Advance materials for electro-optical applications
  • Energy Storage (battery seperator membranes, dielectric materials)
  • Polymer therapeutics
Contact grossr@rpi.edu
Select Works
  • Totsingan, Filbert; Centore, Robert; Gross, Richard A (2017) CAL-B Catalyzed Regioselective Bulk Polymerization of L-Aspartic Acid Diethyl Ester to α-linked Polypeptides Chemical Communications, 53, 4030 -4033 DOI: 10.1039/C7CC01300K
  • Koh, Amanda; Gross, Richard (2016) “Molecular editing of sophorolipids by esterification of lipid moieties: Effects on interfacial properties at paraffin and synthetic crude oil-water interfaces” Colloids and Surfaces, A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 507, 170-181.
  • Fiorani, Andrea; Totsingan, Filbert; Pollicino, Antonio; Peng, Yifeng; Focarete, Maria Letizia; Gross, Richard A.; Scandola, Mariastella (2017), “Peptide Modified Electrospun Glycopolymer Fibers” Macromolecular Bioscience 17(3) 10.1002/mabi.201600327
  • Maiorana, Anthony; Reano, Armando F.; Centore, Robert; Grimaldi, Marina; Balaguer, Patrick; Allais, Florent; Gross, Richard A. (2016) “Structure property relationships of biobased n-alkyl bisferulate epoxy resins” Green Chemistry 18(18), 4961-4973.
  • Shirke, Abhijit N.; Basore, Danielle; Holton, Samantha; Su, An; Baugh, Evan; (2016) Butterfoss, Glenn L.; Makhatadze, George; Bystroff, Christopher; Gross, Richard A. Influence of surface charge, binding site residues and glycosylation on Thielavia terrestris cutinase biochemical characteristics Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 100(10), 4435-4446.
  • Peng, Yifeng; Totsingan, Filbert; Meier, Michael A. R.; Steinmann, Mark, Wurm, Frederik; Kho, Amanda; Gross, Richard A. “Sophorolipids: Expanding structural diversity by ring-opening cross-metathesis” European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology (2015) 117(2), 217-228.
  • Spinella, Stephen; Ganesh, Manoj; Lo Re, Giada; Zhang, S.; Raquez, Jean-Marie; Dubois, Philippe; Gross, Richard A “Enzymatic reactive extrusion: moving towards continuous enzyme-catalyzed polyester polymerization and processing, Green Chemistry 17(8), 4146-4150. (2015)
  • Peng, Yifeng; Munoz-Pinto, Dany J.; Chen, Mingtao; Decatur, John; Hahn, Mariah; Gross, Richard A. “Poly(sophorolipid) Structural Variation: Effects on Biomaterial Physical and Biological Properties” Biomacromolecules 15(11), 4214-4227 (2014).