University of Wyoming
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Dr. Milan Balaz, Department of chemistry, University of Wyoming

About Milan

Dr. Milan Balaz
Assistant Professor and Group Leader

Supramolecular chemistry and Chiroptical spectroscopy
Department of Chemistry
Physical Sciences Building, Room 410
University of Wyoming
1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: +1 307 766-4330, Fax: +1 307 766 2807

Education and scientific training: I received a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Strasbourg and Comenius University (jointly awarded) with thorough formal training in asymmetric synthesis and stereochemistry. Subsequently, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Professors Nakanishi and Berova (Columbia University) exploring through space exciton coupled circular dichroism. I then joined the research group of Professor Anderson (University of Oxford) as a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow. My research focused on the synthesis, photophysical, and photobiological properties of conjugated porphyrin dimers for two-photon excited photodynamic therapy (with Prof. D. Phillips, Imperial College London and Prof. B. C. Wilson, Ontario Cancer Institute) and intracellular viscosity sensing (with Dr. M. Kuimova, Imperial College London).

My research at UW:
1. supramolecular porphyrin-DNA nanostructures
We explore chiral multichromophoric nanoarrays with attractive structural and photophysical properties formed by oligonucleotide controlled assembly of chromophores. We use external stimuli induced structural transitions to tune their functional properties.
representative reference:
Formation and helicity control of ssDNA templated porphyrin nanoassemblies.
G. Sargsyan, A. A. Schatz, J. Kubelka, M. Balaz
Chem. Commun., 2013, 49, 1020-1022.

2. enhanced circular dichroism detection of chiral biomolecules
Our long-term goal is to develop organic and inorganic spectroscopic probes to enhance the sensitivity of electronic circular dichroism. Enhanced sensitivity will allow the study of chiral molecules and their interactions at low, biologically relevant concentrations.
representative reference:
Sulfonated Ni(II)porphyrin improves the detection of Z-DNA in condensed and non-condensed BZB DNA sequences.
A. E. Holmes, J. Kyu Choi, J. Francis, A. D'Urso, M. Balaz
J. Inorg. Biochem., 2012, 110, 18-20.

3. semiconductor quantum dots (QDs)
We work on the synthesis of quantum dots for solar cells. Our research is a part of a DOE EPSCoR funded project (PI: Wenyong Wang, Physics and Astronomy, University of Wyoming). We also explore chiroptical and chirophotonic properties of QDs.
representative reference:
Ligand induced circular dichroism and circularly polarized luminescence in CdSe quantum dots.
U. Tohgha, K. K. Deol, A. G. Porter, S. G. Bartko, J. K. Choi, B. M. Leonard, K. Varga, J. Kubelka, G. Muller, M. Balaz
ACS Nano., 2013, 7, 11094-11102.

Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, 1999-2003
Fellow of the French Government (Boursier du Gouvernement Français, BGF)
Université Louis Pasteur, Ecole Européenne de Chimie, Polymeres et Matériaux, Strasbourg, France
Pl: Prof. Arlette Solladié-Cavallo, Directeur de Recherche
Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, 1999-2003
Comenius University, School of Natural Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Bratislava, Slovakia
Pl: Prof. Marta Salisova

Professional Training
Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, 2006-2008
Oxford University, Department of Chemistry, Oxford, UK
Pl: Prof. Harry L. Anderson
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, 2003-2005
Columbia University, New York, NY
Pls: Prof. Koji Nakanishi and Prof. Nina Berova

Research profiles: