Welcome to the Van Lehn Group!

Group photo, summer 2022

We use molecular simulations and data-centric methods to characterize, predict, and engineer the behavior of synthetic and biological soft materials. We study a range of soft materials, including nanoparticles, peptides, lipid membranes, liquid crystals, and polymers, for applications relevant to human health, sustainability, and energy. Our research is purely computational and is complemented by close collaborations with a variety of experimental groups. Current research directions include (1) designing synthetic materials to interact with biological systems for applications in drug delivery and biosensing, (2) screening solvents for polymer dissolution and depolymerization for applications in plastics recycling and biomass valorization, (3) uncovering rules governing interactions with lipid membranes for drug delivery and antimicrobial applications, and (4) understanding structure in complex liquid environments for applications in biomaterials design, energy storage, and catalysis.

  • New article about the STRAP process

    Check out this new article about the Solvent-Targeted Recovery and Precipitation (STRAP) process, featuring Van Lehn group members!

  • Two projects funded through Research Forward program!

    We are grateful that two new collaborative projects have been funded through the UW-Madison Research Forward competition, which helps seed collaborative research that could promote future center-level proposals. The two projects broadly relate to group …

  • New CUWP paper and poster prize!

    Congratulations to Pan on his new paper in Green Chemistry! In this paper, we use molecular-scale modeling techniques to generate a database of solubilities for common plastic resins in a wide range of organic solvents. …

  • Reid joins the Theoretical Chemistry Institute!

    Reid was recently approved as an affiliate of the Department of Chemistry at UW-Madison! This affiliation will permit closer collaboration with Chemistry faculty members and the recruitment of Chemistry students to further promote interdisciplinary research …

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