Virgil Percec - Biography#

Professor Virgil Percec received his university education from Polytechnic Institute in Jassy, Romania and his PhD in Macromolecular Chemistry from the “P. Poni” Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Romanian Academy, Romania. He joined the Department of Macromolecular Science of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA in 1982 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor in 1984, to Full Professor in 1986, and to Leonard Case Jr. Chair in 1993. He is currently the P. Roy Vagelos Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, a position he has held for the past two decades.

Professor Percec has authored almost 800 scientific papers, has given more than 1200 either endowed, plenary, or invited lectures and holds over 80 United States patents. He has educated 300 or so graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, over 70 of whom are in faculty positions around the World. He has been either an editor or served on the editorial boards of more than 30 scientific journals.

Professor Percec’s research is at the interface of organic and macromolecular chemistry, and is directed towards the design, synthesis, and applications of functional macromolecules. Current topics include new synthetic approaches to macromolecules with controlled architecture; the design, synthesis, and applications of sequence defined dendritic molecules; synthetic mimics of biological membranes derived from sequence defined monodisperse dendrimers; cell mimics derived from synthetic macromolecules with surface glycan decorations and other moeties inspired by molecular recognition processes; and functional monodisperse dendritic macromolecules for targeted drug delivery, and nano-medicine.

Notably, in the past two decades, Professor Percec elaborated synthetic methodologies and structural analysis methods to create macromolecular synthetic mimics of biological molecules for which the primary structure responsible for the creation of critical function could be predicted. Importantly, he elucidated the relationships between the primary structure of dendrons and the diversity of self-assembled structures they form, including structures unprecedented in the synthetic and biological world, such as organic liquid quasicrystals and Frank-Kasper phases.

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