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David Haddleton

Professor David Haddleton

Professor David Haddleton

Research Fellow

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Controlled polymerisation to new materials: Polymer therapeutics to oil recovery

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Organisation: University of Warwick

Dates: Apr 2011-Mar 2016

Value: £75,000

Summary: My work is in the development of new and efficient ways to make polymers which add value and benefit to society and commerce. My development of new polymers is directed towards solving problems ranging from new therapeutics to personal care and oil recovery. The ability to design a large polymer with well-defined structure helps us to make very useful molecules and materials that solve problems without necessarily presenting themselves – stealth materials. In order to achieve this we develop new ways of putting monomers together and we try and understand these processes in order to make them even better, efficient and cost effective. The polymers we make are used in many everyday applications such as oil additives in our cars, in our shampoo, skin creams and laundry products. Our work with companies that supply these markets help us to use our living radical polymerisation to solve problems and address the challenges we face. I am exploring how to use this chemistry to make synthetic Glycopolymers (sugar containing polymers) and to modify proteins and peptides. This work is to allow better use of protein and peptide drugs and to help patients use them more effectively. This is directed towards well known peptides such as insulin (diabetes), oxytocin (for use in child labour), polymyxcin (activity against super bugs) and calcitonin (oesteoporosis). Perhaps my most exciting work is in producing polymers that competitively bind with cells that help prevent HIV infection. In this way our polymers prevent the infection by tying up the carrier cells and hinder movement of viruses around the body and subsequent infection. We are hoping to extend these studies to more prevalent viruses such as influenza. Polymers are all around us and enhance our lives – my work is to improve our knowledge and increase the usefulness of these materials and address present and future problems.

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