Katie (Schaefer) Feldman graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with dual degrees in chemistry (BS,biology minor) and history and philosophy of science (BA). She conducted undergraduate research with Prof. Steve Weber in the area of small volume electrochemical detection of peptides. In 2002 she began her PhD in materials at UCSB under the direction of Profs. Ed Kramer and Tim Deming on the synthesis and physical characterization of block copolypeptides. In the fall of 2004 she began work with Profs. Kramer and Craig Hawker.
Katie's current research is focused on characterizing the behavior of supramolecular recognition units (hydrogen bonding in particular) when incorporated into bulk polymer systems. A number of strongly binding units have been synthesized and their recognition capabilities characterized in solution (E.W. Meijer's UPy, S. Zimmerman's UG, etc.). Examples have also been demonstrated of their attachment to small molecule or oligomeric systems to generate novel structures and strongly temperature dependent solution rheological properties. Incorporating these same binding units into conventional polymer materials is also important from a technological standpoint, and our goal is gain a detailed physical understanding of these effects. Current work is directed towards the controlled integration of multiple hydrogen bonding groups into well defined polymer architectures.