Skip to main content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Kramer Lecture: Dr. Michael Ward

April 12 @ 3:30 PM 4:00 PM

Professor Michael D. Ward
Department of Chemistry and the Molecular Design Institute
New York University

Stopping Crystal Growth in its Tracks: Preventing Disease and Other Crystal Mysteries

Abstract
The crystal growth of conventional materials, such as silicon, has been refined for decades and has led to textbook crystal growth models. Confidence in these models quickly evaporates when considering complex inorganic solids and molecular crystals, however, despite the importance of these materials to technology, biology, and human health. In particular, many crystalline materials are associated with diseases, from malaria to kidney stones. This presentation will illustrate the beauty and complexity of crystal growth, through mechanisms often hidden and deceptive, of pathological molecular crystals, including kidney stones as well as “xenostones” that form as a consequence of active pharmaceutical ingredients that form crystals in renal spaces. Observation at multiple length scales, using techniques ranging from atomic force microscopy (AFM) to optical microscopy, reveal the consequences of the complexity of dissymmetric surfaces of organic crystals, which stems from their inherent low molecular and crystal symmetry. Armed with an understanding of crystal physics and crystal surface structure at the molecular level, crystal growth inhibitors can be designed that bind to specific crystal sites and prevent the formation of pathological crystals, suggesting a pathway to therapies for crystal-based diseases in general. Moreover, real-time in situ AFM permits kinetic analyses of crystal growth at the nanoscale that reveals the mode of action of crystal growth inhibitors in knockout mouse models.

Biography
Michael D. Ward received his undergraduate degree from the William Paterson College of New Jersey in 1977 and his Ph.D. degree from Princeton University in 1981. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, between 1981 and 1982. He joined the research staff at Standard Oil of Ohio in Cleveland in 1982, and in 1984 he became a member of the research staff at the Dupont Central Research and Development Laboratories in Wilmington, Delaware. Ward joined the faculty of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota in 1990, where he held a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry. Ward was named a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in 1999, and he was a founding Director of the University of Minnesota Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) from 1998 – 2005. He moved to New York University in 2006 to create the Molecular Design Institute within the Department of Chemistry. Ward was the founding Director of NSF-supported NYU MRSEC, and he served as its Director through 2017. He was appointed as a Silver Professor by NYU in 2008 and served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry for six years (2009-2014). As Chair, Ward spearheaded a substantial growth and restructuring of the department, recruiting ten tenure-stream faculty members along with the design and construction of more than 100,000 square feet of new laboratory space. Ward also played a central role in developing science programs at two new NYU campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, with responsibility for hiring core faculty and designing research and instructional laboratory Development Laboratories in Wilmington, Delaware. Ward joined the faculty of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota in 1990, where he held a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry. Ward was named a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in 1999, and he was a founding Director of the University of Minnesota Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) from 1998 – 2005. He moved to New York University in 2006 to create the Molecular Design Institute within the Department of Chemistry. Ward was the founding Director of NSF-supported NYU MRSEC and served as its Director through 2017. He was appointed as a Silver Professor by NYU in 2008 and served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry for six years (2009-2014). As Chair, Ward spearheaded a substantial growth and restructuring of the department, recruiting ten tenure-stream faculty and adding more than 100,000 square feet of new laboratory space Ward also played a central role in developing science programs at two new NYU campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, with responsibility for hiring core faculty and designing research and instructional laboratory facilities. He also has served as an Editor for the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials from 1998-2021. Ward is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society, the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the European Academy of Sciences. Ward’s research interests have spanned organic solid-state chemistry, electrochemistry, sensors, crystal engineering, functional organic materials, crystallization, polymorphism, the role of biominerals in biomedicine and disease, epitaxial growth, and scanning probe microscopy. A substantial portion of his research program has involved collaborations with the industrial sector, and he has played a principal role in professional development activities that facilitate connections between students and industry. Ward also is a technical consultant for PharmaKrysto, a startup pharmaceutical company that has licensed technology invented in the Ward laboratory for the prevention of cystine stones, an example of materials chemistry impacting human health. Ward has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles in highly regarded peer review journals and presented more than 250 invited seminars. Over the course of his career, Ward advised more than 40 PhD students and 30 postdocs. As Director of two NSF-supported MRSECs at two different institutions he has steered research programs impacting hundreds of undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs.

Please join for a reception before the lecture at 3:30p in the Cheney Room (1413 Engineering Hall)

1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706 United States
+ Google Map