Luciano Santino

In 2019, I completed my PhD in Chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis with Professor Julio M. D’Arcy as my adviser. In my dissertation, “Self-Assembly of Conducting Polymer Nano- and Microstructures for Energy Storage”, I show that electrically conductive and energy-storing polymers take on unique morphologies under certain synthetic conditions. Many of these morphologies improve the polymer’s ability to store and discharge electricity, making them promising candidates for battery electrodes.

My move from energy storage towards health sciences research involves the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus (HPC), a new interdisciplinary institute focused on high risk, high reward projects. I joined an interdisciplinary team of physicists, chemists and biologists in Dr. Jian Cui’s group. Using my background in electrochemistry, I am expanding methods of generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) in a spatiotemporally resolved manner. By understanding the kinetics of reactive oxygen species, we can better study oxidative stress at the cellular level. While developing these improved tools, we seek to elucidate the ambiguous roles ROS play in oxidative stress and signaling pathways, which are highly relevant to the origin of diseases including cancer and Alzheimer’s.