Our Mission

Our mission is to apply basic principles of chemistry to solve important problems in biology. There are three primary foci for our research.

DNA-based Light Harvesting Complexes - We are making artificial complexes of proteins and DNA by chemically modifying proteins with small organic molecules.  These protein/DNA complexes are showing amazing ability for solar light harvesting.

Biophilic Graphene Oxide - We are developing novel protein-glues that can pacify the hydrophobic regions of graphene oxide and convert it into a biophilic material for the adsorption of biomolecules.  The biophilic graphene oxide is becoming an exciting nanomaterial for applications in biofuel cell applications and biocatalysis. 

BionanoMaterials - Our hypothesis is that enzymes can be stabilized by placing them reduced dimensional space.  That is, enzymes in one dimensional space will be more stable than in two dimensional space, and they will be more stable in two dimensional space than in three dimensional space.

    To test this hypothesis, we encapsulate enzymes in the tw-dimensional space of inorganic layered materials and testing their stability.  Our encapsulated enzymes catalyze reactions near the boiling point of water. This is very unusual, but exciting.

Protein-Polymer Conjugates - in collaboration with the Kasi group, we are designing polymers to wrap individual enzyme molecules.  These conjugates enhance the stability of the enzymes well beyond boiling point of water, at normal pressure.  These are providing exciting new applications in biocatalysis, biosensing and biofuel cells.

Our Motto: Teaching is an Investment in ‘Future’

Division of Biological Chemistry Site


Challa V. Kumar, PhD

Professor of Biological and Physical Chemistry

University of Connecticut

Storrs CT 06269-3060

Ph. 860-486-3213

Fax 860-486-2981


Total # of Publications:138

Total # of Citations: ~5300

h-Index: 30.2

Publication List

Grad Students


Favorite Links

  1. www.apple.com

  2. http://ichem.uconn.edu

  3. http://jasmin.chem.uconn.edu

The Kumar Group