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Wright, David W.
Chair and Stevenson Professor of Chemistry

Research Information

Biomineralization results in an expansive array of complex materials ranging from laminate composites and ceramics such as bones, teeth, and shells to magnetic materials such as the forms of magnetite found in magnetobacteria. It also produces non-linear optical materials, such as the unique peptide-coated cadmium sulfide particles which result from heavy metal detoxification mechanisms within some yeast and plants. These natural biominerals often represent unique crystal forms extending over several size domains that are synthesized in aqueous solutions at room temperature and standard pressure. Additionally, many of these crystal forms, and their associated properties, cannot be readily produced in the laboratory! Biomineralization processes also play important roles in the pathologies of a number of diseases including osteoporosis and malaria. Understanding these processes is leading to novel discoveries ranging from new materials to new therapeutic advances for the treatment of disease.

The primary focus of research in our group is the design, synthesis and characterization of organic templates capable of mediating the growth of biological important biominerals. Specific studies underway in our labs include:

  • Mechanistic and structural studies of the scaffold biopolymers that nucleate the critical detoxification mineral hemozoin within the digestive vacuole of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.
  • Role of hemozoin in the modulation of host innate immune system response. Reactivity studies between hemozoin and fatty acid substrates indicate a wide distribution of highly immunomodulatory products including hydroxylated fatty acids, isoprostanes and prostaglandinds.
  • The use of combinatorial chemistry to understand the role of matrix peptides in the formations of monodisperse biogenic nanocrystals. These studies will yield functionalized building blocks for the construction of novel nanodevices
  • Diatoms form diverse nanopatterned silica structures. In contrast to many current materials approaches to the synthesis of patterned silica, biogenic silica is formed rapidly under mild conditions mediated by a highly post-translationally modified peptide. We are taking a wide variety of approaches in not only understanding the function of such peptides, but also in applying our methods to the design of new functionalized SiO2 materials.


Selected Publications

Detection of respiratory syncytial virus using nanoparticle amplified immuno-polymerase chain reaction. Perez, JW; Vargis, EA; Russ, PK; Haselton, FR; Wright, DW, ANALYTICAL BIOCHEMISTRY, 410, 141-148 , (2011)

Multifunctional nanoparticles as simulants for a gravimetric immunoassay. Miller, SA; Hiatt, LA; Keil, RG; Wright, DW; Cliffel, DE, ANALYTICAL AND BIOANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 399, 1021-1029 , (2011)

Acetaminophen inhibits hemoprotein-catalyzed lipid peroxidation and attenuates rhabdomyolysis-induced renal failure. Boutaud, O; Moore, KP; Reeder, BJ; Harry, D; Howie, AJ; Wang, SH; Carney, CK; Masterson, TS; Amin, T; Wright, DW; Wilson, MT; Oates, JA; Roberts, LJ, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 107, 2699-2704 , (2010)

Bottom-Up Synthesis of Biologically Active Multilayer Films Using Inkjet-Printed Templates. Swartz, JD; Deravi, LF; Wright, DW, ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS, 20, 1488-1492 , (2010)

Crystallization of synthetic haemozoin (beta-haematin) nucleated at the surface of lipid particles. Hoang, AN; Ncokazi, KK; de Villiers, KA; Wright, DW; Egan, TJ, DALTON TRANSACTIONS, 39, 1235-1244 , (2010)

Hairpin DNA coated gold nanoparticles as intracellular mRNA probes for the detection of tyrosinase gene expression in melanoma cells. Harry, SR; Hicks, DJ; Amiri, KI; Wright, DW, CHEMICAL COMMUNICATIONS, 46, 5557-5559 , (2010)

Hairpin DNA-Functionalized Gold Colloids for the Imaging of mRNA in Live Cells. Jayagopal, A; Halfpenny, KC; Perez, JW; Wright, DW, JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 132, 9789-9796 , (2010)

Increase on the Initial Soluble Heme Levels in Acidic Conditions Is an Important Mechanism for Spontaneous Heme Crystallization In Vitro. Stiebler, R; Hoang, AN; Egan, TJ; Wright, DW; Oliveira, MF, PLOS ONE, 5, e12694 , (2010)

Lipophilic Mediated Assays for beta-Hematin Inhibitors. Carter, MD; Phelan, VV; Sandlin, RD; Bachmann, BO; Wright, DW, COMBINATORIAL CHEMISTRY & HIGH THROUGHPUT SCREENING, 13, 285-292 , (2010)

Nanoparticle detection of respiratory infection. Halfpenny, KC; Wright, DW, WILEY INTERDISCIPLINARY REVIEWS-NANOMEDICINE AND NANOBIOTECHNOLOGY, 2, 277-290 , (2010)

The IsdG-family of haem oxygenases degrades haem to a novel chromophore. Reniere, ML; Ukpabi, GN; Harry, SR; Stec, DF; Krull, R; Wright, DW; Bachmann, BO; Murphy, ME; Skaar, EP, MOLECULAR MICROBIOLOGY, 75, 1529-1538 , (2010)

The Neutral Lipid Composition Present in the Digestive Vacuole of Plasmodium falciparum Concentrates Heme and Mediates beta-Hematin Formation with an Unusually Low Activation Energy. Hoang, AN; Sandlin, RD; Omar, A; Egan, TJ; Wright, DW, BIOCHEMISTRY, 49, 10107-10116 , (2010)

Comparative Analysis of Gene Expression Changes Mediated by Individual Constituents of Hemozoin. Schrimpe, AC; Wright, DW, CHEMICAL RESEARCH IN TOXICOLOGY, 22, 433-445 , (2009)

Differential gene expression mediated by 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. Schrimpe, AC; Wright, DW, MALARIA JOURNAL, 8, 195 , (2009)

Integrin alpha v beta 1 promotes infection by human metapneumovirus. Cseke, G; Maginnis, MS; Cox, RG; Tollefson, SJ; Podsiad, AB; Wright, DW; Dermody, TS; Williams, JV, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 106, 1566-1571 , (2009)

Metabolic Discrimination of Select List Agents by Monitoring Cellular Responses in a Multianalyte Microphysiometer. Eklund, SE; Thompson, RG; Snider, RM; Carney, CK; Wright, DW; Wikswo, J; Cliffel, DE, SENSORS, 9, 2117-2133 , (2009)

Rapid production of nitrilase containing silica nanoparticles offers an effective and reusable biocatalyst for synthetic nitrile hydrolysis. Swartz, JD; Miller, SA; Wright, DW, ORGANIC PROCESS RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT, 13, 584-589 , (2009)

Viral detection using DNA functionalized gold filaments. Perez, JW; Haselton, FR; Wright, DW, ANALYST, 134, 1548-1553 , (2009)

Design and synthesis of an antigenic mimic of the Ebola glycoprotein. Rutledge, RD; Huffman, BJ; Cliffel, DE; Wright, DW, JOURNAL OF MATERIALS RESEARCH, 23, 3161-3168 , (2008)

Enhancement of the CD8(+) T cell response to a subdominant epitope of respiratory syncytial virus by deletion of an immunodominant epitope. Mok, H; Lee, S; Wright, DW; Crowe, JE, VACCINE, 26, 4775-4782 , (2008)

Piezoelectric Inkjet Printing of Biomimetic Inks for Reactive Surfaces. Deravi, LF; Sumerel, JL; Sewell, SL; Wright, DW, SMALL, 4, 2127-2130 , (2008)

Versatile biomimetic dendrimer templates used in the formation of TiO2 and GeO2. Sewell, SL; Rutledge, RD; Wright, DW, DALTON TRANSACTIONS, , 3857-3865 , (2008)

A recombinant human monoclonal antibody to human metapneumovirus fusion protein that neutralizes virus in vitro and is effective therapeutically in vivo. Williams, JV; Chen, ZF; Cseke, G; Wright, DW; Keefer, CJ; Tollefson, SJ; Hessell, A; Podsiad, A; Shepherd, BE; Sanna, PP; Burton, DR; Crowe, JE; Williamson, RA, JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, 81, 8315-8324 , (2007)

Detoxification biominerals. Carney, CK; Harry, SR; Sewell, SL; Wright, DW, Biomineralization I: Crystallization and Self-Organization Process Topics in Current Chemistry, 270, 155-185 , (2007)

Examination of a fusogenic hexameric core from human metapneumovirus and identification of a potent synthetic peptide inhibitor from the heptad repeat 1 region. Miller, SA; Tollefson, S; Crowe, JE; Williams, JV; Wright, DW, JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, 81, 141-149 , (2007)

Human metapneumovirus fusion protein vaccines that are immunogenic and protective in cotton rats. Cseke, G; Wright, DW; Tollefson, SJ; Johnson, JE; Crowe, JE; Williams, JV, JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, 81, 698-707 , (2007)

Identification of hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid components of schistosomal hemozoin. Carter, MD; Harry, SR; Wright, DW, BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS, 363, 867-872 , (2007)

Output analysis of materials inkjet printer. Deravi, LF; Gerdon, AE; Cliffel, DE; Wright, DW; Sumerel, JL, APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, 91, 113114 , (2007)

Tissue-specific regulation of CD8(+) T-lymphocyte immunodominance in respiratory syncytial virus infection. Lee, SJ; Miller, SA; Wright, DW; Rock, MT; Crowe, JE, JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, 81, 2349-2358 , (2007)

Biomimetic synthesis of metal oxide nanoparticles utilizing PAMAM and PPI dendrimers. Sewell, S; Wright, DW, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 231, , (2006)

Biomimetic synthesis of titanium dioxide utilizing the R5 peptide derived from Cylindrotheca fusiformis. Sewell, SL; Wright, DW, CHEMISTRY OF MATERIALS, 18, 3108-3113 , (2006)

Detection of Ebola glycoprotein using quartz crystal microbalance immunosensor. Gerdon, AE; Huffman, BJ; Wright, DW; Cliffel, DE, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 231, , (2006)

Detection of Ebola virus envelope using monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies in ELISA, surface plasmon resonance and a quartz crystal microbalance immunosensor. Yu, JS; Liao, HX; Gerdon, AE; Huffman, B; Scearce, RM; McAdams, M; Alam, SM; Popernack, PM; Sullivan, NJ; Wright, D; Cliffel, DE; Nabel, GJ; Haynes, BF, JOURNAL OF VIROLOGICAL METHODS, 137, 219-228 , (2006)

Epitope mapping of the protective antigen of B-anthracis by using nanoclusters presenting conformational peptide epitopes. Gerdon, AE; Wright, DW; Cliffel, DE, ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION, 45, 594-598 , (2006)

Imaging of voltage-gated alamethicin pores in a reconstituted bilayer lipid membrane via scanning electrochemical microscopy. Wilburn, JP; Wright, DW; Cliffel, DE, ANALYST, 131, 311-316 , (2006)

Piezoelectric ink jet processing of mateirals for medical and biological applications. Sumerel, J; Lewis, J; Doraiswamy, A; Deravi, LF; Sewell, SL; Gerdon, AE; Wright, DW; Narayan, RJ, BIOTECHNOL J., 1 (9), 976-87 , (2006)

The basis of the immunomodulatory activity of malaria pigment (hemozoin). Carney CK, Schrimpe AC, Halfpenny K, Harry RS, Miller CM, Broncel M, Sewell SL, Schaff JE, Deol R, Carter MD, Wright DW, JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL INORGANIC CHEMISTRY, 11, 917-29 , (2006)

Alternate substrate specificity for the silica condensing R5 peptide of C. fusiformis.. Wright, DW; Sewell, S, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 229, U1150-U1150 , (2005)

beta-Hematin (Hemozoin) mediated decompostion of polyunsaturated fatty acids to 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal. Miller, CM; Carney, CK; Schrimpe, AC; Wright, DW, INORGANIC CHEMISTRY, 44, 2134-2136 , (2005)

Biologically inspired dendrimer nanocomposite materials. Wright, DW; Knecht, MR; Miller, SA, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 229, U1113-U1113 , (2005)

Hemagglutinin linear epitope presentation on monolayer-protected clusters elicits strong antibody binding. Gerdon, AE; Wright, DW; Cliffel, DE, BIOMACROMOLECULES, 6, 3419-3424 , (2005)

Progression of respiratory syncytial virus infection monitored by fluorescent quantum dot probes. Bentzen, EL; House, F; Utley, TJ; Crowe, JE; Wright, DW, NANO LETTERS, 5, 591-595 , (2005)

Quartz crystal microbalance detection of glutathione-protected nanoclusters using antibody recognition. Gerdon, AE; Wright, DW; Cliffel, DE, ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 77, 304-310 , (2005)

Size control of dendrimer-templated silica. Knecht, MR; Sewell, SL; Wright, DR, LANGMUIR, 21, 2058-2061 , (2005)

Surface modification to reduce nonspecific binding of quantum dots in live cell assays. Bentzen, EL; Tomlinson, ID; Mason, J; Gresch, P; Warnement, MR; Wright, D; Sanders-Bush, E; Blakely, R; Rosenthal, SJ, BIOCONJUGATE CHEMISTRY, 16, 1488-1494 , (2005)

The Quantum Dot Nanoconjugate Toolbox. Tomlinson, ID; Wright, DW; Giorgio, TD; Blakely, RD; Pennycook, SJ; Hercules, D; Bentzen, L; Smith, RA; McBride, J; Vergne, MJ; Rosenthal, SJ, PROGRESS IN BIOMEDICAL OPTICS AND IMAGING, 199, 5705 , (2005)

Ubiquitin and ubiquitin-derived peptides as substrates for peptidylglycine alpha-amidating monooxygenase. Chew, GH; Galloway, LC; McIntyre, NR; Schroder, LA; Richards, KM; Miller, SA; Wright, DW; Merkler, DJ, FEBS LETTERS, 579, 4678-4684 , (2005)

Viral templates for gold nanoparticle synthesis. Slocik, JM; Naik, RR; Stone, MO; Wright, DW, JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY, 15, 749-753 , (2005)

Amine-terminated dendrimers as biomimetic templates for silica nanosphere formation. Knecht, MR; Wright, DW, LANGMUIR, 20, 4728-4732 , (2004)

Confirmed binding of single chain (SCFV) recombinant antibodies to zero valent metals with quartz crystal microbalance.. Gerdon, AE; Wright, DW; Cliffel, DE; Mernaugh, R, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 227, U1559-U1559 , (2004)

Dendrimer-mediated formation of multicomponent nanospheres. Knecht, MR; Wright, DW, CHEMISTRY OF MATERIALS, 16, 4890-4895 , (2004)

Dendrimers as diatoms.. Wright, DW; Knecht, MR, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 227, U518-U518 , (2004)

Biomimetic mineralization of noble metal nanoclusters. Slocik, JM; Wright, DW, BIOMACROMOLECULES, 4, 1135-1141 , (2003)

Biomolecular recognition elements for nanoparticle synthesis and function.. Wright, DW; Slocik, JM; Knecht, MR, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 225, U153-U153 , (2003)

Functional analysis of the biomimetic silica precipitating activity of the R5 peptide from Cylindrotheca fusiformis. Knecht, MR; Wright, DW, CHEMICAL COMMUNICATIONS, , 3038-3039 , (2003)

Heme detoxification in malaria: A target rich environment.. Wright, DW; Pasierb, L, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 226, U763-U763 , (2003)

Hemozoin mediated modification of proteins involved in NADPH oxidase assembly. Carney, CF; Wright, DW, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 225, U9-U9 , (2003)

Metalloporphyrin probes for antimalarial drug action. Ziegler, J; Pasierb, L; Cole, KA; Wright, DW, JOURNAL OF INORGANIC BIOCHEMISTRY, 96, 478-486 , (2003)

Peroxidative and catalytic effects of pathogen-derived hemozoin on the formation of hydroxyoctadecadienoic acids from linoleic acid. Miller, CM; Wright, DW, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 225, U8-U9 , (2003)

A study of proton and electron transfer processes that result in the conversion of a tetranuclear manganese to dimer-of-dimers (III,IV,III,IV) species.. Mok, HJ; Armstrong, WH; Wright, DW; Bowers, PG; Bonitatebus, PJ, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 224, U660-U660 , (2002)

Biomolecular recognition elements for nanoparticle assembly. Wright, DW; Slocik, JM; Knecht, MR, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 224, U312-U312 , (2002)

Monoclonal antibody recognition of histidine-rich peptide encapsulated nanoclusters. Slocik, JM; Moore, JT; Wright, DW, NANO LETTERS, 2, 169-173 , (2002)

Heme Aggregation Inhibitors: Antimalarial Drugs Targeting an Essential Biomineralization Process. Linck, R; Ziegler, J; Wright, DW, CURRENT MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY, 8, 171-89 , (2001)

Histidine-rich epitopes as nanocluster peptide coats.. Slocik, JM; Wright, DW, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 222, U572-U572 , (2001)

Peptide encapsulated CdS nanoclusters: A combinatorial and informatics approach.. Wright, DW; Spreitzer, G; Slocik, JM, ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 222, U630-U630 , (2001)


Phone: 615-322-2636
Email: david.wright@vanderbilt.edu
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