Orange Alert

Davoud Mozhdehi

Davoud Mozhdehi

Davoud Mozhdehi

Associate Professor


4-010 Center for Science and Technology
Office: 315.443.3105






  • Ph.D., University of California, Irvine (2015)
  • B.Sc., Sharif University of Technology, Iran (2008)

Social/Academic Links

Courses Taught

  • Modern Macromolecular Chemistry (Fall 2018)
  • Organic Chemistry (Fall 2019 and 2020)
  • Proteins and Nucleic Acid Lab (Spring 2019, 2020, and 2021)
  • Modern Macromolecular Chemistry (Fall 2018)
Research Specializations

Bioinspired materials, macromolecular chemistry, protein-based materials, and post-translational modifications.

Research Interests

Our research will leverage the recent advances in synthetic and macromolec¬ular chemistry, recombinant protein expression, and emergent biotechnology tools to create polymer-based material systems as innovative solutions for the complex health, national security, energy, and environmental challenges in the twenty-first century.


Addressing many of these challenges will require ground-breaking advances in the synthesis, processing, and properties of polymers and biomaterials. Therefore, we must develop new functional materials from renewable sources, engineer desired material properties at the sequence level, and move beyond today’s near-equilibrium static materials toward adaptive active materials. Our laboratory will pursue these broad themes at the inter¬face of chemistry, biology, and materials science.

We are interested in solving a challenging problem plaguing the field of protein-based biomaterials: the limited repertoire of biological building blocks, which severely restricts the design space available to researchers. We will harness the power of post-translational modifications to develop facile, scalable, and inexpensive methods to synthesize hybrid protein-based biomaterials functionalized with non-proteinogenic components. We anticipate that these materials will find numerous biomedical applications and look forward to expanding their use into emerging fields, such as immunomodulation.

The second part of our research program will focus on creating smart coacervates, a macromolecular-rich phase resulting from the liquid-liquid phase transition of polymer solutions. Inspired by the assembly of intrinsically disordered proteins into functional membraneless organelles, we will develop supramolecular platforms to program the assembly of polymer-rich coacervates. To achieve this goal, we will study the phase behavior of sequence-defined hybrid materials designed in the first research theme. We will expand this design space through chemoenzymatic attachment of synthetic supramolecular motifs to these (bio)polymers when the biogenic synthesis is not possible. Ultimately, we are interested to control the dynamics of the coacervate formation through this strategy and to apply our findings to the design of novel coacervate-based delivery platforms.

Finally, inspired by the dynamics and adaptivity of living biological systems, our group will design, and study coacervate-based dynamic macromolecular networks that actively convert energy and communicate through feedback loops. These two properties are key characteristics of biological active matter and thus are of fundamental value to designing the next-generation of material systems that can autonomously adapt in response to complex stimuli.

Join the lab!

Our passion for lasting scientific contributions is matched with a dedication to mentoring the next generation of scientists. We are committed to equipping our trainees with a repertoire of scientific, professional, and leadership skills in their quest for impacting the world of science, technology, and education. We are always looking for motivated undergraduate, graduate students, and postdoctoral associates to join our team. Visit our website for more information.

Professional Appointments
  • Assistant Professor of Biology (by Courtesy)
  • Assistant Professor of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering (by Courtesy)
  • Research Scientist, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University (2018)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, NSF Research Triangle Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, Duke University (2015-2017)
Honors and Awards
  • NSF CAREER Award (2022)
  • NIH NIGMS Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (2021)
  • Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award in Engineering and Applied Sciences (2020)
  • ACS-Petroleum Research Fund New Investigator Award (2019)
  • ACS Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Future Faculty Scholar (2018)
  • Teaching Excellence & Service to Academic Community (2014)
  • UCI Pedagogical Fellowship (2013)
  • UCI Department of Chemistry Teaching Award (2013)
  • Top Student Award, Sharif University of Technology (2009)
  • Silver Medalist, Iran National Chemistry Olympiad (2003)
Selected Publications
  • Mozhdehi, D.*; Luginbuhl K. M.*; Simon, J. R.; Dzuricky, M.; Berger, R.; Varol H. S.; Huang F. C.; Buehne, K. L.; Mayne, N. R.; Weitzhandler, I.; Parekh, S. H.; Bonn, M.; Chilkoti, A. Nat. Chem. 2018,10, 496. DOI: 10.1038/s41557-018-0005-z
  • Luginbuhl, K. M.*; Mozhdehi, D.*; Dzuricky, M.; Yousefpour, P.; Huang F. C.; Mayne, N. R.; Buehne, K. L.; Chilkoti A. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 10.1002/anie.201704625
  • Mozhdehi, D.*; Neal, J. A.*; Grindy, S.C.; Cordeau Y. J.; Ayala S.; Holten-Andersen, N.; Guan Z. Macromolecules, 2017,49, 6310. 10.1021/acs.macromol.6b01626
  • Grindy, S.C.; Learsch, R.; Mozhdehi, D.; Cheng, J.; Barrett, D. G.; Guan, Z.; Messersmith, P.B.; Holten-Andersen, N. Nat. Mater. 2015, 14, 1210. DOI: 10.1038/nmat4401
  • Neal, J. A.; Mozhdehi, D.; Guan Z. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 4846. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b01601
  • Mozhdehi, D.; Ayala S.; Cromwell O. R.; Guan Z. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 16128. DOI: 10.1021/ja5097094
  • Mozhdehi, D.; Chem. Commun. 2013, 49, 10.1039/C3CC45419C
Five NSF CAREER Awards a Record for A&S

(April 29, 2022)

Professors John Franck, Brett Jakubiak, David Kellen, Davoud Mozhdehi and Minghao Rostami have been awarded five-year CAREER grants to support their innovative research and educational outreach.

A&S Physicist and Chemist Awarded NIH MIRA Grants

(Nov. 23, 2021)

The five-year awards will fund Alison Patteson’s and Davoud Mozhdehi’s protein research.

Taking the Guesswork Out of Nanoparticle Design

(Sept. 15, 2021)

Professors Davoud Mozhdehi and Shikha Nangia are using machine learning to guide the design of stable nanoparticles.

Teaching Plastics to “Speak”

(Dec. 3, 2020)

Chemist Davoud Mozhdehi is working on an autonomous synthetic material that could create what he calls “smart plastics.”

A New Way to Deliver Therapeutic Drugs to the Brain?

(Nov. 6, 2020)

Researchers are investigating a nanoparticle that could 'disguise' itself for entry into the brain.

Accuracy Down to the Atom

(Oct. 15, 2020)

NSF equipment grants fund acquisition of two chromatography-mass spectrometers.