Ryan HayesTitle: Associate Professor of Chemistry
Office Location: Halenz Hall 322
Phone: (269) 471-3248
Ph.D., Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
B.S., Andrews University (ACS, Honors)
Dr. Ryan Hayes is researching signal amplification and compositional analysis of nanotechnology materials based on dendrimers. Dendrimers are unique nano-sized polymer materials that provide high concentration of functional groups localized on the surface of these macromolecules. The orientation and presentation of functional groups lead to new properties but also increase the difficulty of analysis using standard techniques. Dr. Hayes is developing new methods of analysis to improve and speed the characterization of dendrimers. In addition, Dr. Hayes is looking into new uses of dendrimers for enhancing optical signals for the detection of various disease states. Dr. Hayes has published articles in the area of photoinduced electron transfer involving novel donor-acceptor systems within macromolecular and nucleic acid structures.
Dr. Hayes has spent nearly a decade working in industry. His experience includes business development, patent portfolio management, and scale-up of chemical-based technologies within the life science reagent, personal care, agricultural, coatings, and polymer additive industries. Dr. Hayes was Director of Business Development for 4.5 years with Dendritic Nanotechnologies (DNT) located in Mt. Pleasant, MI before accepting the teaching responsibilities at Andrews University. Before DNT, he was employed as a research scientist at Lynntech, Inc. in College Station, TX where he assisted with numerous projects to develop and commercial new chemical sensing technologies. Ryan is married to a microbiologist named Suzi, and they have three young children: Carter, Christiana, and Cadance.
Dr. Hayes teaches General Chemistry (CHEM131 & CHEM132) as well as instructs all laboratory sections for this class.
Current Research or Professional Activities
Dr. Hayes' research activities include the synthesis and analysis of dendrimers which are highly functional polymers with many new properties for medicine, materials, and modern technology. These modern marvels of nanometer dimensions may change the way treatment and diagnostic molecules are administered to improve safety and efficacy. He has involved undergraduates in his research over the past two years thanks to the Undergraduate Research Scholarship program here at AU.
Dr. Hayes is also using absorption and emission spectroscopies to characterize novel stilbene molecules that have been generated by Dr. Desmond Murray. This analytical work involves the use of the AU Chemistry & Biochemistry department's Cary 500 UV-VIS-NIR absorption spectrophotometer as well as the Cary Eclipse fluorescence spectrometer. It is hoped that these fluorescent molecules can improve upon existing technologies to visualize genetic material such as DNA or RNA. This research is also being conducted with Dr. Marlene Murray of the AU Biology Department. A faculty grant from AU is supporting this research.