Dr. Hayes' Research 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.

Image of a PAMAM dendrimer with cartoon representation of various sizes, called generations.  Generation is abbreviated as G, thus G1 is a generation 1 dendrimer.  Dendrimers are synthesized starting with a G0.  A G4 Dendrimer can take up to 5 months to synthesize.


Dr. Hayes' research experience began at Northwestern University under the guidance of Dr. Michael Wasielewski. His research focussed on the study of ultrafast electron transfer reactions between organic donors and acceptors.  This research was important to understand how charges transfer along DNA chains and to develop materials for optical based control of electron transfer.

List of Current/Former Students in the Hayes Group:

  • Stephen Gardner (dendrimer hydroxyl number NIR analysis)
  • Celena Cameron (charcoal patch absorption profile)
  • Andrew Master (dendrimer hydroxyl number NIR analysis)
  • Ethan Catron (dendrimer hydroxyl number NIR analysis)
  • JC Lynch (Detection of Heterocylic Amines in Soy products)
  • Erica Evans (Analysis of Stilbene Based Copper II Sensor)
  • Tyler Pender (Detection of Heterocylic Amines in Soy products)

Students interested in collaborative research:

  • Speak to Dr. Hayes about current opportunities in his group.