As a young professor working hard to establish a new research group in a prominent academic institution, Dr. Matthew Golder faces many challenges. His enthusiasm, motivation and creativity in facing those tasks, and ultimately seeking solutions for some of pressing issues of modern society, are inspirational. Thankfully, Matthew found some time to tell us about his journey when he was not out there teaching, recruiting top-notch students, plugging away in the lab or dreaming up his next exciting research project. Here it is, in his own words:
“I grew up just outside of Boston, MA and became interested in science (broadly defined) early on. I dabbled in computer science and biology throughout high school, but wasn't as excited about chemistry. Chemistry only began to resonate with me in college, when I took an Organic Chemistry class. My interests in organic materials further grew after spending a summer in Germany as an exchange student, eventually leading me to pursue a Ph.D. in the field.
While I spent many years as a graduate student tackling various synthetic organic targets related to nanoscience, I sought to work with larger structures that could help solve different types of challenges. As a postdoc in Jeremiah Johnson's lab at MIT (where I was first exposed to Wyatt instruments) I worked on sequence-defined monodisperse polymers and novel architectures for drug delivery. I've taken my passion for making molecules large and small to the University of Washington, where my new team develops and utilizes synthetic methods to create novel macromolecules. We are tackling challenges across diverse fields including energy, biomedicine, materials science, and sustainability.
Streamlined characterization of our synthetic polymers is crucial for the success of our projects. In my postdoctoral work at MIT, I frequently used Wyatt MALS and DLS to study the size and architecture of polymer-drug nanostructures and monodisperse macromolecules. When I was opening up my own lab last summer, my positive experience with this instrumentation immediately led me back to Wyatt. We now routinely use our DAWN MALS detector in conjunction with our Viscostar and Optilab detectors to characterize molecular weight and dispersity of polymers accessed from novel monomers. The results give us confidence that we have synthesized the intended molecular structure, before moving forward to study physical and materials properties. Likewise, we are expanding into new methodology to synthesize polymers from well-known commercial monomers via controlled radical strategies; the same SEC-MALS-IV characterization techniques will be utilized thoroughly here as well! Our Wyatt stack is crucial to the everyday operation of our lab and is a mainstay in undergraduate/graduate student and postdoctoral researcher education.”
Good luck, Dr. Golder! We look forward to supporting you and your group in taking macromolecular synthesis and characterization to even greater heights.
Wyatt's integrated suite of MALS, RI, and IV detectors makes it straightforward for my team to quickly and efficiently collect data about new synthetic macromolecules made in the laboratory.