Glycoscience Assistant Professor

Faculty within Virginia Tech’s Department of Biochemistry play key roles in GlycoMIP’s leadership team, user program and in-house research efforts.  The department has announced a new faculty hire in the area of glycoscience, which may be of interest to scientists in the glycomaterials community.  Note the review date of February 1, 2024.

Assistant Professor – Glycoscience – Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech
The Department of Biochemistry at Virginia Tech invites applications from outstanding scientists for an academic-year, tenure-track position at the level of assistant professor in the broad field of glycoscience. Individuals that utilize or develop modern instrumental and/or computational tools to address important questions related to biomedical glycobiology, glycomicrobiology or glycomaterials are strongly encouraged to apply. The Department is highly collaborative and has research strengths in the areas of computer modeling/simulation, infectious disease, microbial physiology/biochemistry, drug development and enzymology. Virginia Tech is also home to the NSF-funded GlycoMIP User Facility, a multi-million dollar, cutting-edge materials innovation platform, as well as excellent core services in mass spectrometry and genomics.The successful candidate will leverage a competitive startup package to build and maintain an internationally recognized and extramurally funded glycoscience research program. As the Department currently mentors over 30 graduate students and 450 undergraduates, the candidate is also expected to contribute to graduate and/or undergraduate teaching and mentoring. All candidates must be fully committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive environment, functioning as an active and collegial member of the departmental and university community. The position is 70% Research and 30% Teaching/Departmental Service. International engagement and recognition are encouraged and expected as your career advances.The Department of Biochemistry is housed within the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, a Land Grant Institution with a very diverse research portfolio. Specific areas of consideration include, but are not limited to glycan interactomics, microbial glycobiology, chemical and chemoenzymatic glycan syntheses, disease processes associated with glycans and glycoconjugates and instrumental methods for glycoscience.

ACS 2023

Join us at the ACS Spring meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana! March 26-30. GlycoMIP is hosting 2 symposiums under the CELL Division.  We also have numerous presentations.


  1. Transforming Glycoscience:  Where Do We Stand?
    1. Location: Congress I/II, The Westin Indianapolis
    2. Hybrid, Monday 2:00pm – 5:45pm
  2. NSF-Funded National User Facilities:  Materials Innovation Platforms
    1. Location: Grand 2, The Westin Indianapolis
    2. In-person, Wednesday, 8:00am – 12:00pm
    3. Registration: Click here

GlycoMIP Presentations

Sunday morning, March 26th, Oral presentations

Westin Indianapolis, Congress I/II, CARB: Transforming Glycoscience: Where do We Stand?

8:30 – 8:55 am Alan Esker, VT Faculty “Quartz crystal microbalance and surface plasmon resonance studies of glycomaterials”

9:20 – 9:45 am Parisa Farzeen, VT PhD Student “Comparison of different atomistic force fields for the study of polysaccharide chain conformations in water”

10:25 – 10:50 am Ryan Porell, VT Research Scientist, “Amidated pectic acid as a biodegradable glycomaterial-based plastic”

Sunday afternoon, March 26th, Oral presentations

Westin Indianapolis, Congress I/II, CARB: Transforming Glycoscience: Where do We Stand?

2:25 – 2:50 pm Xinyi Ni, Brandeis PhD Student, “Towards automatic inference of glycan linkages using MSn and machine learning”

2:50 – 3:15 pm Sarasi Banerjee, VT PhD Student, “Modelling glycans in polar environments with polarizable molecular dynamics”

4:20 – 4:45 pm Robert Woods, UGA Faculty, “Predicting the morphologies of known and hypothetical glycomaterials”

Westin Indianapolis, Grand 3, CELL: Lignocellulose-Based Thermoplastics: Their Manufacturing, Characterization, and Processability

2:55 – 3:20 pm Kevin Edgar, VT Faculty, “Polysaccharide-based ketones: Synthesis of hydrogels, pro-actives, and polymers for drug bioavailability enhancement”

Sunday evening, March 26th, General Poster Sessions, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Location: TBD

CARB: Jonathan Mase, VT PhD Student, “Synthesizing a library of hyperbranched glycopolymers via RAFT polymerization for human norovirus inhibition”

CARB: Rachel Bianculli, VT PhD Student, “Optimizing linear sialic acid-containing polymer parameters for enhanced influenza inhibition”

CARB: Soumil Joshi, VT PhD Student, “Deep learning enabled investigation of dextran-conjugated thermosensitive bottlebrush polymer conformations through coarse grained molecular dynamics simulations”

CARB: Caylyn McNaul, VT Lab Technician, “Reversible electric field-induced adhesion of charged polysaccharide hydrogels”

CELL: Ethan Fink, VT PhD Student, “Effects of caffeyl alcohol on the synthesis and degradation of lignin copolymer films”, CELL General Poster Session

CELL: Gurkeerat Kukal, VT PhD Student, “Flow biocatalysis using glucose oxidase with in-line monitoring through Raman spectroscopy”

CELL: Hu Young Yoon, VT PhD Student, “Comparing the rheological properties of dextran and dextran esters”

Monday afternoon, March 27th, Oral presentations

Westin Indianapolis, Congress I/II, CARB: Transforming Glycoscience: Where do We Stand?

2:25 – 2:50 pm Lakshmi Kunche, VT Postdoc, “Investigation of tribological properties of polysaccharides based green lubricants using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations”

3:15 – 3:40 pm Fangxi Wang, VT Postdoc, “GlycoData: A GlycoMIP initiative glycomaterials database”

4:20 – 4:45 pm Maren Roman, VT Faculty, “Increasing glycoscience awareness and literacy: An overview of current glycoscience education efforts in the U.S.”

Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, Regency Ballroom A, POLY: Advances in Biomass-Based Biodegradable Polymers

4:35 – 4:55 pm Abigail Chinn, VT PhD Student, “Polysaccharide-block-polypeptide biodegradable block copolymers via polymerization-induced self-assembly in water”

Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, Cosmopolitan Ballroom A, PMSE: Polymeric Membranes for Molecular and Ion Separations

5:00 – 5:20 pm Lakshmi Kunche, VT Postdoc, “Molecular dynamics simulations studies of nitrate ion adsorption and diffusion in water poly(arylene ether sulfone) mixtures” (Collaboration with FAMU, PREM)

Monday evening, March 27th

SciMix, 8:00 – 10:00 pm, Location: TBD

CARB SciMix Jon Mase, VT PhD Student, Poster: “Synthesizing a library of hyperbranched glycopolymers via RAFT polymerization for human norovirus inhibition”

CARB SciMix Caylyn McNaul, VT Lab Technician, “Reversible electric field-induced adhesion of charged polysaccharide hydrogels”

POLY SciMix Zhen Shi, VT PhD Student, “Synthesizing a library of sialic acid-functionalized polypeptides to investigate polyvalent interactions for influenza inhibition”

Tuesday evening, March 28th, General Poster Sessions, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Location: TBD

COMP Parisa Farzeen, VT PhD Student, “Developing coarse-grained models of linear glucans”, Division of Computers in Chemistry, COMP Poster Session

POLY Zhen Shi, VT PhD Student, “Synthesizing a library of sialic acid-functionalized polypeptides to investigate polyvalent interactions for influenza inhibition”, Division of Polymer Chemistry, Session: General Topics: New Synthesis and Characterization of Polymers

Wednesday morning, March 29th

Westin Indianapolis – Grand 2, CELL: NSF-Funded National User Facilities: Materials Innovation Platforms

10:20 – 10:40 am Maren Roman, VT Faculty, “GlycoMIP: Accelerating advances in glycomaterials research and development”

10:40 – 10:55 am Cassandra Callmann, UT Austin Faculty, “Carbohydrate-polymer conjugate synthesis and lectin binding analysis”

10:55 – 11:10 am Tarun Dam, Michigan Tech Faculty, “Interactions of human Galectin-3 with glycosaminoglycans”

11:10 – 11:25 am Abigail Chinn, VT PhD Student, “Polysaccharide H2S donors: Amylopectin N-(thiocarboxyanhydride) polymers via thiol-ene “click” photochemistry”

Thursday morning, March 30th

Room 106 – Indiana Convention Center, COMP: Machine Learning in Chemistry

10:40 – 11:00 am Fangxi Wang, VT Postdoc, “Data-driven discovery of high entropy oxides” (Collaboration with Tyrel McQueen from PARADIM)



Kyndall Sirmons is a rising 3rd year student at FAMU. She is currently studying Biology (premed). Kyndall is currently participating in the MOAP program with Dr. Maren Roman as her advisor. Kyndall’s research focused on growing bacterial cellulose, which has many potential applications in the biomedical field.

Bacterial cellulose is an organic material that is produced by several species of bacteria, the most common being Komagataeibacter xylinus. The unique physical structure of bacterial cellulose gives it a greater water holding capacity and higher durability compared to plant cellulose. These properties in turn make bacterial cellulose an ideal candidate for application in the biomedical field. This project produces bacterial cellulose and then chemically modifies the surface of the bacterial cellulose through acetylation. This project seeks to determine the potential of surface-acetylated bacterial cellulose to be used as a material for a new antimicrobial wound dressing.

The bacterial cellulose is grown in Hestrin-Schramm media using petri dishes sized 100x15mm. The bacteria cultures are incubated at 28 degrees Celsius for 7 days. Once grown the cellulose is purified through a series of base and water washes. Then the surface of the pure bacterial cellulose is acetylated. The resulting material is then tested for antimicrobial properties using model non-pathogenic bacteria and for potential cytotoxicity using human skin cells.


Zachary Hartman

Zachary is a rising junior at VT and worked with GlycoMIP over the summer. He is studying biochemistry and worked with Dr. Richard Helm on a project looking at the cell wall structure of B. burgdorferi, the bacteria responsible for lyme disease.

His research this summer focused on the Lyme disease-causing bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, specifically its cell wall structure. Based on observations of Lyme disease symptoms occurring when components of the cell wall of B. burgdorferi were directly injected into a mouse model, it was clear that the cell wall of this bacteria is implicated in the mechanism of Lyme disease. There has also been a structural deviation from the norm observed in their cell wall. His work involved taking samples of this cell wall, purifying them, and analyzing their structures to determine the nature of this structural difference and how it may be related to understanding and treating Lyme disease.

MII Article

The VT Macromolecules Innovation Institute (MII) has written a feature story about the development of GlycoMIP.  They have released the feature article ahead of the publication of their Summer edition of the Intersections Magazine.  Please click here to read the article.