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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty and Staff Directory

Linda S. Shimizu

Title: Professor / Organic
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology / Bioorganic / Catalysis / Crystallography / Materials / Nano / Solid State / Spectroscopy / Supramolecular
Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Phone: 803-777-2066
Fax: 803-777-9521
Office: Office: GSRC 433 
Lab: GSRC 429, 803-777-7443
Lab 2: GSRC 428
Resources: CV [pdf]
All Publications
Linda Shimizu Group Website
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Dr. Linda Shimizu


B.A., 1990, Wellesley College
Ph.D., 1997, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Honors and Awards

Outstanding South Carolina Chemist, 2024
SC Governor’s Award for Scientific Awareness, 2021
Fulbright Scholar Award, 2017-2018 to Austria
Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2016
SC ACS Volunteer of the Year, 2014
ACS Women Chemists Committee Rising Star Award, 2013
USC Breakthrough Rising Star, 2011.

Research Interests

Research Areas: Organic, Supramolecular Chemistry, Nanomaterials, Bioorganic, Organic Photochemistry, and Crystal Engineering.

Organic chemists use C-C bond forming strategies to elaborate molecules generating a myriad of compounds. Nature uses non-covalent interactions to organize huge arrays of nanomaterials. We are interested in developing predictable supramolecular chemistry using non-covalent urea-urea interactions to build an array of structures and materials with a diverse array of applications.

Functional materials from bis-urea macrocycles
Nature employs self-assembly approaches to control the size and shape of biological structures for performing specific functions.  Examples include protein channels and enzymes.  A protein channel is formed by a protein that folds into a hollow tubular structure and spans across a membrane to allow the passage of small molecules or ions from one side of a membrane to the other side through the channel.  An enzyme is a protein that folds into a 3-dimensional structure to create a pocket of specific size and shape for binding and converting target molecules into desired chemical products.  Inspired by Nature, our group makes small donut-shaped molecules that assemble in high fidelity into straw-like structures called nanotubes. These nanotubes have tiny 1-dimensional channels of less than a nanometer (about 1/1000 times the width of a strand of hair) in diameter.  Our group conducts research to understand how gases and small molecules are organized and move through these tiny channels. We also use these nanotubes to restrict how molecules in these channels are oriented with respect to one another, which alters how these trapped guests can react. In particular, we are exploring photooxidations, photocycloadditions, and polymerizations within these channels. 

Exploring Methods to Control the Growth of Nanotubular Assemblies in Solution 
We are interested in exploring methods to make precise nanoscale assemblies that range from between three to 150 molecules.  The goal is to create a series of ‘molecular rulers’ between 1 to 50 nanometers in length to bridge the gap between single molecules and supramolecular polymers. Our strategies to control the size of these nanotubular assemblies include frustrating their growth by attaching large groups on the exterior of the macrocycles, using chain-stopping monomers to halt the growth of the nanotubes, and adding guests and templates that can be encapsulated within the nanotubular assemblies to stabilize stacks of specific size.   Precise control of assemblies in this size has the potential to be transformative, opening new opportunities to understand chemical, light-driven, and electron transfer processes that occur over these length scales. 
Novel Therapeutics Targeting LY6 proteins 
Dr. Upadhyay and her group at Uniformed Services are working to understand the mechanistic role of cancer biomarkers in tumor progression and test their applicability in the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer and pancreatic ductile carcinoma.   We are collaborating with the Upadhyay group and Dr. Maksymilian Chruszcz at Michigan State University to develop new compounds that target Lymphocyte antigen-6 genes and the cell surface proteins LY6K and LY6D.  This LY6K protein is required for transforming growth factor-beta and interferon-gamma signaling specific to triple-negative breast cancer. 

Chemistry Outreach Program to K-12 schools
Professor Shimizu also runs a program that brings chemists to K-12 classrooms to showcase chemistry and the scientific method. Initiated in 2000, the program connects faculty, post-docs, graduate students and undergraduates with K-12 students and teachers.  We visit schools to present experiments that encourage participation and highlight the curriculum standards of 2nd (states of matter, magnets), 5th (mixtures and solutions), 7th (introductory chemistry) and high school chemistry.  Each spring, we visit ~ 10 schools giving nearly forty presentations for a thousand students.  If you are interested in participating in the program please email Prof. Shimizu directly.

Selected Publications

  1. Prakash, Rahul; Esmaeili, Mohsen; Gbadamosi, Fahidat; Pellechia, Perry J.; Sadati, Sanaz; Shimizu, Linda S. Supramolecular Gelation of Triphenylamine Bis-Urea Macrocycles in Toluene.  Macromolecules 2024, 57, 1312-1318.
  2. Robert, Llorenc; Islam, Md. Faizul; Greytak, Andrew B.; Prakash, Rahul; Smith, Mark D.; Gomila, Rosa Maria; Frontera, Antonio; Shimizu, Linda S.; Soberats, Bartomeu Two-Dimensional Supramolecular Polymerization of a Bis-Urea Macrocycle into a Brick-Like Hydrogen-Bonded Network. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2023, 62, e202312223.
  3. Prakash, Rahul; Islam, Md. Faizul, Kothalawala, Rajeen Madawa; Hossain, Mohammad Saddam; Smith, Mark D.; Shimizu, Linda S. Cooperative Supramolecular Polymerization of Triphenylamine bis-urea Macrocycles. Chem.-Eur. J. 2023, 29, e202300698. 
  4. Selvanesan, Benson Chellakkan; Varghese, Sheelu; Andrys, Justyna; Hernandez, Ricardo Arriaza; Prakash, Rahul; Tiwari, Purushottam; Hupalo, Daniel; Gusev, Yuriy; Patel, Meghja Nitin; Contente, Sara; Sanda, Miloslav; Uren, Aykut; Wilkerson, Matthew D.; Dalgard, Clifton Lee; Shimizu, Linda S.; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Borowski, Tomasz; Upadhyay, Geeta Lymphocyte antigen 6K signaling to Aurora Kinase promotes advancement of the cell cycle and the growth of cancer cells, which is inhibited by LY6K-NSC243928 interaction. Cancer Lett. 2023, 558, 21609 10.1016/j.canlet.2023.216094 (* from USUHS)
  5. Prakash, Rahul; Goodlett, Dustin W.; Varghese, Sheelu; Andrys, Justyna; Gbadamosi, Fahidat; Hernandez, Ricardo Arriaza.; Patel; Megha; Tiwari, Purushottam B.; Borowski, Tomasz; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Shimizu, Linda S.; Upadhyay, Geeta  Development of fluorophore labeled and biotinylated anticancer small molecule NSC243928. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2023, 79, 117171. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.