Two new faculty members in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) are among the 14 who have recently joined the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University.
Xue Sherry Gao, assistant professor, earned her B.S. and master’s degree in pharmaceutical engineering from Tianjin University in 2005 and 2007, respectively, and her Ph.D. in chemical and biomolecular engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles. Since 2013, she has worked as a postdoctoral research associate in chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University.
Her research focuses on integrating chemistry and evolution to illuminate and program biology. She works with therapeutically relevant synthetic molecules using DNA-templated organic synthesis and Darwinian selection, engineers genome-editing proteins for next-generation human therapeutics, and facilitates the evolution and delivery in vivo of proteins that modify information flow in human cells.
Tom Senftle, also an assistant professor, earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2010 and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 2015. Since then he has worked as a postdoctoral research associate in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University.
His recent research has focused on the ab initio design of semiconductors for photo-electrochemical applications. His interests include the development and application of hybrid simulation techniques for modeling multi-component catalytic systems at quantum and classical scales.