Prof. Charles Michael Drain

Charles Michael Drain is Professor of Chemistry at Hunter College of the City University of New York where he helped start one of the first nanotechnology programs in the United State. He chair of the Nanotechnology and Materials Chemistry Ph.D. sub-discipline in Chemistry at the Graduate Center for a decade. He is also adjunct faculty at Rockefeller University. He received his Ph.D. from Tufts University in the laboratory of Barry B. Corden where he worked on porphyrin synthesis and a nickel catalyst mimic or methyl coenzyme M reductase. Afterwards, he did postdoctoral work in the laboratory of David Mauzerall at The Rockefeller University where he examined self-organizing systems composed of porphyrins and lipid bilayers and developed one of the first examples of a purely organic, synthetic phototransistor – a molecular electronic device. He also examined the interactions between chiral center in ion channels and lipids with Nobel Laureate R. Bruce Merrifield. The following two years he was a guest researcher in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Jean-Marie Lehn at the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, ULP France, where he developed methodologies to self-assemble porphyrins in highly specific geometries using a variety of intermolecular interactions. Afterwards he spent two years as a research fellow in the Holten/Kirmaier laboratory at Washington University studying the complex dynamics of nickel porphyrins in the excited state. Since joining Hunter College in January, 1996, his research continues to focus on the design, synthesis, and characterization of ion-active and/or photo-active self-assembling and/or self-organizing systems. He received the Galvani Prize of the Bioelectrochemical Society in 1989. Dr. Drain started his career in chemistry at the University of Missouri in St. Louis, and after graduation in 1981 worked for several years at Midco Products, Inc. a small company in St. Louis.  He has received grant support from the N.S.F., N.I.H., The Rockefeller University, French Ministry of Science, and the Chateaubriand foundation.