Alan J. Russell, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 1998
For excellence in enzymology and rational biomaterial design as applied to medicine.

The root of the matter

Via Carnegie Mellon University | July 5, 2019

For most plants, saltwater is essentially poison—yet the mangrove drinks it, lives in it, and thrives in it.

This rare ability to survive in such inhospitable conditions is what first led Professors Alan Russell and Phil LeDuc, along with their Ph.D. student Adam Wood, to study the plant. The Carnegie Mellon University researchers were hoping to determine exactly what part of the plant is responsible for removing the salt from saltwater, but their findings led them to much more.

Members of the mangrove family can be found emerging on stilt-like roots from the swampy coastal shorelines of the tropics and subtropics. In these regions, they face not only a toxically saline environment, but also oxygen-poor, submerged soil… Continue reading.

Producing protein nano-armor

Via Carnegie Mellon University | March 9, 2018

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed methods that speed up the process of developing chemically linked synthetic and biological molecules by more than 10 times in natural conditions. The findings, which marry biology and chemistry, could make the production of bioconjugates for use in biomedicine, materials science, and other fields more efficient and cost-effective.

Bioconjugates are formed when a biological molecule is joined with another molecule using covalent bonds. For example, in the case of biologic drugs, like interferon, the drug is connected to polymers that act like a cloak of nano-armor that protects the drug from damage until it reaches its target.

While promising, making bioconjugates has been expensive, time-consuming and difficult to control.

Alan Russell, the Highmark Distinguished Career Professor, a professor of chemical engineering, and director of Carnegie Mellon’s Disruptive Health Technology Institute, and Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, the J.C. Warner University Professor of Natural Science and a professor of chemistry, have discovered how to speed up the process and perform the chemistry of this process in truly natural conditions. Russell and Matyjaszewski co-direct the Center for Polymer-Based Protein Engineering at Carnegie Mellon… Continue reading.

New Journal on Disruptive Science and Technology Launching in 2012

Via Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers | November 14, 2011

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers announces the launch of Disruptive Science and Technology, a highly innovative, bimonthly peer-reviewed journal that seeks to publish game-changing research that has the potential to significantly improve human health, well-being, and productivity. The Journal will present new and innovative results, essential data, cutting-edge discoveries, thorough syntheses and analyses, and publish out-of-the-box concepts that will improve the way we live. Complete information on the Journal is available online.

"Although much has been written about disruptive innovation and the business practices that can harness radical new ideas to change the course of history, there is no venue that has been designed to accelerate the pace at which enabling science and engineering will be developed to innovate disruptively," says Editor-in-Chief Alan J. Russell, PhD, Distinguished University Professor and Founding Director, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. "This journal will provide a custom-designed forum for the publication of breakthrough science and engineering that has the capacity to dynamically improve our society."