Our lab has focused on the development of bioresponsive nanocarriers that are designed to
release their cargo upon entry into acidic environments such as those found in cellular endosomes and
sites of poor circulation. Computational methods have been used to design vinyl ether lipids of varying
electron demand. These experiments have guided the synthesis of a family of heterobifunctional vinyl
ethers whose reaction kinetics vary by nearly eleven orders of magnitude. We have used this
information to develop three different vinyl ether-based carrier systems—(1) targeted PEG liposomes
derived from plasmenyl-type lipids; (2) acid-labile PEG-VE-PLA diblock copolymer micelles; and (3)
transiently-stable α-CD:PEG polyrotaxanes with cleavable endcaps—for the delivery of enzyme
cofactors, small molecule drugs, dual agent imaging agent/photosensitizer cargo and plasmid DNA
Professor Thompson earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry and a B.A. degree in Biology from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1978. He then attended Colorado State University where he completed his Ph.D. studies on the mechanism of π-allyl nickel (II) halide cross-coupling reactions with organic halides under the guidance of Professor Louis S. Hegedus in 1984. After postdoctoral studies with Professor James K. Hurst from 1984-1987 on the synthesis and photochemical characterization of alkylviologen/vesicle-based artificial photosynthetic systems, he joined the Chemical & Biological Sciences faculty at the Oregon Graduate Institute, where he held the position of Assistant Professor from 1987-1994. Professor Thompson then moved to Purdue University as an Associate Professor and was promoted to the position of Professor of Chemistry in 2001. Professor Thompson has received the Purdue University College of Science Top 10 Teacher Award (2004-2005), has served as the Guest Editor for Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews
(2001), chaired the Chemistry of Supramolecules and Assemblies
Gordon Research Conference in 2005, served as the Head of the Organic Chemistry Division from 2003-2007 and was appointed as a University Faculty Scholar in 2006. In addition to holding Visiting Professor appointments at the University of British Columbia-Biochemistry (1992), University of Florida-Pharmaceutics (2003), Osaka University-Chemistry (2003), and Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (2005), Professor Thompson has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Langmuir (2000-2005) and Bioconjugate Chemistry
(2004-present) and is currently a member of the NIH Gene & Drug Delivery study section. Professor Thompson’s research interests are focused on the design, synthesis and performance testing of self-assembling, biofunctional organic materials for 1) drug & gene delivery, 2) supported membrane sensors and 3) protein crystallization.
In conjuction with: Jong-Mok Kim, Junhwa Shin, Jeroen Van den Bossche, Scott Loethen (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN).
Supported by NIH GM55266.