Diego M. Alzate-Sánchez (email) was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Diego got admitted to the chemistry program at the National University of Colombia in 2005. During his undergrad, he worked with Professor Cesar Sierra on the synthesis of phenylene-vinylene systems. After graduation, Diego continued working with Professor Sierra as a Master student developing ligands for metal organic frameworks. After graduation, Diego moved to Manizales, Colombia, where he worked as a volcanologist, overseeing the physicochemical parameters of 11 active volcanoes in the cordillera central of the Colombian Andeans. During this time, Diego applied to Cornell University, where he was admitted to the PhD program in the Fiber Science and Apparel Design Department, working under the supervision of Professor Juan Hinestroza in 2014. After a fruitful collaboration with Professor William Dichtel, Diego moved with him and his group to Northwestern University in 2016. Diego completed his PhD thesis work developing functional materials from bio-renewable feedstocks. Upon graduation, Diego joined the group of Professor Jeffrey Moore at UIUC as a postdoctoral associate, where he works in the development of mechanophores to be used in frontal polymerization. Besides working, Diego enjoys dedicating time to his spouse, socializing with friends, watching soccer, and visiting Colombia.

Talk details: Environment Decontamination Using Sugar-based Materials
In this work we developed adsorbents based on β-cyclodextrin and cellulose to remove pollutants from water and air. We demonstrated efficient removal of organic micropollutants from water using cellulose coated with a β-cyclodextrin polymer. Additionally, we modified a cotton fabric with a β-cyclodextrin polymer that captured volatile organic compounds more efficiently than commercial analogues.