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Charles Michael Drain is Professor of Chemistry at Hunter College of the City University of New York where he is also co-chair of the Nanotechnology and Materials Chemistry Ph.D. sub-discipline in Chemistry at the Graduate Center. 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 Holt Holten/Kirmaier laboratory at Washington University studying the complex dynamics of nickel porphyrins in the excited state and self-assembled porphyrin arrays. 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.


2007:               Louise Stokes Alliance, Mentoring Award  

2004:               New York Academy of Sciences, “Science in the City” honoree

2001:               Foresight Institute Feynman Prize Finalist, in Nanotechnology

1997:               Eugene Lang Junior Faculty Development Award, Hunter College: for promising junior faculty research

1996:               Schuster Award, CUNY:  for outstanding efforts in teaching

1996:               Presidential Faculty Incentive & Teaching Award, Hunter College:  for developing an integrated math, physics, biology, and chemistry course for ‘at risk’ high school students

1994:               Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Missouri, St. Louis (Chemistry)

1994:               Bioelectrochemical Society award to young investigators at Gordon Research Conference in Irsee, Germany.  “Electrostatics inside membranes”

1992:              Inst. Biophysics, Szeged Hungary Distinguished Lecture series: 2-day course in biological energy transduction

1990:               Student Presentation Award:  10th International Biophysics Congress, Vancouver, Canada

1989:               Galvani Prize:  Bioelectrochemical Society, Pont-à-Mousson, France.  “Photogating of ionic currents across lipid bilayers”

1988:               Scholarship to the International School of Biophysics, Erice, Italy

1985:               duPont Fellowship for Academic Excellence:  Tufts University, Medford

1978-80:         MIDCO Products Inc. Academic Scholarship, University of Missouri at St. Louis