Vijay T. JohnVijay T. John
The Leo S. Weil Professor in Engineering

Phone: (504) 865-5883
Website: Research Website

331 Lindy Boggs Building
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118-5674

Research Interests

Self-Assembly and Nanostructured Materials, Polymer/nanoparticle composites, biomolecular materials, microemulsion systems, clathrate hydrate thermodynamics

I work in the highly interdisciplinary areas of lipid self-assembly, drug and vaccine delivery, and the development of nanostructured materials. The self-organization of amphiphilic molecules (such as biological lipids and synthetic surfactants) is essential in technologies as mundane as consumer detergent products, and techologies of the future as in the development of structured, responsive nanomaterials. Biological membranes are ubiquitous examples of lipid-self assembly that impacts the entire function of a cell. A major project that I am now working on, is in the exploitation of lipid self-assembly to induce transcutaneous vaccine delivery. Vaccine development and needle free vaccine delivery is a grand challenge problem being addressed by researchers at the Medical School and at the Uptown Campus at Tulane, and I am privileged to be part of this group.  

Other exciting projects incollaboration with the Medical School involve the development of drug containing ultrathin polymer films as coatings for glaucoma drainage devices and for surgical implants, the development of novel tubular liposomes for drug delivery in osteosarcoma treatment, and for DNA vaccine delivery.

We have also started a major program in the development of dispersants to be used in oil spills. Of course, the impetus for the research comes from the tragedy in 2010 with the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. I am part of a wonderful consortium (Consortium for the Molecular Engineering of Dispersants - CMEDS,  of 43 investigators from 22 institutions. We are funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GOMRI -

Among the most rewarding outreach activities I have participated in is the establishment of a collaboration with Nunez Community College on setting up new facilities for process technology operator training. The facilities have benefitted not only the process technology students at Nunez, but also Chemical Engineering students who are able to get a first hand training opportunity on mini plant scale systems.

At Tulane, we have developed a wonderful cryo-electron microscopy facility with both cryo-SEM and cryo-TEM. All my students are trained in cryo-microscopy. Many of my students also get to learn neutron scattering at the National Center for Neutron Research (NIST, Md). Tulane operates in a highly collaborative, highly interdisciplinary setting, allowing my students to gain tremendously from the resources of the entire university and the multiple collaborations that I seek to establish.

Vijay John-image008

300 Lindy Boggs Center, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, T: 504-314-2914, F: 504-865-6744