Universiteit Leiden

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LED3 Lecture

  • Prof. John Matson (Virginia Tech, USA)
Thursday 2 June 2022
Gorlaeus Building
Einsteinweg 55
2333 CC Leiden
Havinga Lecture hall

We are excited to announce the visit of Prof. John Matson (Virginia Tech, USA) for the LED3 lecture series. Prof. Matson is an expert in macromolecular and supramolecular chemistry, developing materials for applications in biology, medicine and sustainability. Prof. Matson received his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, performing his undergraduate research with Prof. Karen Wooley. He then moved to Caltech to pursue a PhD in the area of polymer synthesis with Prof. Bob Grubbs. After a successful postdoc as an NIH-funded postdoctoral scholar Prof. Sam Stupp, he began his independent career in 2012 in the Department of Chemistry at Virginia Tech and was promoted to full professor in 2021. In 2020, he was named the Dr. AC Lilly, Jr. Faculty Fellow in Nanoscience. 

If you would like to meet Prof. Matson before or after his lecture, please contact Roxanne Kieltyka.


Despite its reputation as a foul-smelling and toxic pollutant, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a vital biological signaling gas, termed a gasotransmitter. We develop chemical tools to study the biological roles of H2S and related reactive sulfur species (RSS), as well as investigate their potential as therapeutics for a variety of diseases and conditions. In particular, methods to control the rate of delivery of RSS are needed in order to harness and understand the chemistry and biochemistry of these reactive signaling molecules. To this end, we develop small molecules as well as materials to deliver RSS with control over localization and release rates, and we evaluate how these parameters affects biological processes in a variety of systems. Examples from our lab include small molecule N-thiocarboxyanhydrides (NTAs) that release carbonyl sulfide (COS), enzyme-triggered small molecules that release persulfides (R–SSH), and self-assembling peptides that release H2S. Methods for developing these tools and studying the chemical biology of RSS will be discussed, along with in vitro studies in a variety of biological systems.

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