Research in our laboratory uses organic synthesis, physical organic chemistry, spectroscopic methods, and computation to design, prepare, and study novel organic molecules that show unique and useful behavior. In this context we are particularly interested in predicting and controlling properties that emerge when individual molecules aggregate, by weak noncovalent interactions, in solution. The phenomenon is called "self-assembly," and it is a process borrowed from nature to achieve complexity rapidly and reversibly (e.g., assembly of the DNA duplex or binding of a receptor to its enzymatic target). It is also the central theme of supramolecular chemistry, an established field that studies chemistry "beyond the molecule". Our specific areas of interest and expertise include: stereoelectronic effects in supramolecular chemistry, construction of novel donor–acceptor molecules with useful electronic or optical properties, functional molecules (for materials and/or sensing applications) from biorelevant building blocks, and molecular-based strategies to novel therapeutics.