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Welcome to Sunasee Laboratory
Nanochemistry Research: Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) 

Research in the Sunasee laboratory combines aspects of organic synthesis and nanotechnology (nanochemistry) for the design and synthesis of functional nanomaterials for various applications. Currently, our nanomaterial of interest is cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs), a promising renewable nanomaterial with unique properties and great potential applications in both academic and industrial sectors. Our initial work in this area focussed on covalent surface modifications of CNCs for the design of novel CNCs-based functional materials for biomedical and other applications. The toxicity and immunogenicity of these modified CNCs  are also investigated in detail (work in collaboration with Dr. Ckless's laboratory). Current application areas of CNCs include vaccine adjuvants, antimicrobial agents and water purification. In addition, the group is also interested in developing new green reaction methodologies for application in organic synthesis.

New research laboratory
Fumehood ready for synthesis work
Recent Posts
Interested in joining the group?

Undergraduate/Msc students interested in research in the field of organic synthesis and nanotechnology (nanochemistry) are highly encouraged to contact me at for more details. Post-doctoral researchers who are eligible for external support are also welcome to contact me.


Office: Hudson Hall 223                                       Phone: (518) 564-2703                 
Fax: 5185643169

Department webpage:

Group pic 2017-2018.jpg

Jack receiving his award for best oral presentation at the NYS ACS

undergraduate conference at SUNY Potsdam

Ryan presenting his research work at the NYS ACS undergraduate

conference 2015 at SUNY Potsdam.

-Our paper on cationic CNCs as potential immunomodulators in collaboration with Dr. Ckless lab is now published in Nanomaterials (MDPI). This work is supported by our NSF-RUI grant. Congrats to all co-authors: Yusha, Beza, Christopher, Alex, Jason and Dr. Ckless.

-Congrats to our two recent 2019 graduates Yusha Imtiaz and Michael Keating. Both have been accepted in graduate schools: Yusha has been accepted to Emory University and Michael at CUNY Graduate Centre.


-A big congrats to Beza Tuga who has been accepted for her PhD program in Chemistry at the University of Minnesota with full scholarship. Proud of you!

-Congrats to Beza for receiving the Department of Chemistry Undergraduate Research Award, gold medal for her honors thesis and the Presidential Student Award. 


-Congratulations to our research students, class of 2019: Beza, Richard, Hope and Alex for their graduation.

-Our invited review paper on Cationic cellulose nanocrystals has just been published in the journal of "Fibers".


-Congratulation to our research students for successfully securing graduate scholarships: Christopher Smith for his PhD at University of Albany; Angela Pacherille for her PhD Organic Chemistry at Syracuse University; Isaac Dos Reis for PhD Chemistry at Louisiana State University


-Big news for the on-going Sunasee/Ckless collaboration: A major NSF-RUI grant of $329,997 was awarded for developing CNCs-based vaccine adjuvants.


-Congrats to student co-authors Ambar and Francesca for our paper on toxicity of modified CNCs with Dr. Ckless has been published in Nanotechnology, Science & Applications journal.

-Our new paper on CNCs in collaboration with Dr Ckless's group has been accepted for publication in Chemico-Biological Interactions, congrats to all authors.


-Congrats to our recent honors thesis graduates from the group: Ambar Jimenez, Oghale Obaro-Best (class 2016) & Anthony Asencio (class 2017).

-A big congratulation to Ambar Jimenez for being the recipient of SUNY prestigious award, the 2017 Student Chancellor Award. Well deserved Ambar, the group is proud of you. 

-Welcome to our three new group members: Beza Tuga, Ayesha Shuja and Ryan James

-Ambar and Oghale presented their honors thesis research work at the National ACS conference in Philadelphia, August 2016.


-The whole group attended the regional ACS meeting at Clarkson University on 26th March 2017. It was a great meeting and we brought back home 3 out of 5 awards available. Congrats to Ambar for 2nd Best Oral presentation, Tyra for 1st Best Poster and Alya for 2nd Best Poster Presentations.


-Welcome to our new lab members, Tania, Anthony, Angela for 2016-2017 academic year.


-Our paper in collaboration with Dr. Ckless has been accepted for publication in Biochemistry and Biophysics reports, 2015, 4, 1-9. Congrats to all authors. 


-Welcome to our new lab members: Sara, Alya, Ambar, Franscesca and Tyra


-Congratulation to Ryan and Jack for great talks at the conference and Jack for winning the 2nd Best oral presentation; excellent jobs guys.


-The whole group is on the way for the 6th Northern New York Undergraduate ACS conference to be held at SUNY Potsdam, 28th March 2015.


-Jan 2015: New students (Oghale, Nana, Michael) joined our group


-Congratulations to all authors for our work on synthesis of cationic CNCs which has been well received in Biomacromolecules for publication. More papers to come.....


-Dec 2014: Dr. Sunasee will be presenting our work on cationic celluose nanocrystals at the Materials Research Society conference in Boston, USA.


-8 new students just joined the group for their independent study research work for the academic year 2014-2015.


-The new website is finally on...


-The first 4 students joining the group: Jimmy Burdick, Michael Sherburne, James Jordan & Rafael Sampaio.


-Congratulation to Michael Sherburne for winning the second best oral presentation at the 5th Annual Undergraduate ACS conference held at SUNY Plattsburgh. Good-luck Michael in your future studies.


-Congratulation to Jimmy as well for winning the 3rd best poster presentation and good-luck Jimmy for your teaching practice.

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