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Paul Dalhaimer

Associate Professor


Paul Dalhaimer was educated in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania (B.S. and Ph.D.) and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Cellular, Developmental, and Molecular Biology at Yale University where he was a recipient of a Ruth Kirschstein NRSA fellowship. He joined the faculty of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Tennessee in August of 2009. He has used computational techniques to study the actin cytoskeleton and semi-flexible polymers in general. Being interested in polymers, he has also developed (with co-workers) a drug delivery system that emulates the properties of filamentous phages and viruses. When loaded with the microtubule-binding drug taxol, the resulting carriers have been shown to shrink the size of tumors in mouse models. His laboratory is currently attempting to (1) discover new drugs or combinations thereof that interfere with cytoskeletal genes involved in cancer proliferation and to (2) target the drugs only to tumors using the delivery vehicles mentioned above.


Our laboratory is focused on two projects, 1) lipid droplet formation and distribution in eukaryotes, and 2) improving the efficacies of nanotechnologies for cancer treatment in patients with non-ideal metabolic conditions such as obesity. For the first project we use the model eukaryote fission yeast S. pombe. This organism is ideal for understanding the cellular role of lipid droplets in cells undergoing mitosis. For the second project we use a variety of mouse models of human diseases with a focus on leptin deficient mice and mice that develop white blood cell cancers. We use a combination of genetics, proteomics, and live-cell microscopy to make advances in both topics.


Post-doctoral Fellow, Yale University: Gene targeting and purification of Arp2/3 complex in fission yeast; Molecular dynamics simulations of actin and Arp2/3 complex; Reconstitution of actin branches at an interface.

B.S. Chemical Engineering; University of Pennsylvania

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania: Drug delivery vehicles; lipid droplet biology.

Professional Service

AIChE (1998-present)

Awards and Recognitions

2005-2008 Ruth Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral-Fellow


Selected Patents

Block copolymer worm micelles for drug delivery and imaging; D.E. Discher, Y. Geng, S. Cai, and P. Dalhaimer; U.S. Patent Pending 10/913,660

Photo of Paul Dalhaimer

Contact Information

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