Carmen Scholz


Dr. Carmen Scholz

Professor, Chemistry


Research concentrates on the synthesis of biocompatible and biodegradable polymers. We synthesize block copolymers consisting of poly(ethylene) glycol and various poly(amino acid)s and investigate them for biomedically relevant applications. PEGylated poly(amino acid)s with poly(L-Lysine) repeat units are currently under investigation for gene delivery systems and PEGylated poly(amino acid)s with poly(L-Cysteine) repeat units are investigated for the surface modification of (electrically active) implants.

We synthesize poly(hydroxyalkanoate)s, PHAs, with terminal side chain functional groups by bacterial fermentation and perform polymer-analogous reactions on these functionalized PHAs. PHAs are used for various biomedical applications; decorating them with bioactive moieties broadens their versatility and may unseal new usages.

Our most recent research endeavor concentrates on the bacterial fermentation of crude, i.e. as received from the biodiesel industry, glycerol to yield butanol, a potential fuel additive, which has many advantages over the current, more hydrophilic ethanol additive.

Research Assistant at the University of Dresden, Germany 1987-92 Postdoc in Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 1992-94 Research Scientist at the International Center for Biomaterials Sciences, Noda, Japan, 1994-96 Research Associate in Chemistry, Univ. of Massachusetts, 1996-98 Assistant Professor, University of Alabama in Huntsville, 1998-2004 Associate Professor, University of Alabama in Huntsville, 2004-2009 Professor, University of Alabama in Huntsville, 2009

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Technology, Dresden, Germany, 1991
  • M.S., Polymer Chemistry, University of Technology, Dresden, Germany, 1987

Classes Taught


  • Bothun, G.D., Boltz, L., Kurniawan, Y., Scholz, C. “Cooperative effects of fatty acids and n-butanol on lipid membrane phase behavior“ Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2016, 139, 62-67
  • Ulkoski, D., Scholz, C. “Bioadhesives – chemistry and mode of operation” In: Encyclopedia of Polymeric Nanomaterials (ed.: S. Kobayashi, K.Muellen), Springer Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg 2015, pg. 98 - 105
  • Ulkoski, D., Meister, A., Busse, K., Kressler, J., and Scholz, C. “Synthesis and structure formation of block copolymers of poly(ethylene glycol) with homopolymers and random copolymers of L-glutamic acid γ-benzyl ester and L-leucine in water”, J Colloid Polym Sci , 2015, 293, 2147-2155
  • Scholz, C. “Poly(amino acid) block Copolymers for Drug Delivery and Other Biomedical Applications” Material Matters, 2014, 9(3), 73-76
  • Scholz, C. , Matyjaszewski, K.“Advances in Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization” Polym. Int. 2014, 63(5) 801-802
  • Venkataramanan, K.P., Kurniawan, Y., Boatman, J.J., Haynes, C.H., Taconi, K.A., Martin, L., Bothun, G.D., Scholz, C. “Homeoviscous Response of Clostridium pasteurianum 1 to Butanol Toxicity During Glycerol Fermentation ” J. Biotechnol. 2014, 179 C 8-14
  • Obeid, R. Armstrong, T., Peng, X., Busse, K., Kressler, J., Scholz, C. “The behavior of poly(amino acids) containing L-cysteine and their block copolymers with poly(ethylene glycol) on gold surfaces “ Journal of Polymer Science, Part A, Polymer Science, 2014, 52(2), 248-257
  • Kurniawan, Y., Venkataramanan, K., Piernavienja, M., Scholz, C., Bothun, G.D. “Role of Ionic Strength on n-Butanol Partitioning into Anionic Dipalmitoyl Phosphatidylcholine/ Phosphatidylglycerol Vesicles” Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2013, 117(28), 8484-8489
  • Kurniawan, Y., Scholz, C., Bothun, G.D.“n-Butanol Partitioning at the Interface between Liquid Expanded and Liquid Condensed Phases in a Heterogeneous Lipid Monolayer” Langmuir, 2013, 29(34), 10817-10823
  • Ulkoski, D., Armstrong, T., Scholz, C. “Investigating the Secondary Structure of Poly(amino acids)” in: Tailored Polymer Architectures for Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Applications (ed. C. Scholz, J. Kressler) ACS Symposium Series 1135, 2013, pp 69-85
  • Guenther, M., Gerlach, G., Wallmersperger, T., Avula, M.N., Cho, S.H., Xie, X., Devener, B.V., Solzbacher, F., Tathireddy, P., Magda, J.J., Scholz, C., Obeid, R., Armstrong. T“Smart Hydrogel-Based Biochemical Microsensor Array for Medical Diagnostics” Adv. Sci. Technol. 2013, 85, 47-52
  • Busse, K., Budde, H., Scholz, C., Kressler, J.“Bacterial poly(b-hydroxybutyrate): Hydrophilized and Colored” in: Degradable Polymers and Materials: Principles and Practice Second Edition (ed.: K. Khemani and C. Scholz), ACS Symposium Series, 2013, 1114, 157-170
  • Kurniawan, Y., Venkataramanan, K.P., Scholz, C., Bothun, G.D. “n-Butanol partitioning and phase behavior in DPPC/DOPC membranes” Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2012, 116, 5919-5924
  • Venkataramanan, K.P., Boatman, J.J. Kurniawan, Y., Taconi, K.A., Bothun, G.D., Scholz, C. “Impact of Impurities in Biodiesel-Derived Crude Glycerol on the fermentation by Clostridium pasteurianum ATCC 6013” Applied Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2012, 93(3), 1325-1335
  • Obeid, R., Scholz, C.“Synthesis and self-assembly of well-defined Poly(amino acid) end Capped Poly(ethylene glycol) and Poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline)” Biomacromolecules, 2011, 12(10), 3797–3804
  • Scholz, C. “Prospectives to Produce Positively or Negatively Charged Polyhydroxyalkanoic Acids” Appl.Microbiol. Biotechn. 2010, 88, 829-837
  • Theogarajan, L., Li, H., Busse, K., Desai, S., Kressler, J., Scholz, C. “Self-assembly of ABA triblock copolymers based on functionalized polydimethylsiloxane and polymethyloxazoline” Polymer International, 2010, 59 (9), 1191-1198
  • Kilicay, E., Hazer, B., Coban, B., Scholz, C. “Synthesis and Characterization of Poly(ethylene glycol) Grafted Unsaturated Microbial Polyesters” Hacettepe Journal of Biology and Chemistry 2010, 38(1) 9-17
  • Sparks, J., Scholz, C.“Evaluation of a cationic poly(b-hydroxyalkanoate) as a plasmid DNA delivery system” Biomacromolec. 2009, 10, 1715-1719
  • Scholz, C.“The Molecular Structure of Degradable Polymers” in: Degradable Polymers for Skeletal Implants (ed.: I.J.M. Wuisman and T.H. Smit), Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Hauppauge, NY, 2009, pp 3 - 20