4 people in a lab

Whistler Center Research

The Center's research focuses on fundamental investigations of structure-function relationships of carbohydrates and other biopolymers as related to practical uses. The Center's focus is polysaccharides (starches and gums/hydrocolloids).

Structure-function relationships are determined via elucidation of chemical and three-dimensional structures, determination of physical properties and functionalities, modifications of chemical structures, and determination of the effects of modifications on conformations, properties, and functionalities.

Technological issues and targets are defined in partnership with corporate sponsors.

A goal of the Center is to provide as many benefits as possible to member companies and project sponsors. The Center is pledged to create a "most favored" relationship with member companies. The Center recognizes a need to protect intellectual property arising from research.

Ownership of all intellectual property resulting from research done at Purdue University, whatever the means of support, resides with the Purdue Research Foundation, unless the idea or discovery clearly originated within the company sponsoring the research.

In cases where there is total support of a research project by a company, an agreement concerning patentable materials is executed between the company and the University.

At the time of disclosure of any discovery or developed technology for which there is not a superseding agreement as the result of total support of a project through a research grant or contract, sustaining members are notified and given equal opportunity to review that intellectual property for commercial interests and licensing.

Details of licensing agreements between the Purdue Research Foundation and a company or group of companies are established on a case-by-case basis.

Contractual research links Purdue University with industry and provides a means of technology transfer. The focus of the Center's research program is molecular origins of functionality.

Organic, analytical, and polymer chemistry, x-ray diffraction, NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy, microscopy, molecular modeling, physical theory, and genetics are used to examine fundamentals.

Projects are conducted under sponsored research agreements. Sponsored research involves a project with well-defined goals conducted under a negotiated agreement and gives the sponsor the right to an exclusive license. Research agreements and contracts are made between the Purdue Research Foundation - on behalf of the faculty member - and the sponsor and are negotiable with respect to degree of sponsor involvement, patenting procedures, royalties on licenses, delay in publication, and schedule of payments. Blanket university agreements can be negotiated.

Faculty work closely with company personnel during the course of projects. All company information is kept confidential, unless permission is given to do otherwise.

The center's team includes permanent full-time faculty, associated faculty, research scientists, post-doctoral fellows, visiting scientists, graduate students, and support staff.

The research staff provides special expertise in:

  • Carbohydrate chemistry
  • X-ray fiber diffraction
  • Molecular modeling
  • Cereal science
  • FT-IR spectroscopy
  • Emulsions
  • Starch behavior, organization, and modification
  • Electron, visible, and confocal microscopy
  • Chemical and food engineering
  • Biopolymer - protein and polysaccharide - interactions
  • Foams
  • Corn genetics
  • Collaborations provide access to other personnel, capabilities, and instrumentation.