Prof. Lucas Caire da Silva

Email: / Office: OM220


Lucas Caire da Silva earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Campinas (Brazil) in 2010. In 2011, he joined the laboratory of Prof. Kenneth Wagener at the University of Florida to perform his PhD research on the synthesis of precision polyolefins and the study of polymer dynamics by solid-state NMR. In 2016, Lucas began his postdoctoral research in the group of Prof. Dr. Katharina Landfester at the MPI for Polymer Research. His research interests included the development of nested nanoparticle-in-vesicle systems for hierarchical catalysis. Between 2020-2023, Lucas conducted research as a group leader at MPIP on bioinspired cell-like systems with a focus on the development of multicompartment microreactors, adaptive colloidal systems, and artificial organelles. Since 2023, Lucas is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). 

Renata Sanches (McGill)

Renata received a bachelor’s degree in technological chemistry from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP, Brazil) in 2017 and a master’s degree in chemistry from the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR, Brazil) in 2022. During her Master’s degree, she conducted research on the use of natural polymers to encapsulate essential oils as a potential treatment for ectoparasites in ruminants. Currently, Renata is a Ph.D. student and continues her research on natural polymers with a focus on coacervate formation and biomimetic applications. In her free time, she enjoys watching anime, visiting new coffee places and spending time with her family.

Mohammed Amin Belahouane (McGill)

I received my B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of McGill (Canada) in 2023 and later that year became a member of Caire da Silva’s group enrolled in the M.Sc. program at the same university. My research interests focus on the study of novel applications and innovations of catalytic systems with an emphasis on maintaining green chemistry principles. As a member of Dr. Lucas Caire da Silva’s group, I aim to establish a catalytic system within the unique environment of coacervates to create a microreactor specialized for the degradation and extraction of useful oligosaccharides from long chain cellulose polymers. Outside of the lab, I enjoy a wide variety of video games, running, and relaxing to rock and metal.

Zhen Dai (McGill)

I obtained my B.Sc. in Chemistry at McGill University (Canada) in 2023. During my undergraduate studies, I completed research projects in the groups of Dr. James Gleason and Dr. Thomas Preston, working on an organocatalytic Diels-Alder reaction and studying prebiotic reactions in aqueous aerosol droplets, respectively. I am now a M.Sc. student in the group of Dr. Lucas Caire da Silva at McGill University, working on peptide coacervates incorporating catalytic amino acids with the potential to enhance the rate of organic reactions. Outside of the lab, I like watching sports, cooking, and playing video games.

Sam Hamroff (McGill)

Hi, my name is Sam Hamroff. I grew up just south of the border in the suburbs of New York City. I recently graduated from McGill University with an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, where I studied the use of GUVs and liposomes to mimic biological compartmentalization. In the fall of 2023, I joined the da Silva lab as a Ph.D. student. My research focuses on the chemical properties and applications of coacervates towards greener, biocompatible water chemistry. More specifically, I am building multi-colloidal systems made of multiple coacervates with different hydrophilicities. This will allow for two-step chemoenzymatic reactions in water. In my free time, I enjoy biking, skiing, playing guitar, and having dinner with friends.

George Zorn (McGill)

George Zorn received an H.BSc. in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Toronto (Canada) and a BSc. in Chemistry (Biochemistry) at Virginia Commonwealth University (USA). During his final year at VCU, he worked in the Fuglestad lab on protein biochemistry of membrane interactions using NMR. He is currently a Master’s student in the lab of Dr. Lucas Caire da Silva at McGill University, working on the membranization of hydrophobic peptide coacervates.

Dr. Thao Phuong Doan-Nguyen (MPIP)

Thao P. Doan-Nguyen received her BSc in Pharmacy from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Hochiminh City (Vietnam) and her MSc in Nanomedicine from the University of Angers (France). She joined Prof. Daniel Crespy’s group at Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (Thailand) in 2019 as a PhD student working on colloidal nanocarriers for biomedical applications. Thao P. Doan-Nguyen is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Dr. Lucas Caire da Silva at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, working on artificial cell development. 

Tsvetomir Ivanov (MPIP)​

Tsvetomir Ivanov graduated from the Technical University of Hamburg and the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy Sofia in 2019 with a double M.Sc. degree in Chemistry. During his undergraduate studies, he developed his diploma thesis in the group of Prof. Kai Sundmacher at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg. His research focus was on the development of a microfluidics-based method for the generation of lipid giant unilamellar vesicles and their subsequent use as cell-like compartments. In 2020 he joined the group of Dr. Lucas Caire da Silva at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research as a PhD student. There he is currently developing artificial cell-like systems that mimic the structure and functionality of living cells.


  • Lamija Mrndic (Undergraduate research, 2024) – McGill University
  • Dr. Shoupeng Cao (Postdoc, 2020 – 2024) – MPIP
  • Heloisa Bremm Madalosso (PhD guest, 2023) – MPIP
  • Kenda Oribhabor (Undergraduate research, 2023-2024) – McGill University
  • Leonhard Paul Seufert (Undergraduate thesis, 2023) – MPIP
  • Nitin Bohra (Master’s, 2021-2022) – MPIP
  • Dr. Arjaree Jobdeedamrong (PhD, 2021-2022) – MPIP
  • Dr. Marina de Souza Melchiors (PhD, 2020-2021) – (Postdoc, 2021-2022) – MPIP
  • Mazarine Houbrechts (Master’s, 2020) – MPIP