Dr. Kasher is interested in the development of novel membranes for water desalination and treatment. Synthetic-organic chemistry approaches are used to prepare membranes that are resistant to biofilm formation, or with improved surface properties for nanofiltration and reverse-osmosis processes. The aim is to deal with obstacles associated with membrane-based water treatment such as membrane fouling, scaling, and membrane stability, while maintaining the salt rejection and flux characteristics of existing membranes.
Establishing a new approach for surface modification of water-treatment membranes, Dr. Kasher is developing chemical methodologies to connect biological active compounds such as antimicrobial peptides to reverse-osmosis membranes without loss of peptide activity. The aim of this new approach is to deal with biofouling of reverse-osmosis membranes, which is one of the most severe problems in desalination. In this project, Dr. Kasher is taking advantage of his 12 years of experience in peptide chemistry and peptide synthesis.
Dr. Kasher is studying the mineralization and fouling phenomena of water treatment membranes using novel approach of preparation of unique model surfaces for RO membranes,, and evaluating the sorption of organic foulants, as well as crystallization of scale-forming minerals.
Another field of interest is the design and synthesis of peptides with biological activities. Structural and biological information and combinatorial-peptide libraries are used to develop new peptides with desired activities, such as antifungal and antimicrobial peptides as potential environmentally friendly antibiotics, as well as peptide mimetics of steroid hormones as potential drug candidates.