Faculty Directory

Shannon Servoss

Shannon Servoss

Associate Professor

Department of Chemical Engineering


(CHEG)-Chemical Engineering

Phone: 479-575-4502

Download vcard


Dr. Shannon Servoss received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Michigan, where she worked on the development of chip-based PCR in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Burns. Her graduate work was completed at Northwestern University under the advisement of Drs. Annelise Barron and Mark Johnson. Her dissertaion title was Helical Peptoid Mimics of Lung Surfactant Protein B for Use in a Biomimetic Lung Surfactant Replacement for the Treatment of Respiratory Distress Syndrome. After receiving her Ph.D., Shannon completed a postdoctoral position at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory working with Drs. Richard Zangar and Cheryl Baird. Here she worked on ultilizing single chain anitbody fragments for ELISA microarray. Shannon joined the faculty at University of Arkansas in 2007, where she is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering. Her research group focuses on the design and characterization of peptoids for biomedical applications.

The Servoss Laboratory develops peptoid-based biomimetic materials for use in biomedical and environmental applications. We have a particular interest in addressing issues in public health and water availability through the design of novel peptoid-based materials. Our main projects include peptoids that (1) prevent fouling on hollow fiber membranes, (2) modulate the aggregation of amyloid beta, (3) insert into bicelles to alter the surface chemistry, (4) form microspheres, and (5) detect water contaminants or proteins. Peptoids are non-natural protein mimics that have a similar backbone structure to peptides, but with the side chain on the nitrogen rather than the α-carbon. This change in backbone structure leads to higher structural stability and protease resistance, as compared to peptides. In addition, the two-step synthesis method allows for the incorporation of a wide variety of side chains in the form of primary amines. For our studies, peptoid sequences are designed based on the chemistry of materials that have the desired function, but also have undesirable properties. For example, PEG is often used to prevent fouling but fails with time due to oxidation. The anti-fouling peptoid coatings that we have designed are inspired by PEG, but are not oxidized with time.

Some of our recent projects are:

  • Low biofouling, high gas exchange membranes for use in artificial lungs
  • Artificial extracellular matrix for differentiation and growth of neural stem cells
  • A self-assembled nano-array platform for membrane protein sensors and analytics
  • Design of a multiplex assay for detection of breast cancer in dense breast tissue
  • Next-generation water treatment: Biomimetic sensing and contaminant removal with peptoid-functionalized nanoparticles
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2000
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2005 
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Biological Sciences Division, April 2006 – Sept 2007  
  • H. Najafi and S.L. Servoss, 'Altering the Edge Chemistry of Bicelles with Peptoids', Chemistry and Physics of Lipids (2018), 217, 43-50.
  • L.M. Wolf, S.L. Servoss, M.A. Moss, ‘Peptoids: Emerging therapeutics for neurodegeneration’, Journal of Neurology and Neuromedicine (2017), 2 (7), 1-5.
  • J.P. Turner, S.E. Chastain, *D. Park, M.A. Moss, S.L. Servoss, ‘Modulating amyloid-β aggregation: The effects of peptoid side chain placement and chirality’, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (2017), 25 (1), 20-26.
  • N. Mahmoudi, *L. Reed, *A. Moix, N. Alshammari, J. Hestekin, S.L. Servoss, ‘PEG-mimetic peptoid reduces protein fouling of polysulfone hollow fibers’, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces (2017), 149, 23-29. 
  • J.P. Turner, T. Lutz-REchtin, K.A. Moore, L. Rogers, O. Bhave, M.A. Moss, S.L. Servoss, ‘Rationally designed peptoids modulate aggregation of amyloid-beta 40’, ACS Chemical Neuroscience (2014), 5 (7), 552-558.
  • M.L. Hebert, D.S. Shah, P. Blake, S.L. Servoss, ‘Uniform and robust peptoid microsphere coatings’, Coatings (2013), 3 (2), 98-107.
  • M.L. Hebert*, D.S. Shah*, P. Blake, J.P. Turner, S.L. Servoss, ‘Tunable peptoid microspheres: Effects of side chain chemistry and sequence’, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry (2013), 11 (27), 4459-4464. *authors contributed equally
  • S.L. Servoss, E.C. Clausen, ‘Incorporating inquiry-based learning into the early lab experience’, ASEE Midwest Conference Proceedings (2012).
  • M.T. Dohm, N.J. Brown, S.L. Seurynck-Servoss, J. Bernardino de la Serna, A.E. Barron, ‘Mimicking SP-C palmitoylation on a peptoid-based SP-B analogue markedly improves surface activity’, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - BIomembranes (2010), 1798, 1663-78.
  • D.S. Daly, K.K. Anderson, S.L. Seurynck-Servoss, R.M. Gonzalez, A.M. White, R.C. Zangar, ‘An internal calibration method for protein-array studies’, Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology (2010), 9, Article 14.

Click here for the full Google Scholar publications and patents list.