Jay Werber

Jay Werber's picture

Ph.D. Candidate, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University

M.Phil. Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University, 2016

M.S. Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University, 2015

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, 2009

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Jay Werber is a fourth year graduate student in the Elimelech Research Group in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Yale University. The core of Jay’s research focuses on aquaporin-based membranes for desalination. In addition, Jay is involved in fabrication of polymeric membranes, the study of molecular transport in lipid and block copolymer vesicles, and modeling of membrane-based systems.

Aquaporin is a membrane-protein water channel, known for its fast water conduction and perfect selectivity; aquaporin essentially rejects all solutes. These remarkable transport properties stem from an hourglass channel structure with a tight, 0.28-nm constriction near the channel center. Aquaporin has been explored over the last decade as a selective agent in desalination membranes, but its promise has not yet been realized. Jay’s goals are to better characterize the achievable permeabilities of aquaporin-based membranes, and to develop techniques for the fabrication of robust membranes that fully utilize aquaporin’s outstanding transport properties.

Prior to coming to Yale, Jay worked for four years developing protein therapeutic manufacturing processes at Genentech, a leader in the biopharmaceutical industry. At Genentech, Jay worked in a variety of departments, pursuing work in protein chromatography, protein filtration, cell culture, DNA manipulation, and analytical chemistry. While Jay enjoyed working in the ever-challenging world of bioprocessing, he decided to change fields into water research to work on one of the defining issues of our time.

Outside of the lab, Jay spends time with his wife and dog, and enjoys running, biking, and eating lots and lots of lasagna.  Jay was the Christmas 2016 Elimelech Group Ping-Pong champion.


pdfs and supporting information for group papers available on the main publications page.

  1. Werber, J.R., Bull, S.K., & Elimelech, M. “Acyl-Chloride Quenching Following Interfacial Polymerization to Modulate Permeability and Surface Charge of Desalination Membranes.” Journal of Membrane Science. 535, 357-364 (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2017.04.041
  2. Chen, D.,* Werber, J.R.*, Zhao, X., & Elimelech, M. “A Facile Method to Quantify the Carboxyl Group Areal Density in the Active Layer of Polyamide Thin-Film Composite Membranes.” Journal of Membrane Science. 534, 100-108 (2017) *Equal contribution DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2017.04.001
  3. Werber, J.R.*, Deshmukh, A.*, & Elimelech, M. “Can batch or semi-batch processes save energy in reverse-osmosis desalination?” Desalination, 402, 109-122 (2017). *Equal contribution  DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2016.09.028
  4. Werber, J.R., Deshmukh, A., & Elimelech, M. “The Critical Need for Increased Selectivity, Not Increased Water Permeability, for Desalination Membranes.” Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 3, 112-120 (2016).  DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00050
  5. Werber, J.R., Osuji, C.O., & Elimelech, M. “Materials for next-generation desalination and water purification membranes.” Nature Reviews Materials, 1, Article 16018 (2016).  DOI: 10.1038/natrevmats.2016.18
  6. Mo, W., Soh, L., Werber, J.R., Elimelech, M. & Zimmerman, J.B. “Application of membrane dewatering for algal biofuel.” Algal Research, 11, 1-12 (2015).  DOI: 10.1016/j.algal.2015.05.018
  7. Shaffer, D.L.*, Werber, J.R.*, Jaramillo, H., Lin, S., & Elimelech, M. “Forward osmosis: Where are we now?” Desalination, 356, 271-284 (2015).  DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2014.10.031 *Equal contribution
  8. Werber, J.R., Wang, Y.J., Milligan, M., Li, X. & Ji, J.A. “Analysis of 2,2′‐azobis (2‐amidinopropane) dihydrochloride degradation and hydrolysis in aqueous solutions.” Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 100, 3307–3315 (2011). DOI: 10.1002/jps.22578
  9. Mueller, S.G., Werber, J.R., Al-Dahhan, M.H. & Dudukovic, M.P. “Using a Fiber-Optic Probe for the Measurement of Volumetric Expansion of Liquids.” Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 46, 4330–4334 (2007). DOI: 10.1021/ie061630y