David's research career began in 2010 with Prof. Dong Qin and Prof. Younan Xia at Washington University where he synthesized noble metal nanoparticles for biomedical applications. He then held a short research position in semiconductor processing with Prof. Paul A. Kohl at the Georgia Institute of Technology before joining Prof. Matthew Tirrell's group at the University of Chicago in 2012. His work included the synthesis of various polypeptides and peptide amphiphiles as well as studying polyelectrolytes and their self-assembly into complex coacervates. His time in the Tirrell group led to research appointments at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis with Prof. Nathaniel Lynd at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as well as the Materials Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory. He received his PhD in 2020 from the University of Minnesota, where he worked with Prof. Marc Hillmyer on new solid-state systems containing positively and negatively charged block polyelectrolytes.