Faculty

  • Matthew Tirrell

  • Dean and Founding Pritzker Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Biomolecular engineering, nanotechnology, polymer properties
  • Research overview: Tirrell Group
  • The Tirrell laboratory has broad and deep expertise in creating novel, functional self-assembled structures focusing on tailored nanomaterials for basic science research, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
  • Research overview: Tirrell Group (External)
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  • David Awschalom

  • Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering and Deputy Director for Space, Infrastructure, and Facilities
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Spintronics, solid-state quantum information processing, magnetic semicounductors, nanomagnetism, time-resolved magneto-optical spectroscopy
  • Research overview: Awschalom Group
  • Our group has active research activities in optical and magnetic interactions in semiconductor quantum structures, spin dynamics and coherence in condensed matter systems (“spintronics”), macroscopic quantum phenomena in nanometer-scale magnets, and implementations of quantum information and sensing in the solid state.
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  • Hannes Bernien

  • Assistant Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Quantum information processing, quantum many-body physics, quantum optics
  • Research overview: Bernien Group
  • Our group combines techniques from quantum optics and quantum information processing with ultracold atoms and nanotechnology in order to develop new ways of engineering large, fully controlled quantum systems and exploring the phenomena that arise in such systems.
  • Nicolas Chevrier

  • Assistant Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • immunology, systems biology
  • Research overview: Chevrier Group
  • We develop interdisciplinary approaches and tools to study how the immune system functions across biological scales ranging from individual molecules and cells, to tissues, to a mammalian organism. We aim to characterize the multi-scale processes at play during protective immune responses, and use this information to manipulate immunity against disease.
  • Andrew Cleland

  • John A. MacLean Sr. Professor for Molecular Engineering Innovation and Enterprise; Director, Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum sensing
  • Research overview: Cleland Group
  • Our experimental research group is presently focused on two areas of quantum technology: The development of superconducting circuits with applications to quantum information, including their use for both quantum computation and quantum communication; and the development of nanoscale devices integrating electronic, mechanical, and optical degrees of freedom, targeting the development of hybrid quantum systems.
  • Aashish Clerk

  • Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Theoretical quantum condensed matter physics & quantum optics, engineered quantum systems, quantum information physics.
  • Research overview: Clerk Group
  • Our group is broadly interested in developing a theoretical understanding of phenomena in driven-dissipative quantum systems, with a particular focus on superconducting quantum circuits, quantum optomechanical systems, and quantum electronic transport. The group has close collaborations with a number of leading experimental groups.
  • Juan de Pablo

  • Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering and Deputy Director for Education and Outreach
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Protein folding and aggregation, DNA folding and hybridization, glassy materials, block copolymers, liquid crystals, development of advanced sampling methods
  • Research overview: de Pablo Group
  • Using advanced methods and powerful computers, we examine molecular motion and probe the microscopic structure of fluids and solids. Based on these studies, we try to explain and predict the macroscopic behavior of these systems
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  • Aaron Esser-Kahn

  • Associate Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • vascular tissue engineering, immune programming polymers, carbon capture methods
  • Research overview: Esser-Kahn Group
  • Our research interests lie at the intersection of biology, chemistry and materials science. We believe in using the tools from each discipline for the task at hand. Our group’s current research focuses on three projects that function as extensions of this philosophy. First, we are currently working toward microvascular thermal and gaseous exchange units. We are using knowledge derived from biology to replicate structures adapted for gas capture. Second, we are creating materials for reprogramming the immune system. Using tools from materials chemistry, we are creating polymer facades designed to rewire the immune system toward desired targets. Third, we are working towards creating synthetic tissue scaffolds.
  • Andrew Ferguson

  • Associate Professor of Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Molecular simulation, statistical thermodynamics, machine learning, inverse materials design, enhanced sampling, protein folding, self-assembly
  • Research overview: Ferguson Lab
  • The Ferguson Lab is an interdisciplinary computational and theoretical research group at the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. We work at the intersection of materials science, molecular simulation, and bioinformatics, leveraging tools from statistical physics, high performance computing, and machine learning. Our research interests lie broadly in the investigation of equilibrium and dynamic properties of soft matter, with specific foci in the self-assembly of biological and bioinspired materials, machine-learning accelerated molecular dynamics, inference of protein folding landscapes from experimental data, and the reconstruction of viral fitness landscapes for computational vaccine design.
  • Giulia Galli

  • Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Theoretical and computational modeling of materials, including solids, liquids and nanostructures
  • Research overview: Galli Group
  • We study materials and molecules from first principles.
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  • Monisha Ghosh

  • Research Professor (IME), Associate Member (CS), Affiliate (ANL)
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Signal processing, wireless communications, analytics
  • Supratik Guha

  • Professor
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Materials and devices for new computing architectures, cyberphysical sensing systems, energy conversion technologies; materials science of semiconductors and oxides
  • Research overview: Group website
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  • Alex High

  • Assistant Professor of Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • 2D semiconductors, spin qubits in diamond, precision fabrication, nanophotonics, plasmonics
  • Research overview: High Lab
  • The High Lab studies optical and quantum science in solid-state systems. We explore new physics and applications that emerge when optical systems are controlled at a nanoscale level. We are developing optical quantum circuits and realizing new technologies based on engineered light/matter interactions.
  • Jun Huang

  • Assistant Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Immunology, high throughput systems biology methods, single-molecule/single-cell imaging techniques
  • Research overview: Huang Group
  • Huang Group is pursuing various biological research interests including T-cell recognition, the immunosuppression of regulatory T-cells, the immune regulation of NK cells, and single-cell systems immunology.
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  • Jeffrey Hubbell

  • Eugene Bell Professor in Tissue Engineering and Deputy Director for Development
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Immune response, auto-immune diseases, growth factor variants
  • Research overview: Hubbell Lab
  • Our laboratory develops molecular and materials engineering approaches in immunotherapy, focused on vaccination in infectious disease and cancer and on an antigen-specific tolerance induction to protein drugs, allergens and autoimmune antigens.
  • Jeffrey Hubbell, Biomedical Sciences Page
  • Nancy Kawalek

  • Professor and Distinguished Fellow in the Arts, Science and Technology
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Theater and performance, arts, innovation
  • Research overview: STAGE Lab
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  • Chong Liu

  • Assistant Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Materials Science, Electrochemistry, Water, Energy, Separation
  • Research overview: Liu Group
  • The Liu Group's research focuses on design and synthesis of materials as well as development of advanced characterization tools to address the challenges in water-energy nexus.
  • Peter Maurer

  • Assistant Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Quantum optics, quantum sensing, solid-state spin systems, single-molecule biophysics, physical chemistry
  • Research overview: Maurer Group
  • Juan Mendoza

  • Assistant Professor in Molecular Engineering and in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Protein engineering, structural biology, computational biology, immunology, and cell signaling.
  • Research overview: Mendoza Group
  • The Mendoza Group aims to understand protein function in the context of human health and disease. By leveraging the lab’s expertise in structural biology, computation, cell signaling, and protein engineering, the group’s insights are used to push the functional boundaries of natural proteins and to develop new protein therapeutics.
  • Paul Nealey

  • Brady W. Dougan Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Block copolymers, directed self-assembly (DSA), nanolithography, nanopatterning
  • Research overview: Nealey Group
  • The Nealey Research Group consists of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers pursuing interdisciplinary topics in advanced lithography, nanofabrication, polymer thin films, and cell-substrate interactions.
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  • Jiwoong Park

  • Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Nanoscale materials, chemical physics
  • Research overview: Park Group
  • We are an interdisciplinary research group and a proud member of the Department of Chemistry and the Institute for Molecular Engineering at University of Chicago. Our group is conducting research on the synthesis, assembly and chracterization of nanoscale materials and devices using a variety of advanced tools.
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  • Shrayesh Patel

  • Assistant Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Functional polymers, block copolymers, batteries, thermoelectrics, organic electronics
  • Research overview: Patel Group
  • The Patel group focuses on functional polymeric materials (e.g. electronic conductors, ion conductors, redox-active) for energy conversion and storage applications.
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  • Rama Ranganathan

  • Joseph Regenstein Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute for Molecular Engineering, and the College
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Research overview: Ranganathan Group
  • Stuart Rowan

  • Barry L. MacLean Professor for Molecular Engineering Innovation and Enterprise
  • Areas of research expertise
  • supramolecular chemistry, polymeric materials
  • Research overview: Rowan Group
  • The Rowan Group focuses on studying the chemistry of non-covalent interactions (supramolecular chemistry).
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  • James Skinner

  • Crown Family Professor of Molecular Engineering, Director of the Water Research Initiative and Deputy Director for Faculty Affairs
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Water, theoretical spectroscopy, statistical mechanics
  • Research overview: Skinner Group
  • The Skinner group focuses on theoretical and computational studies of the structure, dynamics, and vibrational spectroscopy of water, in its condensed phases and at interfaces.
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  • Google Scholar Profile
  • CV
  • Melody Swartz

  • William B. Ogden Professor
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Lymphatic system, cancer research, immunotherapy
  • Research overview: Swartz Group
  • Cancer metastasis, lymphedema, lipid transport, and immune cell function all depend on lymphatic function or dysfunction, and are all tied to interstitial fluid balance and transport. The lymphatic system is part of the circulation; it drains fluid, solutes, and macromolecules from the interstitial space and returns them to the blood. It also is a critical component of the immune system; immune cells traffic through lymphatic vessels and reside in lymph nodes, where they communicate with each other and can become activated. Cancer cells also utilize lymphatic vessels, and likely interstitial flow, to spread to distant sites throughout the body. Lymphedema occurs when lymphatic function is not optimal, and causes irreversible tissue remodeling that becomes exacerbated with time and for which there is no cure or treatment, other than massage and bandaging. Finally, since lymphatic vessels drain lipids (in the form of chylomicrons) from the gut, they play important roles in lipid trafficking and possibly metabolism. Despite its importance, the regulatory biology of lymphatic function is poorly understood.
  • Sihong Wang

  • Assistant Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Soft electronic materials and devices, bio-electronics, organic electronics, functional polymers, energy harvesting, nanotechnology
  • Research overview: Wang Group
  • Wang group focuses on the fundamental study and developments of advanced polymeric materials/devices that concurrently possess exceptional (opto)electronic/energy functionalities, mechanical softness, and human/bio-compatibility. Through this research, we are targeting at providing the scientific and technological basis for merging electronics with human bodies and other biological systems with unprecedented seamlessness.
  • Shuolong Yang

  • Assistant Professor in Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Experimental condensed matter physics, Quantum material engineering, Thin-film deposition, Ultrafast photoemission spectroscopy
  • Research overview: Yang Lab
  • Quantum materials are at the frontiers of materials science and condensed matter physics, with properties determined by macroscopic quantum states. Examples of macroscopic quantum states include superconductivity, topological phases of matter, exotic magnetic states, and many more. It is a unifying theme with a promising aspect of connecting fundamental many-body physics to device concepts. Our group focuses on both the fabrication and characterization of novel quantum materials, in particular at material interfaces. The general goal is to engineer material interfaces using advanced synthesis techniques such as molecular beam epitaxy, and characterize the electronic properties using in situ equilibrium and non-equilibrium photoemission spectroscopy. We look specifically at the interfaces between transition metal chalcogenides and oxides, where the versatility of d- and p-orbitals gives rise to a vast variety of exotic phenomena. Our powerful instruments will enable accelerated material discoveries in a combinatorial fashion, and potentially lead to new directions in materials science and device engineering.
  • Tian Zhong

  • Assistant Professor of Molecular Engineering
  • Areas of research expertise
  • Quantum photonics, quantum information and networking, solid-state quantum technologies
  • Research overview: Zhong Lab
  • The Zhong lab focuses on developing enabling nanoscale photonic and molecular (e.g. rare-earth-ion doped crystals) technologies for building quantum hardware to realize an efficient, scalable Quantum Internet. Positions available for students and postdocs.

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