Matthew Tirrell

University of Chicago

Dean, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering

Bio: Dr. Matthew Tirrell is the dean of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago. His personal research specializes in the manipulation and measurement of polymer surface properties. Dean Tirrell’s work has provided new insight into phenomena such as adhesion, friction, and biocompatibility, and contributed to the development of new materials based on self-assembly of synthetic and bio-inspired materials. Previously, he served at UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Minnesota.

2022-08 Abstract Title: Hetero-charged polymer systems with applications from marine biology to biomedicine

Abstract Body: Nature exploits all available covalent and non-covalent interactions for unparalleled spatiotemporal control over hierarchical length scales of macromolecular and supramolecular structure. The complex interplay of electrostatic and other non-covalent interactions of charged macromolecules still poses many open questions that will require broad collaboration among the life and physical sciences, as well as input from the engineering disciplines to drive toward new solid-state structures and useful materials. Scientific questions related to the physics of electrostatic self-assembly and to its role in biology will be discussed. Recent advances in understanding and biomedical applications of polyelectrolyte complexes and polyampholytes will be presented.