New Projects

Below we detail grants supporting some of the breakthrough research at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering.


AIMEMS: AI-enabled Molecular Engineering of Materials and Systems for Sustainability

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program supports new models for graduate education training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to help students develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers.

National Science Foundation

PME investigators: Juan de Pablo (Principal Investigator), Junhong Chen, Margaret Gardel, Paul Nealey


Development of a Miniaturized Molecular Beam Epitaxy Setup for Direct Printing of Quantum Circuits

This grant supports the development of a nanoscale deposition tool—a miniaturized molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system—for direct fabrication of nanoscale structures for quantum applications.

National Science Foundation

PME investigators: Shuolong Yang (Principal Investigator), Supratik Guha, David Schuster, and Tian Zhong


NSF Convergence Accelerator Track C: High-Throughput Proteomics Technology Based on Quantum Sensing

This project will show how novel discoveries in quantum sensing can impact and alter diagnostics and biomedical research. This will be accomplished by simplifying the purification process and enabling high throughput screening at reduced cost.

National Science Foundation

PME investigators: Peter Maurer


Manufacturing ADvanced Electronics through Printing Using Bio-based and Locally Identifiable Compounds (MADE-PUBLIC)

This grant will enable a future intelligent, scalable, and democratized manufacturing paradigm that allows for distributed printing of low-cost, biodegradable, and recyclable electronic devices using locally identifiable resources, such as bio-based materials derived from plants.

National Science Foundation

PME investigators: Junhong Chen (Principal Investigator) and Stuart Rowan (Co-Principal Investigator)


QuSTEAM: Convergent Undergraduate Education in Quantum Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics

This project aims to develop an undergraduate curriculum that combines Quantum Information Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (QuSTEAM) to build a quantum smart workforce.

National Science Foundation

PME investigators: David Awschalom


Engineering rare-earth hyperfine qubits for quantum information technology

With this grant, Asst. Prof. Tian Zhong aims to create a new form of qubits using rare-earth elements doped in solids. Zhong chose to use rare-earth atoms because they have demonstrated superb quantum coherence properties desirable for quantum technology.

Young Investigator Program of the Army Research Office

PME investigatorsTian Zhong


Q-Next: Next Generation Quantum Science and Engineering

Q-NEXT brings together nearly 100 world-class researchers from three national laboratories, 10 universities and 10 leading U.S. technology companies with the single goal of developing the science and technology to control and distribute quantum information.

Department of Energy

PME investigatorsDavid Awschalom


Artificial Intelligence for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management, and Sustainability (AIFARMS) Institute

Established with a $20 million, five-year grant, the new AIFARMS Institute will address major agricultural challenges such as labor constraints, animal health and welfare, environmental crop resilience, and soil health.

National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes

PME investigatorsSupratik Guha


Novel Strategies for Enhancing Vaccine Efficacy Against SARS-CoV-2

This grant will support the exploration of strategies to understand and improve neutralizing antibody responses against the viral Spike protein, which mediates viral entry into target cells, as well as other research projects for enhancing vaccine efficacy.

Chicago Biomedical Consortium

PME investigatorsJeffrey Hubbell and Melody Swartz


Rapid, at-home COVID-19 test

These grants support the development of a handheld COVID-19 testing device that provides results in five minutes and uses field-effect transistor technology.

Big Ideas Generator, Chicago CAN initiative

PME investigatorsJunhong Chen and Jun Huang


AI+EC (Artificially Intelligent Electrochemistry)

In this project, researchers will use AI to find new, efficient ways of “recycling” CO2 into valuable products such as ethanol and ethylene, using clean electricity generated from the sun and wind.

AI + Science Initiative

PME investigatorsChibueze Amanchukwu


Decoding Inter-Organ Inflammatory Signaling at the Single-Cell Level

The process by which inflammation propagates through an organism is difficult to capture and understand if you study only a single organ. This team will develop a method to capture the exact state of single cells, including where the cells are positioned, for a whole animal.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

PME investigatorsNicolas ChevrierAndrew Ferguson, and Savas Tay


CAREER: Long-distance quantum network of long-lived rare-earth qubits

The research of this proposal aims to generate remote entanglement of individual rare-earth qubits connected by long-distance telecommunication fiber as the first step towards a scalable quantum network.

National Science Foundation

PME investigatorsTian Zhong