Jeffrey Hubbell

  • Eugene Bell Professor in Tissue Engineering and Vice Dean and Executive Officer in the UChicago Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering
  • Research and Scholarly Interests: Immunotherapy, Immune Response, Auto-immune Diseases, Growth Factor Variants
  • Websites: Hubbell Lab
  • Contact: jhubbell@uchicago.edu
  • Assistant: Gwen Bell-Diggs
  • Office Location:
    Eckhardt Research Center
    Room 369
    5640 South Ellis Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60637

Jeffrey Hubbell received his bachelor's degree from Kansas State University in 1982, and his PhD from Rice University in 1986, both in chemical engineering. He started his academic career as a member of the chemical engineering faculty at the University of Texas, then at the California Institute of Technology.

Prof. Hubbell next moved to Switzerland, where he initially served as a professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University of Zurich. He moved to École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lusanne (EPFL) in 2003 to serve as founding director of the Institute of Bioengineering.

Hubbell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, He is also an elected fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. Hubbell is the former president of the Society for Biomaterials. in 2023, Hubbell earned the Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine.

Earlier in his career, Hubbell received the W.J. Kolff Award for Outstanding Research from the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs, the Outstanding Dow Young Faculty Award from the American Society of Engineering Education, and the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award.

Hubbell designs materials to assemble in such a way that they can stimulate the immune systems to fight infection or malignancy, or turn off some aspects of the immune system to address auto-immune diseases such as type-1 diabetes. Hubbell has coined the term “immuno-modulatory materials” to describe this newly emerging field of research. Along with his associates, he holds 77 patents.

An entrepreneurial materials scientist, Hubbell has founded three companies based on his research.

One company, Kuros Biosurgery, in Zurich, is developing growth factor engineering and biomaterials technology for surgical sealants and tissue repair agents. That work is based on research from his academic laboratory on growth factor variants that bind to biomaterials such as fibrin, a protein involved in blood clotting, as well as on synthetic hydrogel technology.

Anokion, in Lausanne, is developing immunological tolerance technology for preventing immunity to protein drugs that would otherwise elicit an immune response, also based on research from Hubbell’s academic laboratory. A good example is in hemophilia A. Approximately one-third of children who are treated with the protein drug to correct this genetic disease develop an inhibiting immunological recognition to the protein, which makes their lives very difficult. Anokion is working on ways to induce tolerance to such proteins to prevent their immunological recognition.

The third, Focal, Inc., of Lexington, Massachusetts, was acquired by Genzyme Biosurgery in 2001.

Nanocrystalline Oligo(ethylene sulfide)-b-poly(ethylene glycol) Micelles: Structure and Stability
Sevgen, Emre, et al. "Nanocrystalline Oligo (ethylene sulfide)-b-poly (ethylene glycol) Micelles: Structure and Stability." Macromolecules 51.23 (2018): 9538-9546.

Adaptive enhanced sampling by force-biasing using neural networks
Guo, Ashley Z., et al. "Adaptive enhanced sampling by force-biasing using neural networks." The Journal of chemical physics 148.13 (2018): 134108.

Overcoming immunological barriers in regenerative medicine
J.L. Zakrzewski, M.R.M. van den Brink, J.A. Hubbell. Overcoming immunological barriers in regenerative medicine. Nature Biotechnology. 2014. Vol. 32, Pg. 786–794.