Faculty

Matthew Tirrell

  • Dean of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering
  • Research and Scholarly Interests: Biomolecular Engineering, Nanotechnology, Polymer Properties
  • Websites: Tirrell Lab
  • Contact: mtirrell@uchicago.edu
    773.834.2001
  • Assistant: LaKesha Lloyd
  • Office Location:
    Eckhardt Research Center
    Room 299C
    5640 South Ellis Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60637

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.

Before becoming dean of Pritzker Molecular Engineering in 2011, Tirrell served as the Arnold and Barbara Silverman Professor and chair of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and as professor of materials science and engineering and chemical engineering and faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Prior to that, he was dean of engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara for 10 years. Tirrell began his academic career at the University of Minnesota as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering and later became head of the department. Tirrell also served as Deputy Laboratory Director for Science at Argonne National Laboratory, where he was responsible for integrating the laboratory’s research and development efforts and science and technology capabilities. 

Tirrell received his BS in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and his PhD in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He has received many honors, including the Polymer Physics Prize of the American Physical Society and election to the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Matthew Tirrell is a pioneering researcher in the fields of biomolecular engineering and nanotechnology, specializing in the manipulation and measurement of the surface properties of polymers, materials that consist of long, flexible chain molecules. His work combines microscopic measurements of intermolecular forces with the creation of new structures. His work has provided new insight into polymer properties, especially surface phenomena, such as adhesion, friction, and biocompatibility, and new materials based on self-assembly of synthetic and bioinspired materials.

Harnessing the therapeutic potential of biomacromolecules through intracellular delivery of nucleic acids, peptides and proteins
Yu Tian, Matthew V. Tirrell, James L. LaBelle. "Harnessing the therapeutic potential of biomacromolecules through intracellular delivery of nucleic acids, peptides and proteins". Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2022.

Polymorphism in peptide self-assembly visualized

Targeted polyelectrolyte complex micelles treat vascular complications in vivo
Zhengjie Zhou, Chih-Fan Yeh, Michael Mellas, Myung-Jin Oh, Jiayu Zhu, Jin Li, Ru-Ting Huang, Devin L Harrison, Tzu-Pin Shentu, David Wu, Michael Lueckheide, Lauryn Carver, Eun Ji Chung, Lorraine Leon, Kai-Chien Yang, Matthew V Tirrell, Yun Fang. "Targeted polyelectrolyte complex micelles treat vascular complications in vivo", PNAS.

Protein primary structure correlates with calcium oxalate stone matrix preference
Yu Tian, Matthew Tirrell, Carley Davis, Jeffrey A Wesson. "Protein primary structure correlates with calcium oxalate stone matrix preference". Plos One, 2021, e0257515.

Polymersomes Decorated with the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Receptor-Binding Domain Elicit Robust Humoral and Cellular Immunity
"Polymersomes Decorated with the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Receptor-Binding Domain Elicit Robust Humoral and Cellular Immunity". ACS Cent. Sci. 2021, 7, 8, 1368-1380.

Polyelectrolyte Complex Coacervation across a Broad Range of Charge Densities
Neitzel, A.E., Fang, Y.N., Yu, B., Rumyantsev, A.M., de Pablo, J.J. and Tirrell, M.V., 2021. Polyelectrolyte complex coacervation across a broad range of charge densities. Macromolecules, 54(14), pp.6878-6890.

Advances in the Structural Design of Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles
Alexander E. Marras, Jeffrey M. Ting, Kaden C. Stevens, and Matthew V. Tirrell. "Advances in the Structural Design of Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles". J. Phys. Chem. B, 2021, 125, 26, 7076-7089.

Physical Property Scaling Relationships for Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles
Alexander E. Marras, Trinity R. Campagna, Jeffrey R. Vieregg, and Matthew V. Tirrell. "Physical Property Scaling Relationships for Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles". Macromolecules, 2021, 54, 13, 6585-6594.

Harnessing Peptide Binding to Capture and Reclaim Phosphate
Fowler, Whitney C., et al. "Harnessing Peptide Binding to Capture and Reclaim Phosphate." Journal of the American Chemical Society 143.11 (2021): 4440-4450. Whitney C. Fowler, Chuting Deng, Gabriella M. Griffen, Tess Teodoro, Ashley Z. Guo, Michal Zaiden, Moshe Gottlieb*, Juan J. de Pablo, Matthew V. Tirrell

Complex coacervation of statistical polyelectrolytes: Role of monomer sequences and formation of inhomogeneous coacervates
Yu, B., Rumyantsev, A.M., Jackson, N.E., Liang, H., Ting, J.M., Meng, S., Tirrell, M.V. and de Pablo, J.J., 2021. Complex coacervation of statistical polyelectrolytes: role of monomer sequences and formation of inhomogeneous coacervates. Molecular Systems Design & Engineering.

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