Faculty

Matthew Tirrell

  • Dean of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, the Robert A. Millikan Distinguished Service Professor
  • 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) and the Robert A. Millikan Distinguished Service Professor 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.

Assembly and Characterization of Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles
Marras, A. E., Vieregg, J. R., Tirrell, M. V. Assembly and Characterization of Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles. J. Vis. Exp. (157), e60894, doi:10.3791/60894 (2020).

An in situ shearing x-ray measurement system for exploring structures and dynamics at the solid–liquid interface
Qiao, Yijun, Hua Zhou, Zhang Jiang, Qiming He, Shenglong Gan, Hongdong Wang, Shizhu Wen et al. "An in situ shearing x-ray measurement system for exploring structures and dynamics at the solid–liquid interface." Review of Scientific Instruments 91, no. 1 (2020): 013908. Harvard

Mechanism of Dissociation Kinetics in Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles
Wu, Hao, Jeffrey M. Ting, and Matthew V. Tirrell. "Mechanism of Dissociation Kinetics in Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles." Macromolecules (2019).

Hydrophobically assembled nanoparticles: Self-assembled nanoparticles
Wang, J., Mellas, M., Tirrell, M. and Chung, E.J., 2020. Hydrophobically assembled nanoparticles: Self-assembled nanoparticles. In Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications (pp. 325-347). Elsevier.

Structure and dynamics of lipid membranes interacting with antivirulence end-phosphorylated polyethylene glycol block copolymers
Yu, J., Mao, J., Nagao, M., Bu, W., Lin, B., Hong, K., Jiang, Z., Liu, Y., Qian, S., Tirrell, M. and Chen, W., 2020. Structure and dynamics of lipid membranes interacting with antivirulence end-phosphorylated polyethylene glycol block copolymers. Soft Matter.

Amphiphilic Copolymer Inhibition of PNIPAM-PS Aggregation is HLB Dependent
Michelle X. Ling, Jeffrey M. Ting, Amanda B. Marciel, Matthew V. Tirrell, Raphael C. Lee, 2020. Amphiphilic Copolymer Inhibition of PNIPAM-PS Aggregation is HLB Dependent. Biophysical Journal 118 (3), 1992.

Enrichment and Distribution of Pb2+ Ions in Zwitterionic Poly(cysteine methacrylate) Brushes at the Solid–Liquid Interface
He, Qiming, Yijun Qiao, David J. Mandia, Shenglong Gan, Huiru Zhang, Hua Zhou, Jeffrey W. Elam, Seth B. Darling, Matthew V. Tirrell, and Wei Chen. "Enrichment and Distribution of Pb2+ Ions in Zwitterionic Poly (cysteine methacrylate) Brushes at the Solid-Liquid Interface." Langmuir (2019).

Preferential targeting of MCL-1 by a hydrocarbon-stapled BIM BH3 peptide
Hadji, Abbas, Greta K. Schmitt, Mathew R. Schnorenberg, Lauren Roach, Connie M. Hickey, Logan B. Leak, Matthew V. Tirrell, and James L. LaBelle. "Preferential targeting of MCL-1 by a hydrocarbon-stapled BIM BH3 peptide." Oncotarget 10, no. 58 (2019): 6219.

Integrating Systems Thinking into Teaching Emerging Technologies
Fowler, Whitney C., Jeffrey M. Ting, Siqi Meng, Lu Li, and Matthew V. Tirrell. "Integrating Systems Thinking into Teaching Emerging Technologies." Journal of Chemical Education (2019).

Controlling Complex Coacervation via Random Polyelectrolyte Sequences
Rumyantsev, Artem M., et al. "Controlling Complex Coacervation via Random Polyelectrolyte Sequences." ACS Macro Letters 8.10 (2019): 1296-1302.

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