Dean Matthew Tirrell receives prestigious Gutenberg Chair Award

Matthew Tirrell, D. Gale Johnson Distinguished Service Professor and Dean of the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, has been named a recipient of the 2022 Gutenberg Chair award for his work on biomolecular engineering and nanotechnology. He was honored at a ceremony held on April 12 in Strasbourg, France.

“It is a great honor to be recognized as a Gutenberg Chair,” said Tirrell. “The collaborative research this award will facilitate will further solidify the long-running relationship between UChicago and France, and I am eagerly looking forward to beginning that work.”

The Gutenberg Chair Award was established in 2007 to foster international scientific collaboration within France’s Alsace and Grand Est Region. The award provides a €60,000 research grant and facilitates a one-year research collaboration between Tirrell and polymer scientist, Fouzia Boulmedais at the University of Strasbourg. The Gutenberg Chair Award is organized by the Gutenberg Circle, a panel of prominent researchers chaired by Dino Moras and led by Nobel Laureates Jean-Marie Lehn, Jules Hoffmann, and Jean-Pierre Sauvage.

Since 2011, Tirrell has served as the dean of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, the first school in the nation dedicated to the emerging, fast-growing field of molecular engineering. Under Tirrell’s leadership, more than a dozen multi-investigator research collaborations have been founded with PME as the leader or a central participant.

Tirrell’s research focuses on the manipulation and measurement of polymer surface properties and self-assembly. His work has provided new insight into phenomena such as phase behavior, adhesion, friction, and biocompatibility, and he has contributed to the development of new materials for biomedical nanoparticles.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Indian National Academy of Engineering. He is also a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society.