The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is addressing a set of prominent research themes broadly aimed at concrete advances in important technology sectors. These particular themes have taken shape around the leadership from our early faculty hires and around major collaborations. Each one aims at a major societal problem of global significance. New themes will continue to emerge.

Arts, Sciences, and Technology

True to its deeply interdisciplinary nature, Pritzker Molecular Engineering supports the cultivation of meaningful collaboration between scientific and artistic inquiry to challenge the manner in which researchers and artists approach their respective practices.

Autonomous Materials

Certain macromolecules can be made to self-assemble into useful forms that perform tasks on the nano- and micro-scale that, until now, have not been possible. This molecular-level work could help reduce manufacturing costs while creating new generations of electronic, biomedical, and mechanical devices.


In cooperation with the Biological Sciences Division, this thematic direction explores the mechanisms that control the movement of biological fluids through tissue and the immune responses to tumor invasion could lead to synthetic vaccines against cancer and viral threats.

Quantum Engineering

Quantum computing is thought to have the potential to accelerate the advance of computing power beyond Moore’s law. Quantum engineering could also lead to “unhackable” communications through quantum cryptography and a new class of ultra-sensitive dectectors for biological and chemical sensing.

Water and Energy

The future of our planet depends on engineering sustainable and energy-efficient solutions to solve society’s water and energy problems. From extracting elements from seawater to developing new techniques for energy harvesting, our cutting-edge research is leading the way.

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