Designing Simple Polymers with Protein-like Activity (Prof. Greg Tew, UMass)


“Designing Simple Polymers with Protein-like Activity: Advanced materials and new therapies”

Prof. Gregory N. Tew
Polymer Science and Engineering Department
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Our primary research aim is to create new materials using a combination of principles, many of which are inspired by biology. In addition, the design of simple molecules that mimic the complex structures and functions of biology is at the heart of our work. In this presentation, we will illustrate some of these principles including novel networks with high resilience and new delivery agents inspired by protein transduction domains (PTDs). Coupling high efficiency click chemistry with telechelic polymer design generates new phase separated networks that are highly elastic and have bicontinuous morphologies over a very wide compositional range. PTD designs rely on synthetic approaches that easily allow doubling the density of guanidine functional groups, which increases the transduction efficiency of the sequences. Cellular uptake studies on three different cell lines (HEK 293T, CHO, and Jurkat T cells) confirm that these synthetic analogs are highly efficient novel protein transduction domain mimics (PTDMs), that are more effective than TAT49-57 and nonaarginine (R9) and also highlights the usefulness of polymer chemistry at the chemistry- biology interface.

Speaker Background

Gregory N. Tew, Professor in the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has more than a decade of experience transitioning bio-inspired design concepts to practice.
He received a B.S. in Chemistry from North Carolina State University in 1995 performing undergraduate research with Prof. D. A. Shultz and interning at Burroughs-Wellcome Pharmaceutical. In 2000, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois-Urbana under Prof. Samuel Stupp in Materials Science after which he joined the Faculty at the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Before starting there, he spent one year in William DeGrado's laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.
His current research interests include bioinspired and biomimetic macromolecules, molecular self organization, nano-medicine, and materials-immunology. Greg received every young investigator award offered by the Federal Government including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) which is the highest honor recognized by Federal Funding Agencies for young faculty and presented by the White House. He was elected as a member of the Defense Science Study Group, founding member of the ACS Polymer Chemistry Division Fellows program, and served as board chair of the ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry. More recently he has elected fellow of the ACS and AIMBE. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers and serves as chair of the SAB for PCCL, Polymer Competence Center Leoben, Austria. Greg remains interested in technology transfer activities and mentorship. He was a scientific and original co-founder of PolyMedix; a clinical-stage biotechnology company which has raised over $150M as well as founding mentor of Future Faculty Workshop: Diverse Leaders of Tomorrow.


Friday, March 11


Michael's Restaurant at Shoreline Park
2960 N. Shoreline Park
Mountain View, CA 94043



6 PM social hour
7 PM dinner
8 PM lecture


Employed/postdoc Student/unemployed/retired
Early Registration  $30 $15
Registration $35 $20
Walk-in (not guaranteed) $40 $25

Lecture-only is free.



We accept cash or checks at the door, or online payment via credit card. No-shows are responsible for full payment of registration fee.


Please register below or contact:

Lothar Kleiner
phone: 650-492-9400

Deadline for registration:

11:59PM, Thursday, March 3 for early registration discount.
5PM, Thursday, March 10 for regular registration.

Dinner Selection:

Seafood - Monterey Snapper with Marinara
Chicken - Chicken Jalapeno with Red Pepper Sauce
Vegetarian - Spinach and Mushroom Crepes

You should receive confirmation of your registration; if not, please contact us again.

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.