Jeff Moore was born near Joliet, IL, in 1962. He received his B.S. in chemistry in 1984 from the University of Illinois, and his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering with Samuel Stupp in 1989. After a NSF postdoctoral position at Caltech with Robert Grubbs, he began his independent career at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He returned in 1993 to the University of Illinois, where he is currently the Director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, Ikenberry Endowed Chair, and Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering.
The Moore group group’s research integrates ideas from physical organic chemistry and engineering with polymer synthesis to invent mechanically responsive materials. Motivated by the technological need for materials that are safer and last longer, experiments are designed to understand the fundamental science of mechanochemical transduction, which in turn helps in the design of polymers that produce chemical signals or undergo chemical reactions following mechanical activation. Specific examples include materials that heal themselves, warn of high stress, or repair electrical circuits. Recently, the Moore group partnered with frequent collaborators Nancy Sottos and Scott White to demonstrate plastics that not only heal after damage, but regenerate, thanks to reactive fluids pumping through vascular channels within the material, similar to blood in a circulatory system.