Guan Group


Soft materials encompass the bulk of living tissues which possess characteristic living features such as being active, adaptive, and self-healing. Drawing inspiration from nature, the Guan Lab is focused on the design, synthesis, and study of dynamic soft materials and functional biomaterials. Through creative molecular design and chemical synthesis, we generate a plethora of supramolecular assemblies and polymers that are active, adaptive, malleable, and self-healing. In addition, we develop multifunctional biomaterials for the cellular delivery of various biomacromolecules, for CRISPR-Cas gene editing, and for immunomodulation. An overarching theme for our research is to build direct links between molecular structures and material properties, with the aim to rationally design soft materials from the bottom-up and control material properties at the molecular level. We explore many exciting questions at the interface of materials chemistry and biology. How can we make synthetic polymer materials more sustainable, recyclable, and environmentally friendly? How can we create synthetic materials that closely mimic living systems? How can we seamlessly interface manmade soft materials with living systems? How can we design molecular carriers that can efficiently deliver biomacromolecules to targeted cells to control biological function? How can we develop fuel and feedback-controlled non-equilibrium systems to realize a new generation of active and autonomous materials? Let’s explore and find out together!

Group News

10/11/19   Congratulations to Chase for publishing his work on silyl ether metathesis for vitrimer design!

6/27/19   Congratulations to Alex and Tyler for their excellent PhD thesis defenses!

6/27/19   Congratulations to our undergraduate Jonathan for winning the Allergan fellowship!

6/25/19   Warm welcome to our visiting scientist Dr. Jing Tang!

6/20/19   Congratulations to our undergraduates Tomas and Jonathan for being accepted into the SURP program!

5/23/19   Congratulations to Hurik for winning the Gebel award!

5/17/19   Collin, Dan and Taylor passed orals!

4/8/19   Congratulations to our former summer intern Judy Shon for winning the NSF GRFP fellowship!

4/2/19   Welcome to the lab Eric Schwartz! We're excited to explore new chemistry with you.

3/8/19   Congratulations to Collin for winning the Vertex Award!

12/11/18   Our recent work on recyclable thermosets is selected for the Research of the Year 2018 by C&EN News!

12/4/18   Warm welcome to our new group member, Joe Capani! We look forward to exploring new science together.

10/3/18   Zhibin’s postdoc adviser at Caltech, Prof. Frances Arnold, is awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year. Congratulations to Frances!

9/26/18   Congratulations to Alex for winning the Allergan Graduate Fellowship

8/6/18   Congrats to James Neal for successfully defending his PhD thesis and joining Hewlett-Packard

6/30/18   Zhibin succesfully organzied the 2018 Bioinspired Materials Gordon Research Conference

5/9/18   Congratulations to our former group member Davoud for taking a faculty position with Syracuse University

5/7/18   Congratulations to Billy for his recent JACS Communication on boroxine vitrimer

4/13/18   Congrats to Alex for our adipocyte delivery paper being accepted by Biomaterials

4/12/18   Congrats to James and Nate that our mechanical gradient work has been highlighted by the Department of Energy.

12/7/17   Warm welcome to three new group members: Dan, Taylor, and James We look forward to exploring new science with all of you.

11/21/17   Congratulations to James and Hanna for the birth of their baby girl, Ellie Rae Neal

10/15/16  Congratulations to James for earning the Allergan Fellowship Congrats

9/20/17   Congratulations to Alex for winning the ARCS Foundation Scholar Award Fantastic recognition, well deserved

8/19/16   Congratulations to Jae (now Dr. Chung) for his excellent PhD thesis defense!

8/19/16   Congratulations to James and Davoud for their paper accepted by Macromolecules!