Department of Chemistry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 18-296
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 USA
Phone: (617) 253-1819
Firmenich Career Development Assistant Professor,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Assistant Professor of Chemistry,
Program in Polymers and Soft Matter (PPSM) Faculty,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Scholar with Professors Robert H. Grubbs and David A. Tirrell, California Institute of Technology
Graduate research with Professor M.G. Finn,
The Scripps Research Institute, summers
Graduate research with Professors Nicholas J. Turro and Jeffrey T. Koberstein,
Undergraduate research with Karen L. Wooley,
Washington University in St. Louis
Ph. D., Chemistry
Washington University in St. Louis, B.S.,
Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry
13 January 2016: IEG+ paper highlighted in Synfacts!
4 January 2016: Jeremiah receives the 2016 Young Talent Award from the organizers of the 1st International Conference of Molecular Engineering of Polymers (MEP-1). This exciting conference will be held in October 2016 in Shanghai. Thank you to the MEP-1 organizers and, in particular, Prof. Jiandong Ding.
24 December 2015: The Johnson Group's work is highlighted in the Boston Globe's STAT News. See the article here: "Three People to Watch in Kendall Square in 2016."
9 December 2015: Yufeng's baby boy Charles Hanyou Wang is born! Congrats Yufeng!
1 December 2015: Ken and Mingjiang's paper on counting primary loops in tetrafunctional and mixed-junction networks prepared using click chemistry appears online in Macromolecules!
16 November 2015: Alex and Mingjiang's paper on high branch functionality and loop rich PolyMOCs appears online in Nature Chemistry! Congrats!
12 November 2015: The group welcomes back Julia Zhao! Once a visiting undergraduate student, now a PhD student. Welcome Julia!
5 October 2015: New post-doc Matt Golder joins the group! See group page for more information. Welcome Matt!
1 October 2015: Alex and Mingjiang's paper on highly branched and loop rich "Polymer Metal-Organic-Cage" (PolyMOC) gels is accepted for publication in Nature Chemistry! Details to follow. Congrats Alex and Mingjiang, and thanks to all of our collaborators on this work!
22 September 2015: Alex and Michelle's review article on carbenes in surface chemistry is published online in Chemical Reviews! A lot of very hard work went into this fantastic paper. Congrats!
14 September 2015: IEG+ paper highlighted by Chemistry World!
10 September 2015: Jeremiah has joined the editorial board of Polymer Chemistry!
7 September 2015: Jonathan's paper on the synthesis of stereo- and sequence-controlled polymers by iterative exponential growth plus side-chain functionalization (IEG+) appears online in Nature Chemistry! Congrats Jonathan!
19 August 2015: Flow-IEG paper highlighted by C&EN@ACS Boston 2015 and C&E News, Science and Technology, News of the Week!
12 August 2015: The joint Johnson/Van Humbeck group volleyball team (Jeremiah was a Van Humbeck Whale) takes 3rd place in the Chemistry Department summer beach volleyball league!
12 August 2015: Frank's paper on continuous-flow iterative exponential growth (flow-IEG) of unimolecular polymers appears in PNAS! Congrats Frank!
17 June 2015: Michelle's paper on PEGylated-NHC functionalized gold nanoparticles appears in JACS! Congrats Michelle!
30 April 2015: Mao and Michelles's paper on using 10-phenylphenothiazine as an organic photo-redox catalyst to mediate visible-light controlled radical polymerization from a trithiocarbonate appears online in ACS Macro Letters! Congrats!
20 April 2015: Jonathan wins an IUPAC-SOLVAY International Award for Young Chemists for his PhD thesis work with Prof. Fraser Stoddart. Congrats Jonathan on this very prestigious award!
9 April 2015: Ken's paper on combining tetrazine-metal coordination and Diels-Alder reactions for the synthesis of functional supramolecular gels appears online in ACS Macro Letters! Congrats Ken!
2 April 2015: The group welcomes new post-doc Dr. Qixian Chen!
1 April 2015: Congrats to Hung for receiving an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship!
17 March 2015: Mao's paper on improving photo-controlled radical polymerization from trithiocarbonates using continuous flow techniques appears online in Chemical Communications Congrats Mao!
4 March 2015: NHC cycloelimination paper selected for the cover of Chem. Euro. J.!
20 February 2015: Alex and Julie's paper on cycloelimination of NHCs appears online in Chem. Euro. J. Congrats!
13 February 2015: Michelle receives a WIC Travel Award for support of her trip to the ACS National Meeting in Denver, CO. Congrats Michelle!
15 January 2015: The group welcomes a new UROP: Katherine Young!
18 November 2014: Molly and Jessica's paper on nitroxide-based branched bottlebrush polymers for dual-modality imaging in vivo appears in Nature Communications. Congrats! Thanks to the Rajca group at University of Nebraska and the Hammond group here at MIT for the fruitful collaboration.
13 November 2014: The group welcomes four new PhD students: Yuwei Gu, Gihan Hewage, Yivan Jiang, and Hung Nguyen!
15 October 2014: The group welcomes two new post-docs: Dr. Mao Chen and Dr. Yufeng Wang!
3 October 2014: The group successfully escapes from a room with a zombie.
1 October 2014: Several new faces in the lab! Welcome Dr. Mao Chen, Julie Geng, and Vivian Tian!
29 August 2014: Alex is recognized with a prestigious American Chemical Society Division of Organic Chemistry Graduate Fellowship. Congrats Alex!
12 August 2014: The lab receives a MIT-DuPont Alliance grant for the synthesis of "perfect polymers". Thank you DuPont!
8 August 2014: Angela and Yan's paper on the synthesis of pH sensitive BASP nanoparticles is accepted for publication in ACS Macro Letters. Congrats!
20 June 2014: The group welcomes visiting CMSE intern Julia Zhao!
11 June 2014: The group welcomes visiting MSRP student Leila Terrab!
10 June 2014: The lab receives NIH support for the development of organic radical MRI contrast agents. Thank you NIH.
9 June 2014: The lab receives MIT Lincoln Labs ACC support for the development of new materials for photo-controlled 3D printing. Thank you ACC.
29 May 2014: Huaxing, Eva, and Jenny's article on the application of crossover experiments to the analysis of molecular defects in polymer networks appears online in JACS!
27 May 2014: Alex receives a prestigious 2014 Intel PhD Fellowship! Congrats Alex!!
7 May 2014: Jeremiah receives a 2014 DuPont Young Professor Award! Thank you DuPont!
18 April 2014: Jeremiah receives a 2014 NSF CAREER Award! Thank you NSF!
10 April 2014: Yan and Jenny's work on the synthesis of multi-drug-loaded nanoparticles for ratiometric triplex combination cancer therapy appears in JACS. Congrats Yan and Jenny!
7 April 2014: The group welcomes new visiting student Kojiro Fujimura from Kyoto University!
20 March 2014: Jeremiah receives a 2014 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award. Thank you 3M!
18 March 2014: The group receives a MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) Seed Fund Grant for the development of hybrid metal-organic polymeric materials with Prof. Niels Holten-Anderson's group in MIT's Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Thank you MITEI.
20 February 2014: Jonathan receives 2014 Life Sciences Research Foundation (LSRF) Postdoctoral Fellowship! Congrats Jonathan!
18 February 2014: Jeremiah receives 2014 Sloan Research Fellowship! Also congrats to colleagues Mircea Dinca, Bradley Olsen, and the rest of the MIT Sloan Fellows!
14 February 2014: The group welcomes new post-doctoral scholar Dr. Jonathan Barnes!
6 February 2014: The groups receives an Air Force Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) Grant to work on the synthesis and self-assembly of branched bottlebrush copolymers. Thank you AFOSR!
6 January 2014: The group welcomes visiting student Johanna Ertl!
1 January 2014: The group welcomes two new undergraduate researchers Chew and Katherine!
15 November 2013: The group welcomes new graduate student Deborah Ehrlich. Welcome Deborah!
15 October 2013: The group welcomes new post-doc Dr. Mingjiang Zhong. Welcome Mingjiang!
11 October 2013: Jenny and Angela's JoVE article titled "Particles Without a Box" is published online. Go see Jenny and Angela make a nice series of our PEG-BASPs HERE .
7 October 2013: Alan and Angela's paper that describes the synthesis of PS-PLA Miktoarm BASPs was accepted as part of a special issue of Macromolecular Rapid Communications focused on cutting-edge polymer synthesis. Congrats Alan and Angela!
30 September 2013: Alan and Yan's paper that describes the "Brush-first and Click Method" for photo-triggered drug delivery appears online as part of a special issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology dedicated to the memory of Prof. Nick Turro.
15 September 2013: Jeremiah was selected as an ACS PMSE young investigator. He will present as part of the PMSE Young Investigator Symposium at the Spring 2014 National ACS meeting in Dallas, TX.
14 September 2013: The Johnson group has received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the "Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer Our Future" (DMREF) program. Our project will focus on the design, synthesis, and computational analysis of polymer networks for emerging applications. This project will continue our strong/ongoing collaboration with Prof. Bradley Olsen's group in Chemical Engineering at MIT. Thank you NSF!
23 August 2013: Alexandra's "tetrazine-norbornene Diels-Alder model networks" paper appears in Macromolcular Symposia as part of a special issue highlighting the 2012 Polymer Networks Group conference in Jackson Hole, WY. Congrats Alexandra!
Note that while our article was in press, Professor Kristi Anseth's group published a related paper on tetrazine-norbornene hydrogels for 3D cell culture. See Kristi's excellent paper here: link.
20 August 2013: Congrats to Ken, Molly, and Angela for winning Department of Chemistry Awards for Outstanding Teaching!
20 August 2013: The Johnson and Surendranath Labs enjoyed an afternoon of intense laser tag action:
17 June 2013: The group welcomes two visiting students: Marco Messina from Mark Olsen's lab at Texas A&M and Tianyuan (Ryan) Liu from Roxbury Community College. It's great to have you both!
3 June 2013: Alex's JACS paper receives media attention:
30 May 2013: Carbene surfaces featured as the MIT homepage spotlight!
13 May 2013: Alex's "addressable carbenes for gold surfaces" JACS paper appears online. Congrats Alex!
3 May 2013: Discussion of our "Network Disassembly Spectrometry" (NDS) method in PNAS:
23 April 2013: "Photo-growth" paper highlighted in Nature Chemistry:
27 February 2013: Huaxing's photo-growth paper highlighted by various media outlets:
2 February 2013: The Johnson Group on their first somewhat annual ski trip:
18 January 2013: Huaxing's "photo-controlled gel growth" Angewandte Chemie paper appears online. Congrats Huaxing!
16 January 2013 : Two bits of great news:
(1) Huaxing's "photo-controlled gel growth" paper chosen as a "Hot Paper" by the editors of Angewandte Chemie: Angewandte "Hot Papers"
(2) Huaxing's PNAS paper on counting loops highlighted in Nature News and Views: Nature News and Views
27 November 2012: "Brush-first" paper highlighted in SYNFACTS .
15 November 2012: The group welcomes four 1st-year graduate students: Angela, Ken, Michelle, and Molly!
9 November 2012: Counting loops by "S/L Method" paper appears in PNAS (click on the image below to access the paper). Congrats Huaxing, Jen, and Alexandra!
4 October 2012: "Pseudo-alternating polymers" paper appears in Macromolecules. Congrats Alan and Alex!
6 September 2012: "Brush-first" paper appears in JACS. Congrats Jenny, Alan and Alex!
19 July 2012: The Johnson Group beach volleyball team:
1 June 2012: We welcome Eva-Maria Schoen to the group! Eva-Maria is visitng from Professor David Diaz Diaz's group. We are thrilled to have her here for the summer!
20 May 2012: The Johnson group celebrates their 6-month anniversary with an exciting day of food, drink, and laser tag.
8 May 2012: Johnson group journal blog launched. Click HERE to see what the group is reading.
30 March 2012: Alan O. Burts receives an NSF graduate fellowship. Alex receive's a Morse Travel Grant for the Fall 2012 ACS Meeting in Philadelphia. Congrats Alan and Alex!
17, 24 February 2012: The Johnson group celebrates the first annual Flory Day(s)! Each student gave a presentation on fundamental aspects of synthetic polymer chemistry. Topics included chain and step-growth polymerization, gelation and network formation, controlled polymerization processes, and polymer architectures. Fun was had by all.
11 November 2011: Welcome first year graduate students Alexandra, Jenny, Alan, Alex, and Jessica to the group! Also, welcome Huaxing Zhou (post-doc) and Elisha Yadgaran (UROP)! First group meeting today.
31 October 2011: Paper that describes EPR studies of nitroxide-labeled brush polymers appears in JACS.
8 September 2011: Classes begin! For info on Jeremiah's course, 5.53 Molecular Structure and Reactivity, go here .
15 August 2011: We welcome Jen Woo to the group!
11 July 2011: The Johnson Group begins! We welcome first year MIT graduate students Melissa Donaldson and Alan Burts!
9 June 2011: Thanks to Tim Swager for inviting Jeremiah to the NSF-sponsored "Future Faculty Workshop: Diverse Leaders of Tomorrow," which was held June 19-21 at the MIT Endicott House. For more information on this year's workshop click here .
1 July 2011: The Johnson group begins!
We seek to cultivate a vibrant and intellectually engaging atmosphere: an “incubator for discovery.”
The solutions to many of mankind’s greatest problems: prevention and treatment of disease, development of alternative energy sources, preservation of natural resources, etc., will rely on the interdisciplinary application of synthetic chemistry. The Johnson laboratory seeks creative, macromolecular solutions to problems at the interface of chemistry, medicine, biology, and materials science. Materials synthesis is approached in an analogous manner to natural-products synthesis; an interesting target structure is chosen and a synthetic scheme is designed to access that structure as efficiently as possible. The targets are designed de novo from careful consideration of the specific needs of a given application and with a particular emphasis on creative architectural design and function. The tools of traditional organic and organometallic synthesis, synthetic polymer chemistry, photochemistry, surface science, and biopolymer engineering are combined to realize the designs.
Just as natural-products chemists must often invent new reaction methodologies to access complex structures and their corresponding derivatives, the Johnson lab will seek to develop new methodologies for the construction and modification of complex material libraries. Iterative library synthesis, function-based screening, and design optimization will ultimately yield basic knowledge, such as structure-function relationships for materials in specific applications, and new materials-based technologies that outperform current alternatives. Some examples of target material platforms and their associated applications are: (1) novel, nanoscopic branched-arm star polymer architectures for in vivo drug/gene delivery and supported catalysis, (2) hybrid synthetic-natural hydrogels for correlation of the effects of network microstructure on cell response, and (3) new types of semiconducting organometallic polymers and polymer films for sensing, supported catalysis, and energy conversion. Taken as a whole, our research focuses on molecular design in three primary areas: nano-scale materials synthesis, macro-scale materials synthesis, and development of new chemical methods for modifying interfaces between bulk and nanoscale objects (surface chemistry).
Dr. Robinson Anandakathir
Greetings! I was born and raised in southern India. I received my B.S. and M.S. degree in Chemistry from Bharathidasan University, India. Later I moved to Taiwan and obtained my Ph.D. (Organic Chemistry) from National Taiwan University in 2003 under the supervision of Prof. Jim-Min Fang where my research was focused on Organic synthesis and Nanomaterials. Then, I joined as a postdoctoral fellow in University of Massachusetts Lowell and worked on several projects with Prof. Long Chiang, Prof. Jayant Kumar and Prof. Bridgette Budhlall. My research at UML was focused on synthesis of fullerene derivatives, development of semipermeable polymer membranes and polymer based chemical sensor for detection of explosive and chemical warfare nerve agents. In August 2015, I joined Samsung Electronics as Research Engineer and Prof. Johnson’s group as visiting scientist where my research will be focused on developing polymer electrolytes for advanced electrochemical energy storage systems. Research aside, I love traveling, reading, working with Christian ministries and exploring North America with my wife and sons.
Dr. Jonathan Barnes
See Jonathan's website. I was born and raised in Louisville, KY. I obtained my BS/MS degrees from the University of Kentucky under the tutelage of Robert Grossman. After graduation, I worked for a biotech company in Los Angeles ‒ Synedgen,Inc. ‒ developing novel antimicrobial derivatives of chitosan and biocompatible, hemostatic foams for the US military. Heading back to graduate school, I obtained my PhD at Northwestern University (September 2010 ‒ February 2014) under the supervision of Sir Fraser Stoddart where my research primarily revolved around the investigation of viologen molecular recognition in the form of synthetic molecular receptors and radical-based integrated materials, in addition to organic-inorganic nanoparticle-based drug release systems. I am now a Life Sciences Research Foundation postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Jeremiah Johnson at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where I am excited to be able to carry out research in the areas of polymer science and drug delivery. Chemistry aside, I love watching movies, reading, playing basketball, and exploring Boston with my wife and son. Also, I am an avid Lakers and UK basketball fan. Go CATS!
Dr. Mao Chen
I grew up in Chongqing, a city famous for hot pot in China. After receiving B.S. degree in Wuhan University, I did my Ph.D. research focused on organic synthesis in the same university under the supervision of Prof. Aiwen Lei. Then, I joined Prof. Stephen L. Buchwald group at MIT for my postdoctoral study of continuous-flow manufacturing from 2012 to 2014. In Oct. 2014, I joined Prof. Jeremiah A. Johnson Group as a postdoctoral scientist, where I will be able to explore polymerization.
Dr. Qixian Chen
I was born and raised in Dalian, a fashionable and pleasant city located on the tip of Liaodong Peninsula in northeastern China. After completion of my undergraduate education in the field of Material Science and Engineering in Dalian University of Technology, I started graduate research under the supervision of Prof. Kazunori Kataoka at The University of Tokyo, Japan. My research focused on the design of multi-functional polymers as synthetic nucleic acids & anti-cancer drug delivery carriers for treatment of intractable diseases, e.g., pancreatic cancers and Alzheimer's disease. In Apr. 2015, I joined Prof. Jeremiah A. Johnson group as a postdoctoral scientist to pursue translation of new chemistry platforms into biomedical applications.
My name is Shihong (Will) Ding and I come from Jiangxi Province China to which mountains and lakes belong such as Mount Lu and Poyang Lake. I am now a senior student in Tianjin University and I will conduct my graduation project here at MIT in the Johnson Lab working with Dr. Mao Chen. In my junior year I studied a sensor for Cd2+ in wastewater and I worked on improving the photon absorption of photocatalytic behavior of materials like C3N4. I learned polymer chemistry and polymer physics in the second semester of my junior year, then I became interested in polymers and I would like to generate a new polymer with light-responsive properties. My research in MIT is about photo-activated polymer. I am so excited to conduct such amazing experiments and I will try my best to accomplish them. Besides Chemistry, I like sports and music. When I am free, I usually play basketball for exercise or play the guitar for fun. Welcome to join the Johnson Group for the exciting chemistry experience!
I am a local girl who grew up ~20 miles away in Natick, MA. I received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. During my undergraduate education, I worked in the Coughlin group synthesizing photo-cleavable polymers and with Prof. Ramanathan Nagarajan modeling peptide adsorption to lipid bilayers. I am very excited to continue studying polymer chemistry in the Johnson group! In my free time, I enjoy making a mess in the kitchen, playing the oboe, and reading.
I was born in Ecuador, but moved to Union City, NJ (right next to NYC!) at the age of 12 and have lived there since 2005. I’m currently studying chemistry and biology. In the Johnson lab I’m combining both chemistry and biology to make all sorts of materials, mainly hydrogels: these things are cool. But when I’m not in lab (or class or doing homework), I like to spend my time either watching popular TV shows, listening to music, or reading high fantasy.
Matt was raised in America’s largest town, Framingham, MA, before heading to the University of Rochester to earn his BS in Chemistry. While in upstate New York, he conducted research in Prof. Patrick Holland’s lab, was a member of the swim team, and became proficient in hiking across a snowy campus. He was also a DAAD-RISE Scholar with Prof. Stefan Hecht in Berlin, Germany where he first became interested in organic materials. Matt moved back to Massachusetts in 2010 to begin graduate school at Boston University with Prof. Ramesh Jasti. Later, he moved with the group to the University of Oregon where he obtained his PhD in 2015. During his doctoral studies, Matt’s research was focused on the organic synthesis and characterization of small molecule carbon nanotube fragments. He joined Prof. Jeremiah Johnson’s group in October 2015 to apply his passion for making molecules and materials towards broad problems in polymer chemistry. In his free time, Matt enjoys shooting photos, cooking, exploring the gym, and travelling.
I was raised in Ningbo, a beautiful costal city in China. I received my B.S. in Chemical Biology from Tsinghua University (Beijing, China). In my undergraduate education, I worked in Prof. Huaping Xu’s lab synthesizing tellurium-containing polymers as drug-delivery vehicles (Believe it or not, they are actually quite bio-compatible!). In 2013, I took a summer research position in Prof. Steve Granick’s lab at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, where I was trained as a polymer physicist and finally fell in love with polymer physics. In the Johnson group, I’m excited to explore uncharted territory at the interface between hydrogel chemistry, gelation physics, and even cell migration. Let’s wish me good luck.
Gihan was born in San Jose, CA but moved to the small town of East Lyme, CT at an early age. In an attempt to get away from cold New England winters, he attended Duke University in Durham, NC (obligatory Duke basketball shout out goes here), where he received a B.S. in chemistry with minors in biology and French. While at Duke, he worked in the lab of Professor Stephen L. Craig. There, he studied mechanochemistry, initially by synthesizing force reactive molecules and later designing & constructing active materials with latent chemomechanical functionality. When deciding what his life would entail following his graduation from Duke, Gihan realized that he missed frigid temperatures and Dunkin Donuts and chose to return to New England to continue his studies at MIT. Now, as a member of the Johnson group, he is excited to synthesize polymers for a variety of applications. In his spare time, Gihan enjoys playing tennis, reading French poetry, and writing short (auto)biographies.
I grew up in the town of Stow, MA famous for its apple farms. I got my BA in Biochemistry from Columbia University where I learned a great deal in the lab of Luis Campos. There, I developed an avid interest in polymer chemistry and its various applications in photovoltaics, energy storage, and gene transfection. Now, I'm excited to be a graduate student back in my home state of Massachusetts. In the Johnson group, I aim to further my understanding of macromolecular research through studying polymerization techniques and systems for drug delivery.
Ken studied chemistry and biology at Cornell University and graduated with a BA in May 2012. Although his undergraduate research was in small molecule synthesis, he is interested in polymer chemistry and counting primary loops. He is also an amateur powerlifter, likes to slackline, and enjoys going to BSO performances.
Raised in McLean, Virginia, Julie is currently a sophomore at MIT majoring in Biological Engineering. As a pre-med student, she is interested in research with medical implications. She first UROPed at the Koch Institute in Dr. Peter Ghoroghchian’s lab, synthesizing upconverting rare-earth metal doped nanoparticles used for imaging tumors. Now as part of the Johnson group, she is excited to explore nanoparticles from a chemistry perspective. Outside of academics, Julie enjoys watching football, being involved in MIT Asian Christian Fellowship, and shooting for MIT’s Sport Pistol Team.
I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; I received a B.S. in chemistry from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Through my undergraduate research experience, I became interested in the interdisciplinary nature of chemistry through work on metalloproteins, molecular electronics, and polyazobenzenes. As part of the Johnson group, I am excited to apply materials and synthetic chemistry for biological applications including therapeutic uses. In addition to chemistry, some of my favorite activities include exploring new places, capturing photos, and cooking up tasty dishes.
I was raised in picturesque Ithaca, NY where I received my B.A. in chemistry and economics from Cornell University. During my undergraduate research with Francis DiSalvo, I became interested in materials science and inorganic chemistry. As a member of the Johnson group, I am excited to apply and expand upon my interests at the interface of organometallic and polymer chemistry. Beyond the lab, I enjoy cooking and exploring the great outdoors, even a bog on occasion.
Originally from Vietnam, I came to the States in 2009 for my undergraduate study. I attended Northern Virginia Community College, and then transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to finish my B.S. in Chemistry. During my undergraduate study, I worked on developing a radiopaque iodine-containing bone cement in Dr. Valerie Ashby’s lab (UNC-CH) and multi-stimuli responsive nanocapsule systems under Prof. Katharina Landfester (MPI-P), both of which clearly shaped my interest in polymer design and its vast potential in the biomedical field. Upon graduation, I worked on impurity characterization and API release profiling in oncology drugs at GSK. Joining the Johnson group, I will be working on developing ROMP-based BASP nanoparticles for applications in biomedicine, including imaging and drug delivery.
I was born in Seoul, South Korea, but grew up in the plains of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I am now a junior majoring in Chemistry and interested in the interface of medicine, research, and finance. Before coming to MIT, I was a summer intern in the lab of Prof. Helen Blau at Stanford Medical School and Dr. Vincent Manganiello at the National Institutes of Health. During my first two years at MIT, I worked in the lab of Prof. David Sabatini at the Whitehead Institute, characterizing a transmembrane protein important for amino acid sensing in a metabolic pathway. After taking a class on inorganic chemistry, I became fascinated by polymers and material synthesis. I am excited to be a part of the Johnson group to do research in the field of polymer science. Outside of lab, I enjoy horseback riding, playing tennis, golfing, and performing at piano competitions.
Dr. Yufeng Wang
I received my B.S. in chemistry from Peking University (Beijing, China) in 2008, where I learned polymer chemistry with the guidance of prof. Xinhua Wan. I then moved to New York City and joined the group of prof. Marcus Weck at NYU’s department of chemistry, studying the fabrication and self-assembly of complex materials including colloids and polymers. Under the supervision of both Prof. Marcus Weck and Prof. David Pine, I obtained my Ph. D. in chemistry in May 2014. After graduation, I stayed at NYU and worked as a research scientist in prof. Pine’s group for several months, exploring the crystallization of DNA coated microparticles. I am now a postdoctoral scientist in Prof. Jeremiah Johnson’s lab at MIT. My research is focused on creating dynamic yet robust polymer materials through molecular self-assembly.
1st-Year Graduate Student
Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Julia earned a B.S. in chemistry and minored in biochemistry and cell biology at Rice University. As an undergraduate, she explored several areas of materials research, including single molecule spectroscopy and viral engineering at Rice as well as polymeric gene delivery as an Amgen scholar at UW. Julia also spent a summer as a visiting MPC CMSE intern at MIT, where she studied molecular defects in polymer networks in the Johnson and Olsen groups. She enjoyed the experience so much that she returned to MIT and the Johnson group to specialize in polymer chemistry as a graduate student. Julia spends her free time drawing, making music, and watching movies.
Dr. Mingjiang Zhong
I grew up in Guiyang, the capital city of Guizhou province, P.R.China. After receiving my B.S. degree in double majors of Chemistry and Mathematics at Peking University under the supervision of Prof. Yun-Dong Wu, I pursued my Ph.D. degree at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) under the direction of Profs. Krzysztof Matyjaszewski and Tomasz Kowalewski. My primary research interests at CMU spanned the subjects of mechanistic study of reversible-deactivation radical polymerization, macromolecular self-assembly, nanocarbon and soft materials for energy storage and conversion applications. In October 2013, I joined the groups of Profs. Jeremiah A. Johnson and Bradley D. Olsen as a joint postdoctoral fellow, where my research will be focused on design and physical characterization of complex polymeric structures such as hydrogels and molecular brushes.
When I was 11, I moved from my hometown Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine to a suburb of Chicago. As an undergraduate at Northwestern University, I completed the Integrated Science Program, and studied mathematics and chemistry. Since my first taste of chemistry research in Tobin Marks’s group and throughout my work in SonBinh Nguyen’s group at NU I have been drawn to problems that were at the interface of materials science and organic chemistry. In the Johnson group, my research continues to be interdisciplinary, encompassing organic and organometallic synthesis, polymer chemistry, and surface science. When not doing chemistry, I enjoy playing guitar, soccer, and exploring Boston with my wife.