The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Gregory N. Tew


Research areas include biology-materials interface, bio-inspired and biomimetic structures, directed self-assembly, supramolecular polymer science, hydrogels, cytosolic delivery, proteins and antibodies.

Current Research
This century will be defined by advancements at the interface of biology and materials science. Comprehensive solutions to the delivery challenge require interdisciplinary teams from physical and life sciences. Over the last decade, our laboratory has provided a number of seminal contributions to this interface. Specifically, we have pioneered the design of smart, advanced polymers with biological activity rivaling peptides and proteins. More recently our attention has been focused on the interface between soft materials and immunology.

In one major thrust, we are interested in understanding how to program molecules with the necessary information to self-order into complex, hierarchical functional materials. Another thrust is elucidating the rules required to create biomimetics with structure and function rivaling proteins. This leads to materials with an array of interesting properties from sensors and magnetism to drug delivery and novel membranes. At the immunology interface, we have novel delivery vectors that enable nucleic acid, protein, and antibody delivering into primary immune cells. We have revolutionized research with Cre recombinase, discovered new roles for NOTCH1, and are currently exploring highly effective immunomodulators for controlling the immune response. Our design principles are widely applicable and we are collaborating with experts in Food Science to change how nutraceuticals are delivered.

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Academic Background

  • BS North Carolina State University, 1995
  • PhD University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2000
D. T. Martin, C. J. Holmes, H. Z. Kaimakliotis, C. J. Cheng, K. Zhang, J. Liu, M. A. Wheeler, W. K. Kelly, G. N. Tew, W. M. Saltzman, R. M. Weiss, "Nanoparticles for Urothelium Penetration and Delivery of the Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Belinostat for Treatment of Bladder Cancer," Nanomed: NBM, 9, 1124-1134, (2013). doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2013.05.017
O. Tezgel, G. Gonzalez-Perez, J. C. Telfer, B. A. Osborne, L. M. Minter, G. N. Tew, "Novel Protein Transduction Domain Mimics as Nonviral Delivery Vectors for siRNA Targeting NOTCH1 in Primary Human T Cells," Mol Ther, 21, 201-209, (2013). doi: 10.1038/mt.2012.209
H. D. Thaker, A. Cankaya, R. W. Scott, G. N. Tew, "Role of Amphiphilicity in the Design of Synthetic Mimics of Antimicrobial Peptides with Gram-Negative Activity," ACS Med Chem Lett, 4, 481-485, (2013). doi: 10.1021/ml300307b
Som, N. Navasa, A. Percher, R. W. Scott, G. N. Tew, J. Anguita, "Identification of Synthetic Host Defense Peptide Mimics that Exert Dual Antimicrobial and Anti-Inflammatory Activities," Clinical & Vaccine Immun, 19, 1784-1971, (2012). doi: 10.1128/CVI.00291-12
H. D. Thaker, A. Som, F. Ayaz, D. Lui, W. Pan, R. W. Scott, J. Anguita, G. N. Tew, “Synthetic Mimics of Antimicrobial Peptides with Immunomodulatory Responses,” JACS, 134, 11088-11091, (2012). doi: 10.1021/ja303304j
Contact Info

Departments of Polymer Science & Engineering and Veterinary & Animal Science
Molecular & Cellular Biology Program
Silvio O Conte National Center for Polymer Research
120 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 577-1612