Research areas include biology-materials interface, bio-inspired and biomimetic structures, supramolecular polymer science, hydrogels, cytosolic delivery, and proteins and antibodies.
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.
Learn more at www.pse.umass.edu/faculty/researchgroup/tew
- BS Chemistry, North Carolina State University, 1995
- PhD Materials Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2000