Samuel I. Stupp Professor


Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science, Chemistry, Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering; Director, Simpson Querrey Insitute for BioNanotechnology

Research Statement

Research in the Stupp group integrates chemistry with materials science, biology, and medicine. The overarching interest of the group is the development of self-assembling organic materials, focusing on functions relevant to energy and medicine. In the area of energy science, the laboratory’s interests include, materials for solar photovoltaics, catalytic materials that can synthesize solar fuels, supramolecular ferroelectrics for non-volatile memories, and artificial muscle materials for inter-conversion of chemical and mechanical energy. In the area of medicine, the Stupp laboratory is interested in biomaterials for regenerative medicine of the brain, spinal cord, bone, cartilage and muscle, and also on targeted systemic drug delivery using nanostructures for cancer and cardiovascular applications. The organic structures of interest in both areas include, visible light absorbing chromophores, organometallic catalysts, electron donors and acceptors, DNA, peptides, glycopeptides, and polymers, among others. The group is organized into three sub-groups that meet weekly to discuss progress: Self-Assembly, Energy Materials, and Biomaterials. Research activities include, molecular synthesis, characterization of structure with a broad suite of microscopies and synchrotron x-ray scattering, measurement of materials properties, computer simulations, construction of solar cell and other electronic devices, molecular and cell biology, and in vivo studies of the efficacy of materials and nanostructures in biomedical applications.

Group members in the self-assembly subgroup focus on fundamental supramolecular chemistry and materials science aimed at learning how to program molecules to assemble into functional materials. The systems studied cover the broad range of molecular structures and functions of interest to the Stupp laboratory.

The energy materials sub-group is currently focused on materials for solar photovoltaic devices and hydrogels that can harvest light and use catalysts in their three dimensional structure to generate solar fuels such as hydrogen or to reduce carbon dioxide. An important area of interest in this sub-group are hybrid organic-inorganic materials for energy applications, including supercapacitors and dye-sensitized solar cells.

The biomaterials subgroup focuses on the development of bioactive materials for regenerative medicine that can directly signal cells. The chemical systems include self-assembling peptide amphiphiles, DNA nanotechnology, and biopolymers to design solid scaffolds or injectable nanostructures to create a bioactive artificial extracellular matrix. The targets include spinal cord regeneration to avoid paralysis, treatments for Parkinson’s disease, regeneration in the heart after infarct, and strategies to regenerate muscle, bone, and cartilage, among others. Other work in this sub-group focuses on nanostructures for use in systemic targeted therapies.

Selected Publications

Yu, Z; Tantakitti, F.; Yu, T.; Palmer, L. C.; Schatz, G. C.; Stupp, S. I. “Simultaneous Covalent and Non-Covalent Hybrid Polymerizations” Science 2016, 351(6272), 497-502.

Weingarten, A. S.; Kazantsev, R. V.; Palmer, L. C.; Fairfield, D. J.; Koltonow, A. R.; Stupp, S. I. “Supramolecular Packing Controls H2 Photocatalysis in Chromophore Amphiphile
Hydrogels” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137(48), 15241-15246. ACS EDITORS’ CHOICE ARTICLE.

Tayi, A. S.; Kaeser, A.; Matsumoto, M.; Aida, T.; Stupp, S. I. “Supramolecular Ferroelectrics” Nature Chemistry 2015, 7, 281-294.

Stephanopoulos, N.; Freeman, R.; North, H. A.; Sur, S.; Jeong, S. J.; Tantakitti, F.; Kessler, J, A.; Stupp, S. I. “Bioactive DNA-Peptide Nanotubes Enhance the Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells Into Neurons” Nano Letters 2015, 15(1), 603-609. 

Lee, S. S.; Hsu, E. L.; Mendoza, M.; Ghodasra, J.; Nickoli, M. S.; Ashtekar, A.; Polavarapu, M.; Babu, J.; Riaz, R. M.; Nicolas, J. D.; Nelson, D.; Hashmi, S. Z.; Earhart, J. S.; Merk, B. R.; McKee, J. S.; Bairstow, S. F.; Shah, R. N.; Hsu, W. K.; Stupp, S. I. “Gel Scaffolds of BMP-2-binding Peptide Amphiphile Nanofibers for Spinal Arthrodesis” Advanced Healthcare Materials 2015, 4(1), 131-141. 

Weingarten, A. S.; Kazantsev, R. V.; Palmer, L. C.; McClendon, M.; Koltonow, A. R.; Samuel, A. P. S.; Kiebala, D. J.; Wasielewski, M. R.; Stupp, S. I. “Self-Assembling Hydrogel Scaffolds for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production” Nature Chemistry 2014, 6, 964-970. 

Cui, H.; Cheetham, A. G.; Pashuck, E. T.; Stupp, S. I. “Amino Acid Sequence in Constitutionally Isomeric Tetrapeptide Amphiphiles Dictates Architecture of One-Dimensional Nanostructures” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136(35), 12461-12468.

Preslar, A. T.; Parigi, G.; McCLendon, M. T.; Sefick, S. S.; Moyer, T. J.; Haney, C. R.; Waters, E. A.; MacRenaris, K. W.; Luchinat, C.; Stupp, S. I.; Meade, T. J. “Gd(III)-Labeled Peptide Nanofibers for Reporting on Biomaterial Localization In Vivo”  ACS Nano 2014, 8(7), 7325-7332.

Li, A.; Hokugo, A.; Yalom, A.; Berns, E. J.; Stephanopoulos, N.; McClendon, M. T.; Segovia, L. A.; Spigelman, I.; Stupp, S. I.; Jarrahy, R. “A Bioengineered Peripheral Nerve Construct Using Aligned Peptide Amphiphile Nanofibers” Biomaterials 2014, 35(31), 8780-8790.  

Ortony, J. H.; Newcomb, C.; Matson, J. B.; Palmer, L. C.; Doan, P. E.; Hoffman, B. M.; Stupp, S. I. “Internal Dynamics of a Supramolecular Nanofiber” Nature Materials 2014, 13, 812-816.

Boekhoven, J.; Stupp, S. I. “Supramolecular Materials for Regenerative Medicine” Advanced Materials 2014, 26(11), 1642-1659.

Newcomb, C. J.; Sur, S.; Ortony, J. H.; Lee, O-S.; Matson, J. B.; Boekhoven, J.; Yu, J-M.; Schatz, G. C.; Stupp, S. I. “ Cell Death Versus Cell Survival Instructed by Supramolecular Cohesion of Nanostructures” Nature Communications 2014, 5(3321), 1-10.

Berns, E. J.; Sur, S.; Pan, L.; Goldberger, J. E.; Suresh, S.; Zhang, S.; Kessler, J. A.; Stupp, S. I. “Aligned Neurite Outgrowth and Directed Cell Migration in Self-Assembled Monodomain Gels” Biomaterials 2014, 35(1), 185-195. 

Boekhoven, J.; Pérez, C. R.; Sur, S.; Worthy, A.; Stupp, S. I. “Dynamic Display of Bioactivity through Host-Guest Chemistry” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52(46), 12077-12080.  

Ruff, Y.; Moyer, T.; Newcomb, C. J.; Demeler, B.; Stupp, S.I. “Precision Templating with DNA of a Virus Like Particle with Peptide Nanostructures” JACS 2013, 135(16), 6211-6219.

Stephanopoulos, N.; Ortony, J. H.; Stupp, S. I. “Self-Assembly for the Synthesis of Functional Biomaterials” Acta Materialia 2013, 61(3), 912-930.  

Lee, S. S.; Hunag, B. J.; Kaltz, S. R.; Sur, S.; Newcomb, C. J.; Stock, S. R.; Shah, R. N.; Stupp, S. I. “Bone Regeneration with Low Dose BMP-2 Amplified by Biomimetic Supramolecular Nanofibers within Collagen Scaffolds” Biomaterials 2013, 34(2), 452-459.                          

Tayi, A. S.; Shveyd, A. K.; Sue, C-H.; Szarko, J. M.; Rolczynski, B. S.; Cao, D.; Kennedy, T. J.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Stern, C. L.; Paxton, W. F.; Wu, W.; Dey, S. K.; Fahrenbach, A. C.; Guest, J. R.; Mohseni, H.; Chen, L. X.; Wang, K. L.; Stoddart, J. F.; Stupp, S. I. “Room-Temperature Ferroelectricity in Supramolecular Networks of Charge-Transfer Complexes” Nature 2012, 488, 485-489.

Aida, T.; Meijer, E. W.; Stupp, S. I. “Functional Supramolecular Polymers” Science 2012, 335(6070), 813-817.

Webber, M. J.; Tongers, J.; Newcomb, C. J.; Marquardt, K-T.; Bauersachs, J.; Losordo, D. W.; Stupp, S. I. “Supramolecular Nanostructures that Mimic VEGF as a strategy for Ischemic Tissue Repair” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2011, 108(33), 13438-13443.

Shah, R. M.; Shah, N. A.; Del Rosario Lim, M. M.; Hsieh, C.; Nuber, G.; Stupp, S. I. “Supramolecular Design of Self-Assembling Nanofibers for Cartilage Regeneration” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2010, 107(8), 3293-3298.

Cui, H.; Pashuck, E. T.; Velichko, Y. S.; Weigand, S. J.; Cheetham, A. G.; Newcomb, C. J.; Stupp, S. I. “Spontaneous and X-Ray Triggered Crystallization at Long Range in Self-Assembling Filament Networks”Science 2010, 327(5965), 555-559.

Pashuck, E. T.; Cui, H.; Stupp, S. I. “Tuning Supramolecular Rigidity of Peptide Fibers through Molecular Structure” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132(17), 6041-6046.

Standley, M. S.; Toft, D. J.; Cheng, H.; Soukasene, S.; Chen J.; Raja, S. M.; Band, V.; Band, H.; Cryns, V. L.; Stupp, S. I. “Induction of Cancer Cell Death by Self-Assembling Nanostructures Incorporating a Cytotoxic Peptide” Cancer Research 2010, 70(8), 3020-3026.

Zhang, S.; Greenfield, M. A.; Mata, A.; Palmer, L. C.; Bitton, R.; Mantei, J. R.; Aparicio, C.; de la Cruz, M. O.; Stupp, S. I. “A Self-Assembly Pathway to Aligned Monodomain Gels” Nature Materials 2010, 9(7), 594-601.

Muraoka, T.; Koh, C-Y.; Cui, H.; Stupp, S. I. “Light-Triggered Bioactivity in Three Dimensions” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48(32) 5946-5949.

Sofos, M.; Goldberger, J.; Stone, D. A.; Allen, J. E.; Ma, Q.; Herman, D. J.; Tsai. W-W.; Lauhon, L. J.; Stupp. S. I. “A Synergistic Assembly of Nanoscale Lamellar Photoconductor Hybrids” Nature Materials 2009, 8(1), 68-75.

Capito, R.; Azevedo, H.; Velichko, Y. R., Mata, A.; Stupp, S. I. “Self-Assembly of Large and Small Molecules Into Hierarchically Ordered Sacs and Membranes” Science 2008, 319(5871), 1812-1816.

Silva, G. A.; Czeisler, C.; Niece, K. L.; Beniash, E.; Kessler, J. A.; Stupp, S. I. “Selective Differentiation of Neural Progenitor Cells by High-Epitope Density Nanofibers” Science 2004, 303, 1352-1355.

Hartgerink, J. D.; Beniash, E.; Stupp, S. I. “Self-Assembly and Mineralization of Peptide-Amphiphile Nanofibers” Science 2001, 294 (5547), 1684-1688.

Stupp, S. I.; Le Bonheur, V.; Walker, K.; Li, L. S.; Huggins, K.; Keser, M.; Amstutz, A. “Supramolecular Materials: Self Organized Nanostructures” Science 1997, 276, 384-389.

Selected Honors/Awards

  • Elected to American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows (2016)
  • Visiting Professor, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2015)
  • Member, Royal Spanish Academy of Engineering (2015)
  • Thomson Reuters The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds (2014)
  • Distinguished Visiting Scientist of the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Singapore (2014)
  • International Award, The Society of Polymer Science, Japan (2014)
  • President, International Scientific Committee of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, Spain (2014)
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor of Biochemistry, University of Hong Kong  (2014)
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Xeltis Corporation, Zurich, Switzerland (2013)
  • Member, RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science Advisory Council, Japan (2013)
  • Creation of the Samuel I. Stupp Prize in Nanotechnology by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Costa Rica (2013)
  • Honorary Doctorate from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden Medical School (2013)
  • Australian Centre for Nanomedicine Annual Visiting Professorship (2013)
  • International Scientific Advisory Board, Centre for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials-CIC biomaGUNE, Spain (2012)
  • American Chemical Society Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry (2012)
  • Member, National Academy of Engineering (2012)
  • Member, Royal Spanish Academy of Pharmacy (2012)
  • Thomson Reuters Top 100 Chemists for 2000-2010 (2011)
  • Honorary Doctorate, National University of Costa Rica (2011)
  • Michelin Chair, Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie, Paris (2010)
  • Fellow, Materials Research Society (2009)
  • Israel Pollack Distinguished Lecture Series Award, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (2009)
  • Distinguished Professorship, Eindhoven University of Technology (2009)
  • Honorary Doctorate for Revolutionary Research in Complex Molecular Systems, Eindhoven University of Technology (2009)
  • Honorary membership, Israel Chemical Society (2009)
  • Member, World Premier International Program Advisory Committee to Advanced Institute for Materials Research, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan (2008)
  • International Advisory Group, Swedish Government Program on Biomaterials, Gothenburg University (2008)
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board, University of Vienna (2006)
  • American Chemical Society Award in Polymer Chemistry (2005)
  • Merck-Karl Pfister Visiting Professorship, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2004)
  • Fellow, World Technology Network (2003)
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board, National University of Singapore (2003)
  • Member, Baxter Scientific Advisory Board (2001)
  • Member, Solid State Sciences Committee, National Academy of Sciences (2001)
  • Materials Research Society Medal Award (2000)
  • Member, Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, Department of Energy (1999)
  • Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (1999)
  • Elected member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1998)
  • Humboldt Award for Senior U.S. Scientists (1997)
  • Joliot Curie Professorship, Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles (1997)
  • Member, Materials Panel, Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (1995)
  • U.S. Department of Energy Prize for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment in Materials Chemistry (1991)
  • Exclusive consultant to 3M Company (1987)
  • Xerox Faculty Award for Excellence in Engineering Research (1985)
  • 3M Young Faculty Award (1981)