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SQI: Simpson Querry Institute

2022 News

Human teeth

Variety in enamel composition may predict later tooth health

December 20, 2022
An interdisciplinary team of Northwestern University researchers, including SQI faculty member Stuart Stock, has mapped ions within human teeth and found significant structural differences between samples. These observations may enhance understanding of enamel’s life cycle and impact on human health.
Scientist using a pipette

Proposals sought for ‘moonshot’ bio-nanotechnology research

December 13, 2022
Northwestern University and Tel Aviv University are offering seed funding to promote joint research projects in bio-nanotechnology. The program focuses on new projects that are ambitious, collaborative and innovative, with a preference given to interdisciplinary work.
Zaida Alvarez

Alvarez wins Women in Science Nanotechnology Award

December 8, 2022
SQI visiting scholar Zaida Alvarez won the Women in Science Nanotechnology Award from Muy Interesante, a monthly science magazine in Spain. The award recognized her efforts in developing an injectable therapy that reversed paralysis in mice following severe spinal cord injury.

Ameer named ‘Researcher to Know’ by ISTC

December 2, 2022

SQI member Guillermo Ameer was highlighted as a “Researcher to Know” by the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC), whose annual list recognizes faculty across the state who have made a significant impact in their field. Ameer has pioneered the development of citrate-based biomaterials, now used in FDA-cleared tissue fixation devices, and was one of three researchers listed in the ISTC’s medical technology category.

Samuel Stupp

Stupp selected for MRS Von Hippel Award

November 15, 2022
SQI director Samuel Stupp has been named the recipient of the 2022 Von Hippel Award, the highest honor awarded by the Materials Research Society (MRS). Stupp was selected for pioneering contributions to the development and understanding of a broad range of molecularly designed supramolecular soft materials that function as bioactive scaffolds in regenerative medicine, matrices for photocatalytic activity, and stimuli-responsive robotic structures.

Quaggin named AHA Distinguished Scientist

November 8, 2022
SQI faculty member Susan Quaggin has received a Distinguished Scientist award from the American Heart Association (AHA). The award honors AHA members who have significantly advanced the understanding of cardiovascular, stroke or brain health.
Alexandra Kolot

SQI mourns the passing of Alexandra Kolot

September 23, 2022
The SQI community is mourning the loss of ANTEC director Alexandra Kolot, the longest-standing staff member at the Institute. SQI director Samuel Stupp shared a message on her important contributions to SQI and Northwestern University.
Evan Scott

Scott wins 2022 Biomedical Engineering Society Mid-Career Award

September 6, 2022
SQI member Evan Scott has been selected as the 2022 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Mid-Career Award winner in recognition of his leadership and achievements in biomedical engineering. Scott investigates the basic inflammatory and immunological processes contributing to diverse pathologies and strives to develop targeted therapeutic approaches using engineering- and materials-based strategies.
Monica Olvera de la Cruz

Controlling the shape of chiral molecules

August 24, 2022
A team of Northwestern researchers led by Michael Bedzyk and SQI member Monica Olvera de la Cruz has shown how different shapes of chiral molecules can be created. This insight could be useful in designing chiral molecular assemblies for biosensing, drug delivery and nanoelectronics.
Rebecca Keate

Meet the Researchers: Rebecca Keate

August 9, 2022
Rebecca Keate is a graduate student co-advised by SQI members Guillermo Ameer and Jonathan Rivnay. In this Q&A, Keate previews her Aug. 31 Rising Stars of SQI Lecture titled “Conductive Polymer Form Influences Composite Properties and Cell Response" and discusses her future research plans.
Mark Seniw portrait

Illustrating the invisible: Seniw provides new service through ANTEC

July 22, 2022
Over the past two decades, Mark Seniw has produced thousands of 2D and 3D illustrations for research articles and presentations, journal cover submissions, grant proposals, news releases and websites. He recently landed his 13th journal cover and now offers his Scientific Illustration services to the entire Northwestern research community through SQI's Analytical bioNanoTechnology Equipment Core (ANTEC).
Michael Jewett

Artificial ribosome continues advancing

July 15, 2022
Researchers led by SQI member Michael Jewett have created a new version of an engineered tethered ribosome dubbed Ribo-T, which provides a foundation to propel broad, new efforts in synthetic biology. The advances could lead to new classes of peptide drugs that address rising antibiotic resistance as well as improvements in flexible electronics, adaptive materials and wound-healing materials.
Guillermo Ameer

Ameer wins 2022 Innovation Commercialization Award

July 14, 2022
SQI member Guillermo Ameer has received the 2022 Innovation/Commercialization Award from the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society-Americas (TERMIS-AM). The award recognizes the application of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine in the production of a product or technology that ultimately will benefit patients.
Evan Scott

Advancing medicine with nanocarriers

June 30, 2022
SQI member Evan Scott was profiled in the Spring 2022 issue of Northwestern Engineering Magazine. The article describes Scott’s efforts to use nanocarriers and immunology to combat a range of diseases, including cancer, infectious disease, glaucoma and type 1 diabetes.

Stupp elected to Latin American Academy of Sciences

June 2, 2022

SQI director Samuel Stupp has been elected to the Latin American Academy of Sciences (ACAL), the Academy announced. A native of Costa Rica, Stupp was recognized for leveraging supramolecular chemistry and the self-assembly of organic molecules to develop materials with biological functionality, among other efforts.

SQI graduate students honored for DEI efforts

May 26, 2022
PhD candidates Julia Downing and Sieun Ruth Lee were named the winners of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering’s inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Award sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company. The award recognizes members of the MSE community who participate in outreach and inclusivity efforts, thus creating an environment in which students from underrepresented populations can succeed. Downing and Lee are advised by SQI members Mark Hersam and Samuel Stupp, respectively.
Guillermo Ameer

Ameer wins 2022 Bioactive Materials Lifetime Achievement Award

May 24, 2022
SQI member Guillermo Ameer has been named the 2022 Bioactive Materials Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the Bioactive Materials academic journal. Established in 2021, the annual award recognizes excellence in research and development in the field of bioactive materials.
Zaida Alvarez head shot

Alvarez wins Rafael Hervada Award for spinal cord injury research

May 17, 2022
SQI visiting scholar Zaida Alvarez has received the Rafael Hervada Award for Biomedical Research in recognition of her recent first-author paper in Science describing an injectable therapy that reversed paralysis in mice following severe spinal cord injuries. The Hervada Award honors innovation in scientific and medical research, and is considered one of the top prizes awarded in Spain for biomedical research.
Michael Vincent

Meet the Researchers: Michael Vincent

May 3, 2022
Michael Vincent recently earned his PhD in Biomedical Engineering under co-advisors Mark Johnson and SQI member Evan Scott. In this interview, Vincent discusses his primary projects in the Scott Lab and the work he is currently doing at Grove Biopharma, a startup based on technology developed in the laboratory of SQI member Nathan Gianneschi.
Shana Kelley portrait

Kelley awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

April 18, 2022
SQI member Shana Kelley was one of three Northwestern University faculty members recently named a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. With the fellowship, Kelley will develop a new class of sensors for the human body that will enable continuous monitoring of biochemical markers of health and disease.
SARS-CoV-2 spike protein

New COVID-19 nasal spray outperforms current antibody treatments in mice

April 14, 2022
A new protein-based antiviral nasal spray developed by SQI member Michael Jewett and colleagues at Northwestern University, University of Washington and Washington University at St. Louis is being advanced toward Phase I human clinical trials to treat COVID-19. Designed computationally and refined in the laboratory, the new protein therapies thwarted infection by interfering with the virus’ ability to enter cells. Notably, the top protein also neutralized all tested SARS-CoV-2 variants, something that many clinical antibodies have failed to do.
Macrophages and lymphatic cells

Lymphatics aid heart repair

April 5, 2022
Expression of a pro-lymphangiogenic growth factor after heart injury activates the lymphatic system, spurring leukocytes to help clear away dying cells, according to a study co-led by SQI member Guillermo Oliver and published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The findings cement the lymphatic system’s role in repair after heart attack and has both theoretical and practical therapeutic implications, the researchers said.

Mussels’ underwater glue inspires synthetic cement

March 15, 2022

Using a novel method to arrange molecules, researchers led by SQI member Nathan Gianneschi have created a material that outperforms the extraordinarily strong glue secreted by mussels. Their findings expand on how these protein-like polymers can be used as a platform to create new materials and therapeutics.

“The polymer could be used as an adhesive in a biomedical context, which means now you could stick it to a specific tissue in the body and keep other molecules nearby in one place, which would be useful in wound healing or repair,” Gianneschi said.

Evan Scott

Scott elected as AIMBE fellow

February 18, 2022
SQI member Evan Scott has been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows, the AIMBE announced. Scott was cited for “outstanding contributions to understanding immunological processes contributing to diverse inflammation-driven pathologies, and for therapeutic approaches using biomaterial-based strategies.”
Lou Simpson

SQI remembers Lou Simpson

February 15, 2022
SQI leadership released a statement about the January 8 death of Lou Simpson, whose generous philanthropy has enabled the Institute's investigators to pursue innovative research in regenerative nanomedicine.

Tumors dramatically shrink with new approach to cell therapy

January 28, 2022

Researchers led by SQI member Shana Kelley have developed a new tool to harness immune cells from tumors to fight cancer rapidly and effectively.

Their findings, published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, showed a dramatic shrinkage of tumors in mice compared to traditional cell therapy methods. With a novel microfluidic device that could be 3D printed, the team multiplied, sorted through and harvested hundreds of millions of cells, recovering 400% more of the tumor-eating cells than current approaches.

Guillermo Ameer

Ameer receives the Technology Innovation and Development Award

January 26, 2022
SQI member Guillermo Ameer has received the 2022 Technology Innovation and Development Award, the Society For Biomaterials announced. The award recognizes an individual’s (or a team’s) successful application of basic and applied biomaterials research in the development of a novel medical product or technology that significantly benefits the health and well-being of patients.
ANTEC video trainings

ANTEC enhances training procedures during COVID-19 pandemic

January 20, 2022
Starting in the summer of 2020, the Analytical bioNanotechnology Equipment Core (ANTEC) overhauled its training procedures, enhancing hands-on guidance with a combination of illustrated, step-by-step user guides and detailed instructional videos. Ever since, the flexibility to provide either in-person or remote training has become a part of the core’s routine.
Nanotherapy for Type 1 diabetes

Nanotherapy offers new hope for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes

January 19, 2022
A team of researchers at Northwestern University led by SQI members Evan Scott and Guillermo Ameer has discovered a technique to help make immunomodulation more effective following islet transplantation. The findings could lead to a breakthrough in the treatment of Type 1 diabetes.