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SQI: Simpson Querry Institute

News and Announcements

Read the most recent Simpson Querrey Institute (SQI) news below, and subscribe to our newsletters to stay informed about what is happening at SQI.

Kelley to lead new biomedical research hub

March 3, 2023

SQI member Shana Kelley has been selected as president of a new biomedical research hub in Chicago funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). CZI will invest $250 million over a decade into the biohub, which will bring together scientists from three Illinois universities to develop tiny sensors that measure biological processes in human tissues. The work is expected to provide new insights into inflammation and how it contributes to disease.

Stupp awarded Bauerman Medal

February 20, 2023

SQI director Samuel Stupp has been awarded the Bauerman Medal from the Materials Department at Imperial College London. The medal and accompanying prize lecture highlight advances in materials science and engineering. Stupp’s lecture, Frontiers in Supramolecular Design of Materials, will be delivered on March 15.

Randy Atwal

Meet the Researchers: Randy Atwal

January 23, 2023
Randy Atwal is a Research Assistant Professor in the laboratory of SQI member Shana Kelley and the featured speaker for the Rising Stars of SQI Lecture on Feb. 3. In this interview, Atwal previews his lecture titled “LEAPFROG: Large-Scale Cell Profiling Based Discovery Engine” and discusses his role in the translationally focused Kelley group.
vertical electrochemical transistor

Vertical electrochemical transistor pushes wearable electronics forward

January 23, 2023
A transdisciplinary Northwestern University research team including SQI member Jonathan Rivnay has developed a revolutionary transistor that is expected be ideal for lightweight, flexible, high-performance bioelectronics. The electrochemical transistor is compatible with blood and water and can amplify important signals, making it especially useful for biomedical sensing.

Mature ‘lab grown’ neurons hold promise for neurodegenerative disease

January 12, 2023

Researchers led by SQI members Evangelos Kiskinis and Samuel Stupp have created the first highly mature neurons from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), a feat that opens new opportunities for medical research and potential transplantation therapies for neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic injuries.

Not only were the enriched neurons more mature, they also demonstrated enhanced signaling capabilities and greater branching ability, which is required for neurons to make synaptic contact with one another. And, unlike typical stem cell-derived neurons which tend to clump together, these neurons did not aggregate, making them less challenging to maintain.

Northwestern Magazine highlights regenerative medicine research

January 11, 2023
Northwestern Magazine published an article in its Winter 2023 issue featuring the work of several SQI members in the field of regenerative medicine. The story highlighted recent and ongoing research from Samuel Stupp and Guillermo Ameer, as well as specific projects from Evan Scott, Arun Sharma, Susan Quaggin, Lorenzo Gallon and Guillermo Oliver.
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.