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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.
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.
Susan Quaggin

Quaggin elected to National Academy of Inventors

December 8, 2021
SQI faculty member Susan Quaggin has been elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. She joins the academy’s roster of fellows selected for prolific innovations that have made an impact on the quality of life, economic development or welfare of society.
Spinal cord section

‘Dancing molecules’ successfully repair severe spinal cord injuries

November 11, 2021
Researchers led by SQI director Samuel Stupp have developed a new injectable therapy that harnesses “dancing molecules” to reverse paralysis and repair tissue after severe spinal cord injuries. In a new study published in Science, they administered a single injection to tissues surrounding the spinal cords of paralyzed mice. Just four weeks later, the animals regained the ability to walk.
Michael Vincent

Meet the Researchers: Michael Vincent

October 28, 2021
Michael Vincent is a graduate student in biomedical engineering who is co-advised by 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.
Guillermo Ameer

Ameer named to National Academy of Medicine

October 18, 2021
SQI member Guillermo Ameer has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. Ameer was selected “for pioneering contributions to regenerative engineering and medicine through the development, dissemination, and translation of citrate-based biomaterials."
Samuel Stupp portrait

SQI director Samuel Stupp to receive Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry

September 29, 2021
SQI director Samuel Stupp will receive the 2022 American Chemical Society Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry. Stupp was selected “for his fundamental and groundbreaking work on the supramolecular chemistry of peptide amphiphiles and on their remarkable functionality in biological regeneration.”
CITRELOCK tendon fixation devices

Northwestern-invented biomaterial moves from lab bench to orthopaedic market

September 27, 2021
A medical product based on novel biomaterials pioneered in the laboratory of SQI member Guillermo Ameer will be widely available for use in musculoskeletal surgeries to directly benefit patients. The biomaterial technology, called CITREGEN™, has unique chemical and mechanical properties for orthopaedic surgical applications that help grafted tissue heal.

Hersam named fellow of the American Chemical Society

August 5, 2021

SQI member Mark Hersam is one of 49 members of the American Chemical Society (ACS) who has recently been named an ACS fellow. The fellows program, started in 2009, recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to science, the profession, and the ACS.

Hersam is the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and the director of the Materials Research Center at Northwestern.

Mark Hersam portrait

Two Northwestern faculty receive inaugural Stoddart Award

June 23, 2021
SQI faculty member Mark Hersam and fellow Northwestern University professor Omar Farha have received the inaugural AAAFM-Stoddart Award from the American Association for Advances in Functional Materials (AAAFM). Hersam received the award for his “pioneering contributions to the synthesis, surface science, chemical functionalization and application of low-dimensional nano-electronic materials.”

COVID-19 PCR tests can be freeze dried

June 10, 2021

Northwestern University researchers led by SQI member Michael Jewett have discovered that commercially available polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests can withstand the freeze-drying process, making them shelf-stable for up to 30 days and 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) without sacrificing sensitivity and accuracy. 

The new strategy could help ease logistical challenges, making the “gold standard” tests for COVID-19 more available to help schools, businesses and sporting events safely reopen. It also could be a particularly powerful option for low-resource settings that lack access to reliable electricity and refrigeration.

Jonathan Rivnay portrait

Implantable ‘living pharmacy’ could control body’s sleep/wake cycles

May 13, 2021
A multi-institution team of researchers led by SQI faculty member Jonathan Rivnay has signed a cooperative agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a wireless, fully implantable device that will control the body’s circadian clock, halving the time it takes to recover from disrupted sleep/wake cycles. SQI member Guillermo Ameer is also part of the investigative team, which will receive up to $33 million in funding support over four-and-a-half years.
Formation of lymphatic endothelial progenitor cells

Mitochondria play key role in lymphatic development

May 5, 2021
Mitochondria play a key role in the formation of the lymphatic vasculature, according to a study published in Science Advances and led by SQI faculty member Guillermo Oliver. The investigators found that the organelle controls a key autoregulatory feedback loop operating during lymphatic endothelial cell fate specification, sensing the cells' metabolic needs and local tissue environment.
Neuromorphic circuit

New brain-like computing device simulates human learning

April 30, 2021
A research team co-led by SQI faculty member Jonathan Rivnay has developed a brain-like computing device that is capable of learning by association. Similar to how famed physiologist Ivan Pavlov conditioned dogs to associate a bell with food, researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Hong Kong successfully conditioned their circuit to associate light with pressure.
Vaccine image

Membranes unlock potential to vastly increase cell-free vaccine production

April 22, 2021
By cracking open a cellular membrane, Northwestern University synthetic biologists led by SQI member Michael Jewett have discovered a new way to increase production yields of protein-based vaccines by five-fold, significantly broadening access to potentially lifesaving medicines.
Guillermo Ameer

Ameer named fellow of Materials Research Society

April 2, 2021
SQI faculty member Guillermo Ameer has been named a fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS) for his contributions to regenerative engineering through pioneering work to develop antioxidant citrate-based polymers that are useful for musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, dermal and urological applications.