Professor and Pritzker Director
Institute for Molecular Engineering
Matthew Tirrell, a pioneering researcher in the fields of biomolecular engineering and nanotechnology, is the founding Pritzker Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering and a senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. He specializes in polymer surface properties, adsorption, adhesion, surface treatment, friction, lubrication, biocompatibility, and self-assembly.
Tirrell was previously affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as professor and chair of the Department of Bioengineering, professor of materials science and engineering and chemical engineering, and faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His honors include membership in the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Indian National Academy of Engineering. He has been a Sloan and a Guggenheim Fellow, a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, and a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society.
From the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Tirrell has received the Allan P. Colburn Award, the Charles Stine Award, the William H. Walker Award, and the Professional Progress Awards. He was the Institute Lecturer in 2001. Additionally, he has served as a member of the boards of directors of the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital System and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.
Tirrell received a PhD in 1977 in polymer science from the University of Massachusetts and a BS in chemical engineering from Northwestern University.
Tirrell joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2011.