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Adrian Figg

Assistant Professor (Fall 2021)
313E Davidson Hall

Research Interests

Biological systems use macromolecules (e.g., proteins, nucleic acids, oligosaccharides) for precise and complex functions. There is a significant opportunity to realize biohybrid systems with emergent properties by combining these biological macromolecules with synthetic ones. Our group studies how we can leverage polymer chemistry to control, mimic, exploit, and repurpose biological systems. To this end, we study the chemistry of protein, DNA, and cellular microenvironments to learn how to design polymers for biohybrid systems that mimic and surpass those found in Nature.

  1. Figg, C. A.; Winegar, P. H.; Hayes, O. G.; Mirkin, C. A. Controlling the DNA Hybridization Chain Reaction. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020142, 8596-8601. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jacs.0c02892
  2. Figg, C. A.; Hickman, J. D.; Scheutz, G. M.; Shanmugam, S.; Carmean, R. N.; Tucker, B. S.; Boyer, C.; Sumerlin, B. S. Color-Coding Visible Light Polymerizations to Elucidate the Activation of Trithiocarbonates using Eosin Y. Macromolecules 201851, 1370-1376. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.macromol.7b02533
  3. Figg, C. A.; Carmean, R. N.; Bentz, K. C.; Mukherjee, S.; Savin, D. A.; Sumerlin, B. S. Tuning Hydrophobicity to Program Block Copolymer Assemblies from the Inside Out. Macromolecules 201750, 935-943https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.macromol.6b02754
  4. Figg, C. A.; Simula, A.; Gebre, K. A.; Tucker, B. S.; Haddleton, D. M.; Sumerlin, B. S. Polymerization-Induced Thermal Self-Assembly (PITSA). Chem. Sci. 20156, 1230-1236. https://pubs.rsc.org/am/content/articlehtml/2015/sc/c4sc03334e
  • Weinberg Family Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2020
  • ACS PMSE Division Future Faculty Scholar, 2019
  • International Institute for Nanotechnology Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2018
  • Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Science TL1 Postdoctoral Training Fellowship, 2018
  • George and Josephine Butler Polymer Research Award, 2017
  • M. A. Battiste Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, 2016
  • B.A. in Chemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2013
  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Florida, 2018
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Northwestern University, 2018-2021