Anne McNeil

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Anne J. McNeil
Born (1977-06-17) June 17, 1977 (age 46)
Alma materCollege of William & Mary, Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Michigan, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Doctoral advisorDavid Collum
Other academic advisorsTimothy M. Swager

Anne J. McNeil (born June 17, 1977) is an American chemist who currently works at the University of Michigan,[1] where she holds the position of Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry and Macromolecular Science and Engineering. In 2017, McNeil was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).[2]


McNeil is from Buffalo, New York. She graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. Her graduate work was with Dave Collum at Cornell University, studying the aggregation kinetics and chemistry of lithium amides and lithium enolates. After earning her PhD in chemistry in 2005, McNeil was a post-doc with Timothy M. Swager at MIT from 2005 to 2007, studying conjugated polymers.[3]

She joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2007 as an assistant professor of Chemistry and Macromolecular Science and Engineering. She became an Arthur F. Thurnau professor in September 2013, and a professor for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2014.[3]

Scientific career[edit]

McNeil's lab at the University of Michigan is known for providing mechanistic understanding to the catalyst transfer polymerization process, helping to show that the likely intermediate is a catalyst-polymer π-complex,[4] but the lab has a diverse focus.

For her work on conjugated polymers, there has been considerable focus on expanding the use of catalyst transfer polymerization to make polymers of novel or hard-to-reach architectures (such as conjugated gradient copolymers[5] or insulating-conducting block copolymers[6]) and for studying the properties of new conjugated polymers[7] or new blends of known polymers in solar cells to improve their performance.[8]

Another focus has been on molecular gelation; McNeil has published molecular gels as sensors of many harmful or hard to detect compounds. This is with the underlying assumption that it is easier to determine if a gel has formed (since it will go from a flowing solution to a gel that resists flow) rather than alternatives, such as if a solution has changed color (which can be difficult to discern if the analyte is strongly colored). McNeil's lab has produced gel-based sensors for mercury ions,[9] nitrite ions,[10] explosives,[11] enzymes,[12] and lead ions,[13] which gel when the analyte is present. Many of the gels outperform current sensors for the same materials in sensitivity and in accuracy.


McNeil was one of the first class of Beckman Scholars, receiving an award from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation in 1998.[14] McNeil was also selected for a Beckman Young Investigators Award in 2009.[15]


  1. ^ "Anne McNeil Faculty Profile". University of Michigan Chemistry Faculty. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  2. ^ Erickson, Jim (20 November 2017). "Seven U-M scientists, engineers named 2017 AAAS Fellows". Michigan News. University of Michigan. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Anne J. McNeil, PhD". Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  4. ^ Bryan, Zachary; McNeil, Anne (3 September 2013). "Conjugated Polymer Synthesis via Catalyst-Transfer Polycondensation (CTP): Mechanism, Scope, and Applications" (PDF). Macromolecules. 46 (21): 8395. Bibcode:2013MaMol..46.8395B. doi:10.1021/ma401314x. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  5. ^ Palermo, Edmund; McNeil, Anne (20 July 2018). "Impact of Copolymer Sequence on Solid-State Properties for Random, Gradient and Block Copolymers containing Thiophene and Selenophene" (PDF). Macromolecules. 45 (15): 5948–5955. doi:10.1021/ma301135n. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  6. ^ Souther, Kendra; Leone, Amanda; Vitek, Andrew; Palermo, Edmund; LaPointte, Anne; Coates, Geoff; Zimmerman, Paul; McNeil, Anne (26 October 2017). "Trials and tribulations of designing multitasking catalysts for olefin/thiophene block copolymerizations". Journal of Polymer Science Part A. 56: 132–137. doi:10.1002/pola.28885. hdl:2027.42/139919.
  7. ^ Smith, Mitchell; Leone, Amanda; Zimmerman, Paul; McNeil, Anne (9 December 2016). "Impact of Preferential π-Binding in Catalyst-Transfer Polycondensation of Thiazole Derivatives". ACS Macro Lett. 5 (12): 1411–1415. doi:10.1021/acsmacrolett.6b00886. PMID 35651203.
  8. ^ Palermo, Edmund; McNeil, Anne (26 June 2013). "Impact of p-conjugated gradient sequence copolymers on polymer blend morphology" (PDF). Polymer Chemistry. 4 (17): 4604–4611. doi:10.1039/c3py00601h. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  9. ^ King, Kelsey; McNeil, Anne (1 March 2010). "Streamlined approach to a new gelator: inspiration from solid-state interactions for a mercury-induced gelation" (PDF). Chemical Communications. 46 (20): 3511–3513. doi:10.1039/c002081h. PMID 20582351. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  10. ^ Zurcher, Danielle; Adhia, Yash; Dı´az Romero, Julian; McNeil, Anne (2014-05-27). "Modifying a known gelator scaffold for nitrite detection†" (PDF). Chemical Communications. 50 (58): 7813–7816. doi:10.1039/c4cc02504k. PMID 24905176. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  11. ^ Chen, Jing; Wu, Weiwei; McNeil, Anne (26 May 2012). "Detecting a peroxide-based explosive via molecular gelation" (PDF). ChemComm. 48 (58): 7310–7312. doi:10.1039/c2cc33486k. PMID 22711139. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  12. ^ Bremmer, Steven; McNeil, Anne; Soellner, Matthew (18 December 2013). "Enzyme-triggered gelation: targeting proteases with internal cleavage sites" (PDF). ChemComm. 50 (14): 1691–1693. doi:10.1039/c3cc48132h. PMC 4143987. PMID 24394494. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  13. ^ Veits, Gesine; Carter, Kelsey; Cox, Sarah; McNeil, Anne (2 September 2017). "Developing a Gel-Based Sensor Using Crystal Morphology Prediction". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 138 (37): 12228–12233. doi:10.1021/jacs.6b06269. PMID 27598826.
  14. ^ "A Conversation with Dr. Anne McNeil: Celebrating 20 Years of Beckman Scholars". Beckman News. Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. May 18, 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Anne McNeil". Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2018.