Samuel I. Stupp

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Samuel Isaac Stupp
Samuel Stupp.jpg
Samuel I. Stupp
Born (1951-01-09) January 9, 1951 (age 66)
San José, Costa Rica
Residence Chicago, U.S.
Nationality Costa Rican, American
Fields Chemistry, Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering
Institutions Northwestern University
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Northwestern University
Doctoral advisor Stephen Carr
Known for self-assembling materials, peptide amphiphiles, materials for regenerative medicine and solar energy
Notable awards Department of Energy Prize for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment in Materials Chemistry (1991)
Humboldt Award for Senior U.S. Scientists (1997)
Elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1998)
Materials Research Society Medal Award (2000)
American Chemical Society Award in Polymer Chemistry (2005)
Elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (2012)

Samuel I. Stupp (b. Jan. 9, 1951 in San José, Costa Rica), is a Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science, Chemistry, and Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. He is best known for his work on self-assembling materials and supramolecular chemistry. One of his most notable discoveries is a broad class of peptide amphiphiles that self-assemble into high aspect ratio nanofibers with extensive applications in regenerative medicine. He has also made significant contributions to the fields of supramolecular chemistry, nanotechnology, and organic electronic materials. He has over 300 peer-reviewed publications and was one of the 100 most cited chemists in the 2000-2010 decade.

Education and academic career[edit]

Early life and education[edit]

Stupp was born in San José, Costa Rica, the son of immigrants from Eastern Europe. He attended high school at Liceo de Costa Rica, and in 1968 came to the United States to attend UCLA, where he graduated with a BS in chemistry in 1972. He subsequently went to Northwestern University and earned a PhD under Stephen Carr in 1977, studying the molecular origins of electrical polarization in polymers.

Research at UIUC[edit]

Stupp began his independent research career in 1977 as an assistant professor at Northwestern University, but after three years moved to UIUC where he held appointments in Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry and Bioengineering. At UIUC his research focused on materials chemistry and self-assembly.

Research at Northwestern[edit]

In 1999, Stupp returned to Northwestern University as a Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science, Chemistry, and Medicine. In 2000 he was also appointed the Director of the newly formed Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine (IBNAM) at Northwestern’s medical school campus in downtown Chicago.

One of Stupp’s major discoveries occurred soon after his arrival at Northwestern. In 2001, Stupp and postdoctoral fellow Jeffrey Hartgerink discovered a new class of peptide amphiphiles with the ability to self-assemble into nanoscale filaments that mimic components of the extracellular matrix.[1] Consisting of a hydrophobic alkyl tail grafted onto specially designed peptide sequences, these peptide amphiphiles spontaneously form high-aspect ratio nanofibers in water that can present extremely high densities of biological signals on their surface. These molecules have revolutionized the field of bioactive materials for regenerative medicine, with potential applications in bone[2] and cartilage[3] regeneration, angiogenesis[4] for ischemia or peripheral artery disease, cancer therapy,[5] novel therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, stem cell differentiation,[6] spinal cord injury, diabetes,[7] and many other areas.

In addition, Stupp’s laboratory is pursuing fundamental research on hierarchical self-assembly,[8][9] novel materials for solar energy, and self-assembling catalytic systems.

Professional achievements[edit]

Stupp has published over 300 papers in highly respected peer-reviewed scientific journals such as Science, Nature, Journal of the American Chemical Society, and PNAS. He holds over 20 patents, and has started a company, Nanotope, to commercialize his group’s peptide amphiphile technology. Stupp was also listed by Thomson Reuters as one of the top 100 most cited chemists of the 2000-2010 decade.[10] He has mentored hundreds of graduate students and postdocs throughout the course of his career.

Stupp has won numerous awards over the course of his career, including the Department of Energy Prize for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment in Materials Chemistry, the Humboldt Award for Senior U.S. Scientists, the Materials Research Society Medal Award and the American Chemical Society Award in Polymer Chemistry. He is a fellow of several professional societies including the Materials Research Society, the World Biomaterials Congress, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. He holds an honorary degree and a distinguished professorship from the Eindhoven University of Technology and an honorary degree from the University of Costa Rica. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Strasbourg (guest of Jean-Marie Lehn) and held the Juliot Curie Professorship at École Superieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles (guest of late Pierre-Gilles de Gennes) and the Merck-Karl Pfister Visiting Pressorship in Organic Chemistry at MIT. He has served on numerous scientific advisory boards in the US and Europe and is also a member of multiple scientific journal editorial boards. Most recently, on February 9, 2012, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

In 2001 he chaired the first review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative at the request of the White House Economic Council and the National Academy of Engineering. He gave one of the plenary lectures at the 2012 spring meeting of the American Chemical Society on the subject of “Chemistry for Regenerative Medicine”, and was awarded the 2013 Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry by the ACS.

Personal life[edit]

Stupp married Dévora Grynspan in 1972. They currently reside in Chicago, IL. His sister, Roxana Stupp, also resides in Chicago and works as the Director of the Disability Resource Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


  1. ^ Jeffrey D. Hartgerink; Elia Beniash & Samuel I. Stupp (2001). "Self-Assembly and Mineralization of Peptide-Amphiphile Nanofibers". Science. 294 (5547): 1684–8. doi:10.1126/science.1063187. PMID 11721046. 
  2. ^ Alvaro Mata; Yanbiao Geng; Karl J. Henrikson; Conrado Aparicio; Stuart R. Stock; Robert L. Satcher; Samuel I. Stupp (2010). "Bone regeneration mediated by biomimetic mineralization of a nanofiber matrix". Biomaterials. 31 (23): 6004. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.04.013. 
  3. ^ Ramille N. Shah, Nirav A. Shah, Marc M. Del Rosario Lim, Caleb Hsieh, Gordon Nuber, and Samuel I. Stupp (2009). "Supramolecular design of self-assembling nanofibers for cartilage regeneration". PNAS. 107 (8): 3293. doi:10.1073/pnas.0906501107. 
  4. ^ Matthew J. Webber; Jörn Tongers; Christina J. Newcomb; Katja-Theres Marquardt; Johann Bauersachs; Douglas W. Losordo & Samuel I. Stupp (2011). "Supramolecular nanostructures that mimic VEGF as a strategy for ischemic tissue repair". PNAS. 108 (33): 13438. doi:10.1073/pnas.1016546108. 
  5. ^ Stephany M. Standley; Daniel J. Toft; Hao Cheng; Stephen Soukasene; Jing Chen; Srikumar M. Raja; Vimla Band; Hamid Band; Vincent L. Cryns & Samuel I. Stupp (2010). "Induction of Cancer Cell Death by Self-assembling Nanostructures Incorporating a Cytotoxic Peptide". Cancer Research. 70: 3020. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-3267. 
  6. ^ Gabriel A. Silva, Catherine Czeisler, Krista L. Niece, Elia Beniash3, Daniel A. Harrington, John A. Kessler and Samuel I. Stupp (2004). "Selective Differentiation of Neural Progenitor Cells by High-Epitope Density Nanofibers". Science. 303 (5662): 1352. doi:10.1126/science.1093783. 
  7. ^ Lesley W. Chow; Ling-jia Wang; Dixon B. Kaufman; Samuel I. Stupp (2010). "Self-assembling nanostructures to deliver angiogenic factors to pancreatic islets". Biomaterials. 31 (24): 6154. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.04.002. 
  8. ^ Ramille M. Capito, Helena S. Azevedo, Yuri S. Velichko, Alvaro Mata and Samuel I. Stupp (2008). "Self-Assembly of Large and Small Molecules into Hierarchically Ordered Sacs and Membranes". Science. 319 (5871): 1812. doi:10.1126/science.1154586. 
  9. ^ Shuming Zhang, Megan A. Greenfield, Alvaro Mata, Liam C. Palmer, Ronit Bitton, Jason R. Mantei, Conrado Aparicio, Monica Olvera de la Cruz and Samuel I. Stupp (2010). "A self-assembly pathway to aligned monodomain gels". Nature Materials. 9: 594. doi:10.1038/nmat2778.  horizontal tab character in |author= at position 15 (help)
  10. ^

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