New Faculty Commencing January 1, 2023

Zheng ShiPostdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University, 2019-2022 (Chad A. Mirkin)
Ph.D., Polymer Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014-2019 (Jeremiah A. Johnson)
B.S., Chemical Biology, Tsinghua University, 2010-2014 (Huaping Xu)


Yuwei received his B.S. in Chemical Biology from Tsinghua University in Beijing, where he performed research in Prof. Huaping Xu’s lab on main group element-containing polymers and biomaterials. During this period, he also had the opportunity to join Prof. Steve Granick’s group at the University of Illinois as a summer researcher in 2013 and received additional trainings on polymer and soft matter physics. The exposure to the beauty of polymer science in his undergraduate years led him to pursue his graduate study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he joined Prof. Jeremiah Johnson’s group to study using synthetic chemistry to understand and control the topological structures of polymer networks. After obtaining his Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry and the Program of Polymers and Soft Matter in 2019, he continued his longstanding passion for macromolecules and joined Prof. Chad Mirkin’s group as a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, where he extended his interest to biomacromolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins. During his postdoctoral period, in addition to developing a new selective transport mechanism using DNA molecules as “gates”, he also demonstrated a new way of constructing protein cages that did not exist in nature. Both works hold promise for novel platforms that controllably deliver therapeutics. Yuwei started his independent career in January 2023 as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University.

Future Research

Research in the Gu Lab will be at the interface of synthetic polymers and biomacromolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins. By applying a unified view on molecules that have macromolecular origins, we are fundamentally interested in designing and synthesizing macromolecular systems/materials that possess life-like features (i.e., macromolecular biomimicry). We hope our lab’s research will ultimately bring new insights to solving challenges across various disciplines, including biotechnology, healthcare, sustainability, and autonomous materials. The Gu Lab is actively seeking for motivated students and researchers to join the group. We especially welcome undergraduate students to join us. Having worked with many excellent undergraduate researchers in the past, we greatly appreciate how undergraduate students can help shape and define the research group. Moreover, Yuwei found his passion for polymers when working as an undergraduate researcher in the Xu group and the Granick group, so he wishes to perpetuate the pattern to younger students. More information about Yuwei’s research can be found on his group website: Students interested in joining the Gu Lab are encouraged to contact Yuwei directly: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..