Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry
photo of Newell R. Washburn

Newell R. Washburn

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering (courtesy)

Carnegie Mellon University

email: washburn at andrew dot cmu dot edu

Phone: (412) 268-2130

Fax: (412) 268-1061

Office: Mellon Institute 814

group website

Faculty & Research

Newell R. Washburn

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering

Research Areas

Materials chemistry, biomaterials, green chemistry, machine learning

Research in the Washburn Group focuses on the development of new materials with novel compositions or architectures. The goals of the research are in elucidating fundamental properties and the structure-function relationships as well as exploring technological applications. Of particular interest is the development of materials based on renewable resources. Current research areas include surfactants and nanocomposites based on the biopolymer lignin, non-fouling interfaces for medical diagnostics, high-affinity adsorbents for the selective recovery of metals from aqueous systems, and conducting-polymer binders for battery electrodes.

Education and Appointments
Years Position or Degree
2010–present Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
2004–2010 Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
2000–2004 Research Chemist, Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology
1998–2000 Post-Doctoral Associate, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota
1998 Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California (Berkeley)
1993 B.S., Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Awards and Distinctions
Years Award
2010 Coulter Foundation Translational Research Award
2005 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Grant
Selected Publications

Elucidating Multi-Physics Interactions in Suspensions for the Design of Polymeric Dispersants: A Hierarchical Machine Learning Approach. Menon A, Gupta C, Perkins KM, DeCost BL, Budwal N, Rios RT, Zhang K, Poczos B, Washburn NR. 2017; 2: 263-273.

Transport patterns of anti-TNF-α in burn wounds: Therapeutic implications of hyaluronic acid conjugation. Friedrich EE, Washburn NR. Biomaterials, 2017; 114: 10-22.

Poly(ethylene glycol)-grafted lignosulfonate superplasticers: improving performance by increasing steric interactions. Gupta C, Perkins KM, Rios RT, Washburn NR. Adv. Cem. Res. 2017; 29: 2-10.

Non-fouling hyaluronic acid coatings for improved sandwich ELISA measurements in plasma. Ramadan MH, Sansone NJ, Pendergast LM, Friedrich EE, Washburn NR. Analytical Methods. 2016; 8: 1222-1228.

Extraordinary Toughening and Strengthening Effect of Lignin-Based Fillers Synthesized by ATRP: Towards a Sustainable Material Platform for High Performance Polymers. Shah T, Gupta C, Ferebee RL, Bockstaller MR, Washburn NR. Polymer. 2015; 72: 406-412.

Molecular architecture requirements for polymer-grafted lignin superplasticizers. Gupta C, Sverdlove MJ, Washburn NR. Soft Matter. 2015; 11: 2691-2699. DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02675F.

Reducing Protein Adsorption with Polymer-Grafted Hyaluronic Acid Coatings. Ramadan MH, Prata JE, Karacsony O, Duner G, Washburn NR. Langmuir. 2014; 30:7485-7495.