Newell R. Washburn
MI 814

Short Summary

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. The research in my group is broadly focused on development of new materials for technological applications. Our central focus has been on development of polymer gels that locally control inflammation. These cytokine-neutralizing gels can be used to treat many different conditions, and I have started a company to commercialize the technology. We're also working on developing biomaterials based on hyaluronic acid, synthesizing bio-inspired adhesives, and modifying lignin, a plant-derived polymer that could become an important feedstock in materials based on renewable resources. The general thread of our research is bridging fundamental investigations and technological applications, and my students get experience in basic and translational research. I'm also interested in teaching technological innovation and entrepreneurship in science and engineering classes as well as social entrepreneurship and volunteerism.


Graduate Students
  • Liang Tso Sun
  • Allison Elder
  • Nicole Dangelo
  • Hoyong Chung
  • Jewel Pothen
  • Joesph E. Prata
  • Josh Heuslein
  • Emily Friedrich
  • Rima Patel
  • Shayna Hilburg
  • Amer Al-Khouja
  • Projects

    Antibody-Polymer Conjugates
    [ project ] [ paper

    Complex Fluids Based on Hyaluronic Acid
    [ project ] [ paper

    Bio-inspired Adhesives
    [ project ] [ paper

    Polymers from Renewable Resources
    [ project ] [ paper


  • Modern Organic Chemistry I [.doc]
  • Polymeric Biomaterials [.doc]
  • Tutoring

    I run a tutoring program in which CMU students volunteer to tutor high school students in the sciences called Tutornet . We do in-class and on-line tutoring and are always looking for volunteers.


    I am interested in entrepreneurship and have developed a project in Polymeric Biomaterials to introduce students to the subject and give them a basic understanding of how patents and intellectual property work in the context of technological innovation. This is summarized in an article that appears in Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A.


  • 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Grant
  • Coulter Translational Research Award
  • Publications

    Publications List

    Last updated: Nov 9th, 2010