Faculty Directory
Nathan Gianneschi

Jacob & Rosaline Cohn Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science & Engineering and Biomedical Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech J131
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-2106Email Nathan Gianneschi


Nathan Gianneschi Research Group


Biomedical Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering

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Postdoctoral: 2005-2008
Dow Foundation Fellowship through the American Australian Association at The Scripps Research Institute with Prof M. Reza Ghadiri. Studied semi-synthetic programmable enzymatic systems as selective, responsive elements in biomolecule detection and signal amplification.

Graduate: 1999-2005
PhD with advisors Prof. Chad Mirkin and Prof. SonBinh Nguyen at Northwestern University. Developed supramolecular allosteric catalytic systems.

Undergraduate: 1995-1999
B.Sc (Hons) in chemistry from the University of Adelaide, Australia in 1999 under the auspices of Prof. Louis Rendina. Synthesis of hydrogen bonded platinum-based macrocycles.

Research Interests

The Gianneschi laboratory focuses on how nanomaterials interact with cells, tissues and biomolecules, with an interest in synthetic materials programmed with biopolymers as delivery systems, enzyme-responsive targeting systems and gel-forming materials for IV injection of self-assembling probes and therapeutic nanoparticles. Each of these projects involves the development of fluorescence, and MRI-contrast agent labeled polymeric and nanoparticle systems. Furthermore, we have programs supporting basic research efforts in the development of responsive materials and “smart” nanoparticles as well as a large program focused on developing new techniques for the discovery of functional nanomaterials and bionanomaterials via library screening methodologies being developed in our group. This work is supported and underlined by a heavy emphasis on the development of advanced characterization tools for capturing dynamics of self-assembled nanoparticles and complex nanoscale materials in biological milieu including the in vivo and ex vivo analyses of targeted tissues. 

Selected Publications

  • Proetto, Maria T.; Callmann, Cassandra E.; Cliff, John; Szymanski, Craig J.; Hu, Dehong; Howell, Stephen B.; Evans, James E.; Orr, Galya; Gianneschi, Nathan, Tumor Retention of Enzyme-Responsive Pt(II) Drug-Loaded Nanoparticles Imaged by Nanoscale Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry and Fluorescence Microscopy, ACS Central Science 4(11):1477-1484 (2018).
  • Wright, Daniel B.; Touve, Mollie A.; Thompson, Matthew P.; Gianneschi, Nathan C., Aqueous-Phase Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly, ACS Macro Letters 7(4):401-405 (2018).
  • Evans, Austin M.; Parent, Lucas R.; Flanders, Nathan C.; Bisbey, Ryan P.; Vitaku, Edon; Kirschner, Matthew S.; Schaller, Richard D.; Chen, Lin X.; Gianneschi, Nathan C.; Dichtel, William R., Seeded growth of single-crystal two-dimensional covalent organic frameworks, Science 361(6397):52-57 (2018).
  • Touve, Mollie A.; Figg, C. Adrian; Wright, Daniel B.; Park, Chiwoo; Cantlon, Joshua; Sumerlin, Brent S.; Gianneschi, Nathan C., Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly of Micelles Observed by Liquid Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy, ACS Central Science 4(5):543-547 (2018).
  • Parent, Lucas R.; Bakalis, Evangelos; Proetto, Maria; Li, Yiwen; Park, Chiwoo; Zerbetto, Francesco; Gianneschi, Nathan C., Tackling the Challenges of Dynamic Experiments Using Liquid-Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy, Accounts of chemical research 51(1):3-11 (2018).
  • Parent, Lucas R.; Bakalis, Evangelos; Ramírez-Hernández, Abelardo; Kammeyer, Jacquelin K.; Park, Chiwoo; De Pablo, Juan; Zerbetto, Francesco; Patterson, Joseph P.; Gianneschi, Nathan C., Directly Observing Micelle Fusion and Growth in Solution by Liquid-Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy, Journal of the American Chemical Society 139(47):17140-17151 (2017).
  • Adamiak, Lisa; Touve, Mollie A.; Leguyader, Clare L.M.; Gianneschi, Nathan C., Peptide Brush Polymers and Nanoparticles with Enzyme-Regulated Structure and Charge for Inducing or Evading Macrophage Cell Uptake, ACS nano 11(10):9877-9888 (2017).
  • Ungerleider, J. L.; Kammeyer, J. K.; Braden, R. L.; Christman, K. L.; Gianneschi, N. C., Enzyme-targeted nanoparticles for delivery to ischemic skeletal muscle, Polymer Chemistry 8(34):5212-5219 (2017).

Selected Publications

Ungerleider, J.; Kammeyer, J.K.; Braden, R. L.; Christman, K. L.; Gianneschi, N. C. “Enzyme-Targeted Nanoparticles for Delivery to Ischemic Skeletal Muscle” Polymer Chemistry 2017.

Nguyen, M. M.; Carlini, A. S.; Chien, M. –P.; Sonnenberg, S.; Luo, C.; Braden, R. L.; Osborn, K. G.; Li, Y.; Gianneschi, N. C.*; Christman, K. L.* “Enzyme-responsive Nanoparticles for Targeted Accumulation and Prolonged Scaffold Retention in Heart Tissue After Myocardial Infarction” Adv. Mat. 2015, 27, 5547-5552. (*co-corresponding author) 

Callmann, C. E.; Barback, C. V.; Thompson, M. P.; Hall, D. J.; Mattrey, R. F.; Gianneschi, N. C. “Therapeutic Enzyme-Responsive Nanoparticles for Targeted Delivery and Accumulation in Tumors” Adv. Mat. 2015, 27, 4611-4615. PMID: 26178920. PMCID: PMC4699560

Rush, A. M.; Nelles, D. A.; Blum, A. P.; Barnhill, S. A.; Tatro, E. T.; Yeo, G. W.; Gianneschi, N. C. “Intracellular mRNA Regulation with Self-Assembled Locked Nucleic Acid Polymer Nanoparticles” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 7615-7618. PMID: 24827740; PMCID: PMC4046771.

Blum, A. P.; Kammeyer, J. K.; Yin, J.; Crystal, D. T.; Rush, A. M.; Gilson, M. K. Gianneschi, N. C. “Peptides Displayed as High Density Brush Polymers Resist Proteolysis and Retain Bioactivity” J Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 15422-15437

Chien, M. –P.; Thompson, M. P.; Barback, C. V.; Hall, D. J.; Gianneschi, N. C. “Enzyme-Directed Assembly of a Nanoparticle Probe in Tumor Tissue” Advanced Materials. 2013, 25, 3599-3604. PMID: 23712821; PMCID: PMC4108424. 

Smith, B.; Parent, L.; Overholts, A.; Beaucage, P.; Bisbey, R.; Chavez, A.; Hwang, N.; Park, C.; Evans, A.; Gianneschi, N. C.*; Dichtel, W.* “Colloidal Covalent Organic Frameworks” ACS Central Science 2017, 3, 58-65. (*co-corresponding author)

Proetto, M. T.; Anderton, C. R.; Hu, D.; Szymanski, C. J.; Zhu, Z.; Patterson, J. P.; Kammeyer, J.; Nilewski, L. G.; Rush, A. M.; Bell, N. C.; Evans, J. E.; Orr, G.; Howell, S. B. Gianneschi, N. C. “Cellular Delivery of Nanoparticles Revealed with Combined Optical and Isotopic Nanoscopy” ACS Nano 2016, 10, 4046-4054.

Patterson, J. P.; Abellan, P.; Denny, M. S.; Park, C.; Browning, N. D.; Cohen, S. M.; Evans, J. E.; Gianneschi, N. C. “Observing the Growth of Metal-Organic Frameworks by In Situ Liquid Cell TEM” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 7322-7328.

Proetto, M. T.; Rush, A. M.; Chien, M. –P.; Abellan Baeza, P.; Patterson, J. P.; Thompson, M. P.; Olson, N. H.; Moore, C. E.; Rehingold, A. L.; Andolina, C.; Millston, J.; Howell, S. B.; Browning, N D.; Evans, J. E..; Gianneschi, N. C. “Dynamics of Soft  Materials Captured by Transmission Electron Microscopy” J. Am. Chem. Soc.. 2014, 136, 1162-1165. PMID: 23944844.

Biomaterials and Biomimicry:
Huang, Y.; Li, Yiwen, Hu, Z.; Yue, X.; Proetto, M. T.; Jones, Y.; Gianneschi, N. C. “Mimicking Melanosomes: Polydopamine Nanoparticles as Artificial Microparasols” ACS Central Science 2017, 3, 564-569.

Li, Y.; Xie, Y.; Wang, Z.; Zang, N.; Carniato, F.; Huang, Y.; Andolina, C. M.; Parent, L. R.; Ditri, T. B.; Walter, E. D.; Botta, M.; Rinehart, J. D.*; Gianneschi, N. C.* “Structure and Function of Iron-loaded Synthetic Melanin” ACS Nano 2016, 10,10186-10194  (*co-corresponding author).

Xiao, M.; Li, Y.; Allen, M.; Deheyn, D.; Yue, X.; Zhao, J.; Gianneschi, N. C.* Shawkey, M.;* Dhinojwala, A.* "Bioinspired Structural Colors Produced via Self-Assembly of Synthetic Melanin Nanoparticles" ACS Nano, 2015, 9, 5454-5460 (*co-corresponding author).

Polymer Chemistry and Soft Matter:
Carlini, A. S.; Adamiak, L.; Gianneschi, N. C. “Biosynthetic Polymers as Functional Materials” Macromolecules 2016, 49, 4379-4394.

Barnhill, S. A.; Bell, N. C.; Patterson, J. P.; Olds, D. P.; Gianneschi, N. C. "Phase Diagrams of Polynorbornene Amphiphilic Block Copolymers in Solution" Macromolecules 2015, 48, 1152-1161

James, C. R.; Rush, A. M.; Insley, T.; Vukovic, L.; Kral, P.; Gianneschi, N. C. “Poly(oligonucleotide)” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 11216-11219

Ku, T.-H.; Chien, M.-P.; Thompson, M. P.; Sinkovits, R. S.; Olson, N. H; Baker, T. S.; Gianneschi, N. C. “Controlling and Switching the Morphology of Micellar Nanoparticles with Enzymes” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 8392-8395

Chien, M. –P.; Rush, A. M.; Thompson, M. P. Gianneschi, N. C. “Programmable Shape-Shifting Micelles” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2010, 49, 5076-5080

Selected Honors and Awards

  • 2017    Finalist, Blavatnik Young Scientist Award
  • 2016    Tianfu Distinguished Lecturer in Polymer Science and Engineering, Sichuan University
  • 2016    Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 2015    Outstanding Young Scientist Award, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, PAT 2015
  • 2014    UC San Diego Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring
  • 2013    Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2012    NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award
  • 2012    Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow
  • 2011    NIH Director’s New Innovator Award
  • 2011    UC San Diego Panhellenic Outstanding Professor Award
  • 2009    Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) – DOD AFOSR
  • 2008    Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award