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Reineke joins Department of Chemistry faculty, June 20

Professor Theresa M. Reineke joins the Department of Chemistry faculty, Monday, June 20, 2011. With expertise in polymer science and gene therapy and diagnostics, Reineke is a world leader in the area of polymer/deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nanostructures for medical applications. The Reineke research group specializes in the synthetic design, chemical characterization, and biological study of novel macromolecules.

Reineke earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry/physics from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, her master's degree in chemistry from Arizona State University, and her doctorate in chemistry from the University of Michigan. Her graduate degrees adviser was Omar M. Yaghi. Under his tutelage, Reineke studied the synthesis and characterization of metal-organic framework materials.

After completing her doctorate, Reineke received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Research Service Award to study the synthesis and biological characterization of carbohydrate-containing polymers for gene therapy. She conducted this research as a postdoctoral fellow in Mark Davis' laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.

Reineke began her academic career as an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati. Prior to coming to the University of Minnesota, she was an associate professor of chemistry at Virginia Tech and a member of its Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute.

Reineke serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Bioconjugate Chemistry, an American Chemical Society journal, and the International Advisory Board of Macromolecular Bioscience, a Wiley InterScience journal. She will serve as associate editor for a new American Chemical Society (ACS) publication, ACS Macro Letters, working with its editor-in-chief Professor Timothy Lodge. She also serves as chair of the Molecular Conjugates Committee of the American Society of Cell and Gene Therapy, and as a councilor for the ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry.

She has received numerous awards, including a Beckman Young Investigator Award, a Sigma Xi-Rieveschl Outstanding Young Investigator Award, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award, an ACS Arthur K. Doolittle Award, and a National Research Service Award. In 2009, Reineke received the prestigious NIH Director's New Innovator Award, which is given to new investigators of exceptional creativity who propose bold and highly innovative new research approaches that have the potential to have major impacts on important problems in biomedical and behavioral research. She received a large, multi-year grant for biomedical research into new medicines that have the potential for better results and fewer side effects. In addition, Reineke has four patents pending, and has written more than 70 scientific articles and made more than 70 presentations on her research.

The Reineke research group specializes in the synthetic design, chemical characterization, and biological study of novel macromolecules. The research is highly collaborative. For example, Reineke will interact with colleagues in the NSF Materials Science and Engineering Research Center (College of Science & Engineering), the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (Academic Health Center), and the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (Academic Health Center) to solve important problems in polymer synthesis and characterization, develop innovative gene therapies, and invent new methods for magnetic resonance imaging.