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Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards: Heather D. Maynard

January 15, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 3

Photo of Heather Maynard.

Sponsor: Arthur C. Cope Fund

Citation: For the discovery of high-yielding and readily adoptable methods to synthesize polymers, protein-polymer conjugates, and hydrogels and their applications in biology and medicine.

Current position: professor of chemistry and biochemistry and associate director of the California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles

Education: B.S., chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; M.S., materials science, University of California, Santa Barbara; Ph.D., chemistry, California Institute of Technology

Maynard on what she hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “I am excited about our promising research to stabilize biologics to environmental stressors, and I hope to see this begin to make an impact in human medicine. It would be life changing for many people, especially those in third-world countries, if medicines could be kept at room temperature even in hot climates. I plan to accomplish the preclinical research necessary to move this work forward; simultaneously, I will be synthesizing new materials and working to increase our understanding of the mechanisms at work on the chemical level.”

What her colleagues say: “Professor Maynard has the terrific ability to identify unmet synthetic needs in bioconjugation and materials chemistry and solve them, and it is her ability to apply materials and bioconjugates to solve important problems that is also defining. Maynard found that controlled radical polymerizations could be conducted in the presence of proteins, and courageously moved forward with her clever idea of generating polymers in situ from proteins. Indeed, this exciting approach and her other ways of one-step protein-reactive polymer preparations have been paradigm shifting for the field.”—Miguel A. Garcia-Garibay, University of California, Los Angeles

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