Honggang Cui, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is known for work developing supramolecular nanomaterials that could be used to target cancer and human diseases. He is also the director of doctoral admissions. Cui holds a joint appointment in the Department of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and is affiliated with Johns Hopkins’ Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT) and the Wilmer Eye Institute’s Center for Nanomedicine.
The Cui lab exploits the unique physical, chemical and biological properties of supramolecular nanostructures to achieve new functions that the underlying molecular building units often do not carry. They work on the design, characterization, development, optimization, and evaluation of supramolecular assemblies stemming from three broad classes of functional molecules: therapeutic agents, imaging agents, and small molecule peptides. Their major areas of focus are: 1) the molecular engineering and functional assembly of therapeutic agents, and the leveraging of these assemblies for the development of new approaches and strategies to treat cancer, aging-related diseases, and wounds; 2) the development of supramolecular imaging agents for disease diagnosis and treatment; and 3) the development of an in-depth understanding of thermodynamic and kinetic factors that affect the association of small molecular building units into supramolecular polymers and their networks.
Cui has won several awards and scholarships. A Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, he is a recipient of a National Sciences Foundation CAREER Award, a 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, a Johns Hopkins Catalyst Award for early career faculty, and a Johns Hopkins Discovery Award for research across divisions. Cui also is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), American Chemical Society (ACS), American Peptide Society (APS), Materials Research Society (MRS), Controlled Release Society (CRS), and Sigma Xi. He has a been a reviewer for numerous journals and serves on the advisory board for Biomaterials Sciences.
Cui received his bachelor’s degree from Beijing University of Chemical Technology in China in 1999. He earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, in 2002 and a PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Delaware in 2007. He then completed postdoctoral work in the department of material science and engineering at Northwestern University before joining the Whiting School of Engineering faculty in 2010.