Mark W. Grinstaff, PhD

Professor, Chemistry

Mark Grinstaff
590 Commonwealth Ave


Mark W. Grinstaff is a Distinguished Professor of Translational Research, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, and Medicine as well as the Director of the NIH T32 Program in Biomaterials and the Director of the Nanotechnology Innovation Center at Boston University.

Mark received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois under the mentorship of Professor Kenneth S. Suslick and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology with Professor Harry B. Gray. Mark’s awards include the ACS Nobel Laureate Signature Award, NSF Career Award, Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, Camille Dreyfus Teacher- Scholar, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the Edward M. Kennedy Award for Health Care Innovation, and a Founding Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is an author or co-author on more than 225 peer-reviewed manuscripts, given more than 300 oral presentations, and an inventor or co- inventor on more than 200 issued patents or pending applications. His students and fellows have given more than 125 oral presentations and 350 posters at national and international meetings.

Mark’s current research activities involve the synthesis of new macromolecules and biomaterials, self-assembly chemistry, imaging contrast agents, drug delivery, and wound repair. His group pursues highly interdisciplinary research in the areas of biomedical engineering and macromolecular chemistry. The major goal in these research projects is to elucidate the underlying fundamental chemistry and engineering principles and to use that insight to direct our creative and scientific efforts. In one of their current research projects, they are designing, synthesizing, and characterizing novel dendrimers, termed “biodendrimers,” for tissue engineering and biotechnological applications. Currently, they are evaluating these novel biomaterials for the repair of corneal lacerations, for the delivery of anti-cancer drugs, for the delivery of DNA, and as temporary biodegradable scaffolds for cartilage repair. In a second project, they are creating novel polymeric coatings termed “interfacial biomaterials” that control biology on plastic, metal, and ceramic surfaces. In a third project, they are designing new polymeric films and nanoparticles loaded with anticancer drugs for the prevention of recurrent cancer after surgical resection.

Mark is a co-founder of several companies that are commercializing his ideas, and he has several products being sold and used in the clinic.

Other Positions

  • Director, Nanotechnology Innovation Center (BUnano), Boston University
  • Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University College of Engineering
  • Professor, Pulmonary, Allergy, Sleep & Critical Care Medicine, Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine


  • University of Illinois, PhD
  • Occidental College, AB


  • Published on 2/6/2018

    Lu C, Yang D, Sabbatini ME, Colby AH, Grinstaff MW, Oberlies NH, Pearce C, Liu K. Contrasting roles of H3K4me3 and H3K9me3 in regulation of apoptosis and gemcitabine resistance in human pancreatic cancer cells. BMC Cancer. 2018 02 06; 18(1):149. PMID: 29409480.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/17/2018

    Varongchayakul N, Huttner D, Grinstaff MW, Meller A. Sensing Native Protein Solution Structures Using a Solid-state Nanopore: Unraveling the States of VEGF. Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 17; 8(1):1017. PMID: 29343861.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/17/2018

    Nelson BB, Kawcak CE, Barrett MF, McIlwraith CW, Grinstaff MW, Goodrich LR. Recent advances in articular cartilage evaluation using computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Equine Vet J. 2018 Jan 17. PMID: 29344988.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/8/2018

    Mäkelä JTA, Cooper BG, Korhonen RK, Grinstaff MW, Snyder BD. Functional effects of an interpenetrating polymer network on articular cartilage mechanical properties. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2018 Mar; 26(3):414-421. PMID: 29326062.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/27/2017

    Wang J, Colson YL, Grinstaff MW. Tension-Activated Delivery of Small Molecules and Proteins from Superhydrophobic Composites. Adv Healthc Mater. 2017 Dec 27. PMID: 29280324.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/25/2017

    Falde EJ, Wang J, Grinstaff MW. Surface Tension Sensor Meshes for Rapid Alcohol Quantification. RSC Adv. 2017; 7(78):49795-49798. PMID: 29276584.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/27/2017

    Xiao R, Dane EL, Zeng J, McKnight CJ, Grinstaff MW. Synthesis of Altrose Poly-amido-saccharides with ß-N-(1?2)-d-amide Linkages: A Right-Handed Helical Conformation Engineered in at the Monomer Level. J Am Chem Soc. 2017 Oct 11; 139(40):14217-14223. PMID: 28902504.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/4/2017

    Reynolds DS, Tevis KM, Blessing WA, Colson YL, Zaman MH, Grinstaff MW. Breast Cancer Spheroids Reveal a Differential Cancer Stem Cell Response to Chemotherapeutic Treatment. Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 04; 7(1):10382. PMID: 28871147.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/27/2017

    Stewart RC, Patwa AN, Lusic H, Freedman JD, Wathier M, Snyder BD, Guermazi A, Grinstaff MW. Synthesis and Preclinical Characterization of a Cationic Iodinated Imaging Contrast Agent (CA4+) and Its Use for Quantitative Computed Tomography of Ex Vivo Human Hip Cartilage. J Med Chem. 2017 Jul 13; 60(13):5543-5555. PMID: 28616978.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/23/2017

    Mashiatulla M, Moran MM, Chan D, Li J, Freedman JD, Snyder BD, Grinstaff MW, Plaas A, Sumner DR. Murine articular cartilage morphology and compositional quantification with high resolution cationic contrast-enhanced µCT. J Orthop Res. 2017 Dec; 35(12):2740-2748. PMID: 28471533.

    Read at: PubMed

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