Theresa M. Reineke

portrait of Professor Theresa Reineke

Theresa M. Reineke

Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Department of Chemistry


Smith Hall
Room 239
207 Pleasant Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers


B.S. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 1995

M.S. Arizona State University, 1998

Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2000 

Post Doctorate National Institutes of Health Post-doctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 2000-2002

Research Interests

Polymer Chemistry: synthesis and characterization

Nanoscience & Materials Chemistry: polymers

Chemical Biology: macromolecules/polymers

Environmental & Green Chemistry: polymers

The Reineke research group is focused on enabling fundamental scientific and applied technology advancements in three areas: 1) the design of polymer-based delivery systems that encapsulate DNA and RNA for genetic disease treatments, 2) the development of polymer-based delivery systems for enhancing oral delivery of important peptides and drugs, and 3) the creation of sustainable and environmentally friendly polymers/plastics from naturally occurring chemicals derived from plants. Studies in these areas are centered both on novel polymer synthesis, understanding the fundamental mechanisms involved in polymer function, and applied use of our materials for advanced material/biomaterial function. Our research is highly interdisciplinary and collaborative with numerous groups in chemistry, engineering, and medicine.

Honors and Awards

2018 DuPont Nutrition & Health Science Excellence Medal

2018-19 Fellow Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Program

2018 POLY Fellow by the American Chemical Society Division of Polymer Chemistry

2017 Distinguished McKnight University Professorship (University of Minnesota)

2017 Carl S. Marvel Creative Polymer Chemistry Award

2016 Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award

2016 George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Research (University of Minnesota)

2016 American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow

2012 American Chemical Society Macro 2012 Lecture Award (Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering Division of ACS)

2012 Outstanding New Investigator Award (American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy)

2011 Lloyd H. Reyerson Chaired Professorship (University of Minnesota)

2009 National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award (National Institutes of Health)

2008 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation)

2007 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation)

2007 YWCA Rising Star (YWCA Academy of Career Women of Achievement)

2007-2009 Kavli Foundation Fellow (National Academy Frontiers of Science Program)

2007 OH Bioscience Thirty in Their 30s Award (BioOhio)

2006-2008 Lowenstein Scholar (Diana Lowenstein Endowment, UC)

2005 Beckman Young Investigator Award (Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation)

2005 Sigma Xi Outstanding Young Investigator Award (Sigma Xi Cincinnati Chapter)

2005 National Science Foundation CAREER Award

2003 American Chemical Society, Arthur K. Doolittle Award (Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering Division)

2002 National Institutes of Health, Individual National Research Service Award

Mailing Address

Theresa M. Reineke
University of Minnesota
Department of Chemistry
A-3, 139 Smith Hall, 207 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0431