2021-03-08: International Women’s Day Event featuring a talk by Prof. Heather Maynard

International Women’s Day Event
March 8, 2021
7:00—8:30 pm
Via Zoom

Featured Speaker: Prof. Heather Maynard, Ph.D., UCLA
Synthesis of Glycopolymers and Mimetics for
Therapeutic Protein Delivery

Abstract: Therapeutic proteins are challenging to transport and store, and thus the majority must be refrigerated or frozen. Proteins exposed to these conditions and others such as mechanical agitation often lose activity. This can be harmful or even fatal for patients that take the medications and can also increase costs because of the requirement of the cold chain. Thus, polymeric materials that are capable of stabilizing biomolecules at room temperature and to agitation are of significant interest. This talk will focus on new polymeric materials to address this important problem. Well-defined polymers were synthesized by controlled radical polymerization and ring opening polymerizations. These were tested in their ability to stabilize proteins to room temperature, elevated temperatures, mechanical agitation, and pH changes when added as excipients. Side chains derived from Nature and others from known excipient classes were compared and contrasted, and the mechanisms of stabilization were investigated. Grafting to and grafting from synthetic strategies were utilized to prepare protein conjugates of these polymers, and in vivo testing showed that the polymers significantly increased blood circulation times (i.e. pharmacokinetics) in addition to retaining protein activity after exposure to high temperatures. Synthesis, stabilization properties, and application of the polymers to treat diabetes and chemotherapy will be presented.

Biography: Heather D. Maynard is the Dr. Myung Ki Hong Professor in Polymer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Maynard is a worldwide leader in the area of protein-polymer conjugates, which are important therapeutics for a variety of diseases. She develops new synthetic methods to make the materials, invents new polymers to improve properties such as stability, and demonstrates preclinical efficacy of her conjugates with an eye towards translation for human health. Maynard also works in the area of smart materials for precision medicine: materials that respond to disease states in the body. Maynard’s research and teaching have been recognized by numerous awards including the American Chemical Society Arthur Cope Scholar Award, Fulbright Specialist Award, Seaborg Award for Outstanding Research in Chemistry, National Science Foundation Career Award, Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching and the UCLA Student Development Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award. Maynard is both an American Chemical Society Polymer Chemistry and Polymer Materials: Science and Engineering Fellow. She is also a Leverhulme, Kavli Frontiers, and Royal Society of Chemistry Fellow and was a member of the United States Defence Science Study Group from 2016-2017.

Maynard received her B.S. with Honors in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1992, Masters in Materials Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1995, and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 2000 for research in the group of Nobel Prize winner Robert H. Grubbs. She was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral fellow with Jeffrey Hubbell at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) from 2000-2002. Dr. Maynard joined the UCLA faculty as an Assistant Professor in August 2002 as the first Howard Reiss Career Development Chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and as a member of the California NanoSystems Institute. Maynard is now a Full Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Director of the National Institutes of Health funded Chemistry Biology Interface Training Program and Associate Director for the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.

Registration: Registration: If you’d like to register for this talk, please sign up at this link:


You will receive a return email with the link for the Zoom presentation.