Dr. Theresa M. Reineke

Prager Chair in Macromolecular Science

Theresa M. Reineke, Ph.D.
Prager Chair in Macromolecular Science
Distinguished McKnight University Professor
Department of Chemistry
University of Minnesota
Editor-in-Chief Bioconjugate Chemistry
Twitter: @Theresa_Reineke



NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 2000-2002
Ph.D. The University of Michigan, 2000
M.S. Arizona State University, 1998
B.S. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 1995


Theresa M. Reineke, Ph.D., is a Prager Chair in Macromolecular Science and a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota and holds graduate faculty appointments in the Departments of Chemical Engineering/Materials Science and Pharmaceutics. Her research group is focused on enabling fundamental and applied technology advancements in three main areas: 1) the design of polymer-based delivery systems for DNA and RNA to treat genetic diseases, 2) engineering interactions between polymers and small molecules for actives encapsulation, drug delivery, chemical sensing, and network engineering, and 3) the creation of sustainable and environmentally friendly polymers/plastics from naturally occurring chemicals derived from plants. As of Jan. 1, 2023, she is the Editor-in-Chief for the ACS journal Bioconjugate ChemistryShe is currently on the Editorial Advisory Boards of the ACS journal Biomacromolecules and the RSC journal Polymer Chemistry and is a founding Associate Editor of ACS Macro Letters

Research Areas

  • Monomer and polymer synthesis
  • Polymer characterization in solution and the solid state
  • Natural product feedstock design
  • Sustainable polymers
  • Adhesives, coatings, and elastomers
  • Stimuli responsive and shape memory polymers
  • Thermosets and gels
  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Carbohydrate chemistry
  • DNA and RNA delivery
  • Polymer-cell interactions
  • Transfection reagents
  • Nucleic acid therapeutics
  • Drug delivery
  • Drug-polymer interactions
  • Controlled-release
  • Excipient development
  • Oral drug delivery
  • Intracellular mechanisms of delivery
  • Lanthanide-organic chemistry
  • Imaging agent design
  • Theranostic agent design
  • Chemical detection and sensing

Awards and Distinctions

2022 Prager Chair in Macromolecular Science

2022 American Chemical Society Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award

2018 DuPont Nutrition and Health Science Excellence Medal (Danisco Foundation)

2018 ACS POLY Fellow Award

2018 Big 10 Alliance Academic Leadership Program Fellow

2017 Distinguished McKnight University Professorship (UMN)

2017 Carl S. Marvel Creative Polymer Chemistry Award (American Chemical Society Polymer Chemistry Division)

2016 Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award

2016 George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Research (UMN)

2016 AIMBE Fellow (American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering)

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

2012 American Chemical Society (PMSE Division) Macro 2012 Lecture Award

2011 Lloyd H. Reyerson Professorship (UMN)

2009 National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award

2008 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

2007 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship

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

2007–2009 Kavli Fellow (National Academy of Sciences “Frontiers of Science” Program)

2007 OH Bioscience Thirty in Their 30s Award

2006–2008 Lowenstein Scholar (University of Cincinnati)

2005 Beckman Young Investigator Award

2005 Sigma Xi Outstanding Young Investigator Award

2005 National Science Foundation CAREER Award

2003 American Chemical Society (PMSE Division), Arthur K. Doolittle Award

2002 National Institutes of Health, Individual National Research Service Award

2000 Outstanding Graduate Research Award from the Wirt and Mary Cornell Prize

1998–2000 Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Graduate Fellowship

1999 Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant Award (Arizona State University)

1998–1999 Pew Charitable Trusts – Preparing Future Faculty Fellow

1997 Excellence as a Teaching Assistant Award (Arizona State University)