Chris Alabi

Christopher A. Alabi

Associate Professor
Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
356A Olin Hall
Director of Graduate Studies


Christopher Alabi began his research career as an undergraduate student under the direction of Professor David Schuster at New York University. Upon receiving his B.S. in Chemistry from New York University and B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, he went on to pursue a graduate degree in Chemistry at California Institute of Technology with Professor Mark Davis. There, he carried out a two-part dissertation on proton conductive membranes and targeted nanoparticle delivery. He then moved to MIT in 2009 and served as NIH Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Langer and Anderson. Chris joined the Cornell faculty in the summer of 2013 as an Assistant Professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His research focuses on the assembly of new sequence-defined macromolecules that can be used to create stimuli-responsive materials, develop efficient drug delivery bioconjugates and design potent antimicrobial agents.

Research Interests

Research in the Alabi lab involves the use of synthetic and analytical tools to enhance our understanding and facilitate the engineering of precise functional macromolecular materials and therapeutics. Our research goals involve the discovery and use of sequence-defined macromolecules to create sustainable stimuli-responsive materials, quantitate biological processes, develop efficient drug delivery bioconjugates and discover potent antimicrobial macromolecules. Our work ranges from the molecular scale, where we investigate the precise placement of functional groups along a polymer backbone, to studying their material and biological properties. Our focus is on applications that leverage the advantages of our sequence-controlled macromolecules such as precise sequence and composition control, abiotic backbones and a large scope of chemically diverse monomers.

Teaching Interests

Christopher Alabi has taught the following courses:

  • ENGRI 1120: Introduction to Chemical Engineering
  • CHEME 3900: Chemical Kinetics and Reactor Design
  • CHEME 6400: Polymeric Materials

Christopher Alabi currently teaches the following courses:

  • CHEME 6920: Principles and Practices of Graduate Research
  • CHEME 7700: Graduate Research Seminar for Chemical Engineers

Selected Publications

  • Hoff, E. A., De Hoe, G. X., Mulvaney, C. M., Hillmyer, M. A., & Alabi, C. A. Thiol–Ene Networks from Sequence-Defined Polyurethane Macromers. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2020, 142, 6729–6736.
  • Sorkin, M. R., Walker, J. A., Kabaria, S. R., Torosian, N. P., & Alabi, C. A. Responsive Antibody Conjugates Enable Quantitative Determination of Intracellular Bond Degradation Rate. Cell Chemical Biology, 2019, 26, 1-9
  • Phan NN, Li C, Alabi CA. Extensive Intracellular Delivery via Non-Charged Sequence-Defined Cell-Penetrating Oligomers. Bioconjugate Chem., 2018, 29, 8, 2628-2635  (Cover Article, August 18 edition)
  • Porel M, Thornlow DN, Artim CM, Alabi CA*. Sequence-Defined Backbone Modifications Regulate Antibacterial Activity of OligoTEAs. ACS Chem. Biol. 2017, 12(3), pp 715-723
  • Porel M, Thornlow DN, Ngoc NP, Alabi CA. Sequence-Defined Bioactive Macrocycles via an Acid-Catalyzed Cascade Reaction. Nat. Chem. 2016, vol. 8 (6), 590-596
  • Porel M and Alabi CA. Sequence-Defined Polymers via Orthogonal Allyl Acrylamide Building Blocks, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136 (38), 13162-13165

Selected Awards and Honors

  • PMSE Young Investigator Award, 2018
  • Tau Beta Pi Professor of the Year Award, Cornell University, 2017
  • Research Excellence Award, Cornell College of Engineering, 2016
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2016
  • ACS Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) DNI Award, 2015
  • PhRMA Foundation Research Starter, 2014


  • B.S. (Chemical Engineering),Stevens Institute of Technology,2004
  • B.S. (Chemistry),New York University,2004
  • Ph.D. (Chemistry),California Institute of Technology,2009
  • NIH Postdoctoral FellowMassachusetts Institute of Technology,2013


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