Shaoyi Jiang

Shaoyi Jiang

Robert Langer ’70 Family and Friends Professor
Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering


Shaoyi Jiang joined the Meinig School as the Robert Langer ’70 Family and Friends Professor in June 2020. Prior to Cornell he was the Boeing-Roundhill Professor of Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering and an adjunct professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Jiang pioneered the molecular understanding, design and development of functional zwitterionic materials. Since the early 2000s, his group has proposed the concept of super-hydrophilic zwitterionic materials, provided a molecular-level understanding of non-fouling mechanisms and developed several new classes of zwitterionic materials, including poly(carboxybetaine), poly(sulfobetaine), poly(trimethylamine N-oxide), poly(zwitterionic phosphatidylserine), and glutamic acid (E) and lysine (K)-containing poly(peptides). His group has demonstrated no capsule formation upon subcutaneous implantation in mice for one year, expansion of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) without differentiation, no anti-coagulants needed for artificial lungs in sheep, no antibodies generated against zwitterionic polymers, and environmentally benign marine coatings. These highly biocompatible zwitterionic materials are excellent alternatives to widely used poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) counterparts as PEG immunogenicity was found in COVID-19 vaccines. He co-founded three companies – ZWI Therapeutics, Taproot Medical and Imperion Coatings based on over 50 awarded patents on zwitterionic technologies. Largely resulting from his work, zwitterionic materials have been widely adopted for biomedical and engineering applications. 

At Cornell, his group aims to (a) integrate immunology into his biomaterials and drug delivery research programs; (b) translate his biomaterials and drug delivery technologies into medical and engineering practice. Currently, his group performs both basic and applied research integrating science, engineering and medicine, particularly in two areas: (i) Biomaterials for regenerative and precision medicine: His group is developing highly biocompatible and immunomodulating materials for the controlled culture of iPSCs and cancer organoids along with capsule-free long-term implants and anticoagulant-free blood-contacting devices in vivo. Similar materials have been applied to anti-fouling marine coatings; (ii) Drug delivery for cancer vaccines & neurological diseases: His group is developing low-immunogenic and targeted viral and non-viral carriers for the delivery of mRNAs, DNAs, proteins and small molecules for cancer and infectious disease vaccines along with the treatments of several diseases such as cancer, neurological diseases and diabetes. His group has close collaborations with researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, and several other departments at Cornell and beyond. 

Research Interests

Teaching Interests

  • Biomaterials
  • Biointerfaces
  • Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine
  • Immunoengineering
  • Biomolecular Thermodynamics
  • Introduction to Molecular Modeling and Simulation Methods

Selected Publications

  • Q. Li, C. Wen, J. Yang, X. Zhou, Y. Zhu, J. Zheng, G. Cheng, J. Bai, T. Xu, J. Ji, S. Jiang, Lei Zhang, and Peng Zhang, 2022, Zwitterionic Biomaterials. Chemical Review, 122 (23), 17073.
  • Z. Yuan, B. Li, W. Gu, S. Luozhong, R. Li, and S. Jiang, 2022, Mitigating the Immunogenicity of AAV-mediated Gene Therapy with an Immunosuppressive Phosphoserine-containing Zwitterionic Peptide,. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 144 (44), 20507.
  • Wenchao Gu, Sijin Luozhong, Ketaki Londhe, Nadine Elkasri, Simian Cai, Robert Hawkins, Zhefan Yuan, Kai Su-Greene, Margaret Cruz, Yu-Wei Chang, Patrick McMullen, Chunyan Wu, Changwoo Seo, Akash Guru, Wenting Gao, Tara Sarmiento, Chris Schaffer, Nozomi Nishimura, Richard Cerione, Melissa Warden, Robert Langer, Shaoyi Jiang, 2022, Engineered retrovirus-like Arc extracellular vesicles for the in vivo targeted delivery of mRNA into the brain, bioRxiv, doi:
  • T. Bai, J. Li, S. Imren, A. Sinclair, F. Merriam, F. Sun, M. O'Kelly, C. Nourigat, P. Jain, J. J. Delrow, R. S. Basom, H.-C. Hung, P. Zhang, B. Li, S. Heimfeld, S. Jiang, C. Delaney. 2019. "Culture in Zwitterionic Hydrogels Promotes Expansion of Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells." Nature Medicine. 25, 1566.
  • P. Zhang, F, Sun, C. Tsao, S. Liu, P. Jain, H.C. Hung, T. Bai, K. Wu and S. Jiang. 2015. "Zwitterionic encapsulation promotes protein stability, enhances pharmacokinetics and reduce immune response." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, 12046.
  • L. Zhang, Z. Cao, L. Carr, T. Bai, J.R. Ella-Menye, C. Irvin, B.D. Ratner and S. Jiang. 2013. "Zwitterionic Hydrogels Implanted in Mice Resist the Foreign-body Reaction." Nature Biotechnology, 31, 553. Selected by one of eight “major hits” in 20 years of Nature Biotechnology medical research, Nature Biotechnology, 34, 262 (2016).
  • A. Keefe and S. Jiang. 2012. "Poly(zwitterionic)protein Conjugates Offer Increased Stability without Sacrificing Binding Affinity or Bioactivity." Nature Chemistry 4 59-63.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Fellow, National Academy of Inventors (NAI), 2024
  • Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2022
  • Executive Editor, Langmuir, American Chemical Society, 2022
  • Associate Editor, Science Advances, American Association for the Advancement of Science, October 2018
  • Braskem Award for Excellence in Materials Engineering and Science, 2017.
  • Fellow, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2012 
  • Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, 2010


B.S. (Chemical Engineering), Hua Qiao University, 1985

M.S. (Chemical Engineering) Nanjing Institute of Chemical Technology, 1988

Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering), Cornell University, 1993

Postdoctoral Fellow (Chemistry), University of California at Berkeley, 1993-1994

Research Fellow (Chemistry), California Institute of Technology, 1994-1996

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