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Joel Collier


Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

The Collier Lab designs biomaterials for a range of biomedical applications, with a focus on understanding and controlling adaptive immune responses.  Most materials investigated are created from molecular assemblies- proteins, peptides or bioconjugates that self-organize into useful structures such as nanofibers, gels, and particles. 

These biomaterials are being developed as novel treatments for infectious diseases, cancer, wound healing, and chronic inflammation.  Additionally, as these strategies are developed, basic insights into how materials engage the immune system are uncovered.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology

Contact Information:


  • Ph.D. Northwestern University, 2003

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions:

  • Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. AIMBE. 2017
  • 2015 Biomaterials Science Lectureship. Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing. 2015
  • Distinguished Investigator (junior). University of Chicago, Biological Science Division. 2012

Courses Taught:

  • BME 302L: Fundamentals of Biomaterials and Biomechanics (AC or GE)
  • BME 394: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 493: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 494: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 525: Biomedical Materials and Artificial Organs (GE, BB)
  • BME 590: Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 702S: BME Graduate Seminars
  • BME 728S: Teaching Seminar for New Teaching Assistants
  • BME 729S: Teaching seminar for repeat teaching assistants
  • BME 789: Internship in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 790: Advanced Topics for Graduate Students in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 790L: Advanced Topics with the Lab for Graduate Students in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 791: Graduate Independent Study
  • BME 792: Continuation of Graduate Independent Study
  • BME 899: Special Readings in Biomedical Engineering
  • EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
  • ME 518: Biomedical Materials and Artificial Organs (GE, BB)

In the News:

Representative Publications:

  • Sun, T; Han, H; Hudalla, GA; Wen, Y; Pompano, RR; Collier, JH, Thermal stability of self-assembled peptide vaccine materials., Acta Biomaterialia, vol 30 (2016), pp. 62-71 [10.1016/j.actbio.2015.11.019] [abs].
  • Wen, Y; Collier, JH, Supramolecular peptide vaccines: tuning adaptive immunity., Current Opinion in Immunology, vol 35 (2015), pp. 73-79 [10.1016/j.coi.2015.06.007] [abs].
  • Pompano, RR; Chen, J; Verbus, EA; Han, H; Fridman, A; McNeely, T; Collier, JH; Chong, AS, Titrating T-cell epitopes within self-assembled vaccines optimizes CD4+ helper T cell and antibody outputs., Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol 3 no. 11 (2014), pp. 1898-1908 [10.1002/adhm.201400137] [abs].
  • Hudalla, GA; Sun, T; Gasiorowski, JZ; Han, H; Tian, YF; Chong, AS; Collier, JH, Gradated assembly of multiple proteins into supramolecular nanomaterials., Nature Materials, vol 13 no. 8 (2014), pp. 829-836 [10.1038/nmat3998] [abs].
  • Chen, J; Pompano, RR; Santiago, FW; Maillat, L; Sciammas, R; Sun, T; Han, H; Topham, DJ; Chong, AS; Collier, JH, The use of self-adjuvanting nanofiber vaccines to elicit high-affinity B cell responses to peptide antigens without inflammation., Biomaterials, vol 34 no. 34 (2013), pp. 8776-8785 [10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.07.063] [abs].
  • Hudalla, GA; Modica, JA; Tian, YF; Rudra, JS; Chong, AS; Sun, T; Mrksich, M; Collier, JH, A self-adjuvanting supramolecular vaccine carrying a folded protein antigen., Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol 2 no. 8 (2013), pp. 1114-1119 [10.1002/adhm.201200435] [abs].
  • Jung, JP; Moyano, JV; Collier, JH, Multifactorial optimization of endothelial cell growth using modular synthetic extracellular matrices., Integrative Biology : Quantitative Biosciences From Nano to Macro, vol 3 no. 3 (2011), pp. 185-196 [10.1039/c0ib00112k] [abs].
  • Rudra, JS; Tian, YF; Jung, JP; Collier, JH, A self-assembling peptide acting as an immune adjuvant., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol 107 no. 2 (2010), pp. 622-627 [10.1073/pnas.0912124107] [abs].

Affiliate Topics in Materials Research: