Abigail Knight receives prestigious NSF CAREER award to develop a new way to rapidly screen large polymer libraries

February 25, 2021

By UNC-Chapel Hill Chemistry Communication

Abigail Knightassistant professor of chemistry, was recently awarded a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award by the National Science Foundation 

The award will be applied to her research project, “Synthesis of Multiple Architectures of Decodable Biohybrid Polymer Libraries.” To identify materials with new capabilities, the Knight Group is developing a synthetic platform that enables hundreds of thousands of materials to be screened simultaneously – a scale orders of magnitude above current strategies for synthetic polymers and rivaling technologies like directed evolution.  

“Currently, most new polymers are characterized individually. A new way to select polymers with desirable function(s), would allow us to develop polymers with new functions more rapidly and reveal design principles to inspire additional advancements in polymer synthesis,” explains Knight.  

Knight earned a B.S. in chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley 

The CAREER award is the NSF’s most prestigious early-career faculty award. It recognizes individuals who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department.

Learn more about the NSF CAREER awards