Jeremiah Johnson is the Firmenich Career Development Assistant Professor in MIT's Department of Chemistry. Image: Justin Knight
Jeremiah Johnson is the Firmenich Career Development Assistant Professor in MIT’s Department of Chemistry. Image: Justin Knight

Reporter Andrew Joseph—whose Boston Globe “Kendall Squared” column files “dispatches from the world’s epicenter for biotechnology and drug discovery”—has flagged MIT chemistry professor Jeremiah Johnson as one of three researchers he’s watching closely in 2016.

“The focus in Kendall Square,” writes Joseph on the Globe’s STAT News website, “tends to be on commercializing discoveries, but Johnson is one of many scientists whose work shows basic research still has a home in the neighborhood.”

Johnson’s investigations at the nanoscale are not only expanding scientific knowledge, but have exciting potential applications in drug delivery, among other fields.

“Johnson and his colleagues have discovered a method to load nanoparticles with a greater variety of cancer-fighting drugs by incorporating the drugs into the particle’s structure as it is assembled,” Joseph reports. “The lab has also created nanoparticles that can be used to help see what’s happening inside an organism, with the potential to use the technology to keep tabs on a tumor as it advances and track where drug molecules travel.”

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Learn more about one discovery from Johnson’s lab: a new material called a polyMOC, with applications ranging from controlled drug-release to fuel cells to water purification.

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