Featuring Jeffrey Hubbell

The immune system exists in a delicate balance. While it fights infection from invading pathogens and kills mutated cells, it also needs to tolerate friendly microbes in the gut and on the skin as well as proteins throughout the body. An inability to tell friend from foe in this context can increase susceptibility to infection and cancer on the one hand, and to allergy and autoimmunity—the body attacking itself—on the other. Immunotherapies are being developed to tip this balance by turning immunity on and off. Jeffrey Hubbell's lab designs nanomaterials to restore immunological balance, for instance, to vaccinate against cancer by turning on the immune system to respond against mutated cells, or vaccinate against an autoimmune disease by turning off the immune system to reestablish immunological tolerance. Professor Hubbell's work is taking on some of the most challenging problems in human health and is bringing about new companies and drugs to fight disease and improve immunological health.

Contact alumniassociation@uchicago.edu or 773.702.2150.

Event Details

6:30 p.m. Registration and networking
7:00 p.m. Presentation and discussion
8:00 p.m. Reception

Admission is free

Parking Information

There is no parking available at the campus location. We encourage attendees to take advantage of private car service, bus, or taxi. A complimentary round-trip shuttle from Admiralty MTR station will also be provided with the following schedule:

  • 6 p.m. from Admiralty MTR station (outside Café de Coral at Admiralty Centre: Unit C, Shop 42-68, G/F, Admiralty Centre, 18 Harcourt Road, Admiralty). Please find the map here: https://goo.gl/maps/TUYFdrU1cUu.

  • 9 p.m. return trip to Admiralty MTR station

Featured Faculty


Jeffrey A. Hubbell is the Eugene Bell Professor in Tissue Engineering at the University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering. Previously he was on the faculty of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), where he served as director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Dean of the School of Life Sciences; the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and University of Zurich; the California Institute of Technology; and the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a BS from Kansas State University and a PhD from Rice University, both in chemical engineering. He was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2010, the National Academy of Inventors in 2014, and the National Academy of Medicine in 2019.

Hubbell uses biomaterials and protein engineering approaches to investigate topics in regenerative medicine and immunotherapeutics. In regenerative medicine, he focuses on biomaterial matrices that mimic the extracellular matrix and on growth factor—extracellular matrix interactions, working in a variety of animal models of regenerative medicine. In immunotherapeutics, he focuses on nanomaterials in vaccines that target lymphoid-resident antigen presenting cells and on protein engineering approaches to deliver antigen to the spleen and liver for inverse vaccines to induce tolerance to protein drugs and in autoimmunity. His interests are both basic and translational, having founded or cofounded six biomedical companies based on his technology: Focal, in Boston, acquired by Genzyme; Kuros Biosciences, in Zurich, in the domain of regenerative medicine; Anokion and Kanyos Bio, in Boston, both in the domain of immunological tolerance; Clostra Bio, in Chicago, in the domain of food allergy, founded with University of Chicago professor Cathryn Nagler; and Arrow Immune, in the domain of cancer immunotherapy, founded with University of Chicago professor Melody Swartz.