The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MITThe David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

National Cancer Institute Cancer Center

Science + Engineering... Conquering Cancer Together

Paula T. Hammond, PhD

Paula T. Hammond

David H. Koch Professor in Engineering

Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering

Member, Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine


KI Research Areas of Focus:
Nano-based Drugs, Detection + Monitoring,
Cancer Immunology

"Our laboratory emphasizes the molecular design and synthesis of self-assembling polymeric systems for a range of electro-optical, electro-mechanical and biological applications. In cancer research, we focus on the generation of polymer-based films and nanoparticles for drug delivery. Nanoparticles have the potential to protect drugs in the blood stream during delivery so that they are not prematurely broken down or excreted.  They increase solubility, accessibility and longevity so that a potent drug can more easily reach the tumor."

Dr. Hammond is the David H. Koch Professor in Engineering and head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT. She received her S.B. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1984, her M.S. from Georgia Tech in 1988, and earned her Ph.D. from MIT in 1993. In 1994, she was awarded the NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chemistry while performing postdoctoral research in the Harvard University Chemistry Dept as a member of the Whitesides research group. In 2000, she was awarded the Junior Bose Faculty Award, and the GenCorp Signature University Award. She has also received the NSF Career Award, the EPA Early Career Award, the DuPont Young Faculty Award, and the 3M Innovation Fund Award. Recently, The Harvard Foundation presented Dr. Hammond the 2010 Scientist of the Year Award as part of its annual Albert Einstein Science Conference: Advancing Minorities and Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. Dr. Hammond was also one of a group of key faculty members involved in starting the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, and in 2015, she was named head of MIT's Department of Chemical Engineering.

Further Information

Research Summary

Prof. Hammond's research interests include:

  • macromolecular design and synthesis
  • directed assembly using surface templates
  • nanoscale design of biomaterials
  • block copolymers, asymmetric morphologies
  • liquid crystalline polymeric materials

There are two primary areas of research in the group. The first area involves the use of polymer-surface interactions as a guide to the assembly of single and multicomponent micron and submicron scale structures on a broad range of surfaces as a means of microfabrication. We have developed a new approach to patterning polymer thin films on a micron length scale using nonlithographic techniques that involve the manipulation of surface functionality and polymer adsorption technique. The basis of this approach is the use of secondary, or non-specific interactions, in combination with steric repulsion and electrostatic interactions, to chemically direct the deposition of molecules and larger scale materials systems onto chemically patterned surfaces. Applications range from electro-optical devices to biologically active functional surfaces and sensors.

The second area approaches nanoscale self-assembly through the design of functionalized block copolymers. Block copolymers, which consist of two or more covalently bound polymer segments of different chemical composition, are known for their ability to microphase separate and organize into mesophase structures on nanometer length scales in the bulk state, and at surfaces and interfaces, based on chemical differences between blocks. We have focused investigations on the role of molecular architecture on the nanoscale ordering of block copolymer morphology, particularly for copolymer systems with asymmetric (irregular or nonlinear) blocks. Systems of interest include liquid crystalline block copolymers for electro-mechanical and electro-optical applications, and dendritic-linear block copolymers as nano-encapsulants or hosts for delivery and membrane applications. In general, concepts of thermodynamics and self-assembly are used in my group to create or control order on the nanometer to micron scale.

Honors and Awards

Bayer Distinguished Lecturer, 2004
Georgia Tech Outstanding Young Alumni Award, 2004
Radcliffe Institute Fellow, Harvard University, 2003
Henry Hill Lecturer Award, 2002
Junior Bose Faculty Award, 2000
GenCorp Signature University Award, 2000
Lloyd Ferguson Young Scientist Award, 2000
NSF Career Award, 1997
EPA Early Career Award, 1996
DuPont Young Faculty Award, 1996
3M Innovation Fund Award, 1995
NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chemistry, Harvard University, 1994
Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow, 1992
MIT Karl Taylor Compton Prize, 1992
Eastman Kodak Theophilus Sorrel Fellow, 1990

Selected Publications and Lectures

K.C. Wood, H.F. Chuang, R.D. Batten, D.M. Lynn, and P T. Hammond "Controlled Diffusion and Sustained, Multi-Agent Drug Delivery from Layer-by-Layer Thin Films", PNAS, 103, 10207-10212 (2006).

D.J. Irvine, H. Kim, R. E. Cohen, P. T. Hammond, "Live Lymphocyte Arrays for Biosensing", Advanced Functional Materials, 16, 1313-1323 (2006).

K. T. Nam, D.-W. Kim, P. J. Yoo, C.-Y. Chiang, N. Meethong, P.T. Hammond, Y.-M. Chiang and A. M. Belcher, "Virus Enabled Synthesis and Assembly of Nanowires for Lithium Ion Battery Electrodes", Science, 312, 885-888 (2006).

P. J. Yoo, K.T. Nam, J. Qi, S-Kwan Lee, J. Park, A. M. Belcher, and P. T. Hammond "Spontaneous Assembly of Viruses on Multilayered Polymer Surfaces", Nature Materials, 5, 234-240 (2006).

A.J. Gabert, E. Verploegen, P.T. Hammond, and R. R. Schrock, "Synthesis and Characterization of ABA Triblock Copolymers Containing Smectic C* Liquid Crystal Side Chains via Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization Using a Bimetallic Molybdenum Initiator", Macromolecules, 39, 3993-4000 (2006).

L.T. James Korley, B. D. Pate, E. L. Thomas and P. T. Hammond, "Effect of the degree of soft and hard segment ordering on the morphology and mechanical behavior of semicrystalline segmented polyurethanes", Polymer, 47, 3073-3082 (2006).

T. Farhat and P.T. Hammond, "Fabrication of a 'Soft' Membrane Electrode Assembly Using Layer-By-Layer Technology", Advanced Functional Materials 16, 433-444 (2006).

T. Farhat and P.T. Hammond, "Engineering Ionic And Electronic Conductivity in Polymer Catalytic Electrodes Using the Layer-By-Layer Technique", Chemistry of Materials, 18, 41-49 (2006).

J. Lutkenhaus, K. Hrabak, and P.T. Hammond, "Free Standing Nanoscale PEO Assemblies as Mechanically Robust Elastomeric Sheets", JACS, 127, 17228-17234 (2005).

K. C. Wood, S. R. Little, R. Langer, P. T. Hammond, "A New Family of Hierarchically Self-Assembling Linear-Dendritic Hybrid Polymers for Highly Efficient,Targeted Gene Delivery", Angewandte Chemie 44, (41), 6704-6708 (2005).

J. Park, L.D. Fouché and P.T. Hammond, "Multicomponent Patterning of Layer-by-Layer Assembled Polyelectrolyte Nanoparticle Composite Thin Films with Controlled Alignment", Advanced Materials 17, (21), 2575-2579 (2005).

T. Farhat and P.T. Hammond, "Designing A New Generation Of Proton-Exchange Membranes Using Layer-By-Layer Deposition Of Polyelectrolytes", Advanced Functional Materials, 15 (6): 945-954 (2005).

Search PubMed for Hammond lab publications

Contact Information

Paula T. Hammond

room 76-553
phone (617) 258-7577

Hammond Lab

phone (617) 258-7577
fax (617) 258-5766

Administrative Support

Koch Institute (Lab)
Elizabeth Galoyan
phone (617) 253-3016
email lgaloyan@MIT.EDU

ChemE Headquarters
Sandra Lopes
phone (617) 715-2294