Heather D. Maynard is the Dr. Myung Ki Hong Professor in Polymer Science in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. Maynard is a leader in the area of protein-polymer conjugates, which are important therapeutics for a variety of diseases. She develops new synthetic methods to make the materials, invents new polymers to improve properties such as stability, and demonstrates preclinical efficacy of her conjugates with an eye towards translation for human health. Maynard also works in the area of smart materials for precision medicine: materials that respond to disease states in the body. Maynard’s research and teaching have been recognized by numerous awards, including most recently the Bioconjugate Chemistry Lectureship Award, the American Chemical Society Arthur Cope Scholar Award, the UCLA Student Development Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, and election as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow. Maynard is also an American Chemical Society POLY and PMSE, Leverhulme, Kavli Frontiers, and Royal Society of Chemistry Fellow, was a Fulbright Specialist in New Zealand, and a member of the US Defence Science Study Group. Maynard received her PhD from the California Institute of Technology and was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).
The Maynard research group is interested in the synthesis and application of protein-polymer conjugates and smart materials. There are three main research thrusts within the group.
1) New syntheses of protein-polymer conjugates are developed and applied to prepare therapeutic protein-polymer conjugates. Conjugates are studied for therapeutic efficacy and safety with a focus on drugs used to treat diabetes. We also rationally design and synthesize polymers that stabilize proteins to stressors encountered during the production, storage, and shipping conditions.
2) Our group prepares stimuli-responsive materials including hydrogels, peptides, and nanoparticles for drug delivery applications. These materials are responsive to a variety of triggers such as pH, reducing conditions, temperature, glucose, and enzymes that can be tuned based on their chemistry for various applications in medicine including for diabetes and cancer.
3) Current solutions to enhance food yields are expensive, inefficient, and/or wasteful. The Maynard Lab creates polymers and hydrogels to encapsulate, stabilize, and release vulnerable compounds and proteins, overall increasing the efficiency of their use. We also create materials to reduce water use for agriculture under drought conditions.
Honors & Awards
- Bioconjugate Chemistry Lectureship Award, American Chemical Society, 2019
- UCLA Student Development Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, 2018
- Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, American Chemical Society, 2018
- Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2018,
- Fulbright Specialist, New Zealand, 2017
- Polymer Materials: Science and Engineering American Chemical Society Fellow, 2017
- Dr. Myung Ki Hong Endowed Chair in Polymer Science, 2017-present
- Defense Science Study Group Member, 2016-2018
- Leading Edge Lecturer, City of Hope, 2015
- AAPS Lecturer, University of Utah, 2015
- Herbert Newby McCoy Award for Outstanding Research, 2013
- POLY Fellow Award of the American Chemical Society, 2013
- Eastman Chemical Company Lecturer, University of Akron, 2013
- Leverhulme Fellow 2012 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2011
- Kavli Frontiers Fellow 2011 Walter F. Enz Lecturer, University of Kansas, 2008
- Young Academic Investigators Symposium Lecturer, ACS, New Orleans, 2008
- Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2007
- Seaborg Award for Outstanding Research in Chemistry, 2007
- NSF CAREER Award, 2007-2012
- Selected as an Outstanding Emerging Investigator in Materials Chemistry, 2007
- WCC ACS Lecturer, Southern Methodist University, 2006
- Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, 2006-2008
- Amgen New Faculty Award, 2004
- Howard Reiss Career Development Chair, 2002-2007
- American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2000-2002
- American Chemical Society Women’s Committee Travel Award, 1998
- Dow Travel Fellowship Award, 1997
- Graduation with Honors from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992
- Bausch & Lomb Science Award for Excellence in Chemistry, 1987
- Soroptimist Society Award