Carnegie Mellon University

Newell Washburn

Dr. Newell R. Washburn

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, and Materials Science & Engineering

Mellon Institute 814
Carnegie Mellon University
4400 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California (Berkeley), 1998


Dr. Newell Washburn is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He is also President of Washburn Therapeutics, Inc., which develops gels for controlling inflammation and treating injuries and disease states. It offers biologically active gels that control inflammation by selectively neutralizing pro-inflammatory cytokines. Dr. Washburn received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in Chemistry. Following post-doctoral research at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, he moved to the Polymers Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, first as a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow then as Leader of the Biomaterials Group. During this time he was also an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Graduate Program in Biotechnology.


Research in the Washburn Group focuses on the development of new materials with novel compositions or architectures. The goals of the research are in elucidating fundamental properties and the structure-function relationships as well as exploring technological applications. Of particular interest is the development of materials based on renewable resources. Current research areas include surfactants and nanocomposites based on the biopolymer lignin, non-fouling interfaces for medical diagnostics, high-affinity adsorbents for the selective recovery of metals from aqueous systems, and conducting-polymer binders for battery electrodes.

Research Interests: materials chemistry; biomaterials; green chemistry; machine learning


Awards and Recognition

  • Coulter Foundation Translational Research Award, 2010

  • 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Grant, 2005