News (2016 – 2020)




Congratulations to Ameya Rao and recent graduate Dr. Helen Yao for their new paper titled Bridging dynamic regimes of segmental relaxation and center-of-mass diffusion in associative protein hydrogels published in Physical Review Research!


Congratulations to Dr. Irina Rasid for successfully defending her thesis “Dynamics of Associative Polymer Networks” on Thursday, October 29th, with Professors Gareth McKinley, Krystyn J. Van Vliet, Niels Holten-Andersen, and Bradley D. Olsen!


Congratulations to Dr. Justin M. Paloni for his publication to ACS Applied Polymer Materials titled Polymer Domains Control Diffusion in Protein–Polymer Conjugate Biosensors!


Congratulations to Olsen lab students Dr. Akash Arora, Tzyy-Shyang Lin, Haley K. Beech, and Hidenobu Mochigase for their new paper titled Fracture of Polymer Networks Containing Topological Defects, published in the prestigious polymer science journal Macromolecules, in collaboration with Prof. Rui Wang!


As polymer informatics continues to grow, check out this summary of the Olsen Lab’s newest creation: BigSMILES, an extension of the popular SMILES language for encoding complex, stochastic polymer structures!


Congratulations to Dr. Helen Yao for successfully defending her thesis “Driving Forces of Self-Assembly in Protein–Polymer Bioconjugates” on Friday, August 7th! We wish her the best in her career!


The Olsen team would like to welcome its newest postdoc Dylan Walsh, who completed his Ph.D. in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois under Dr. Damien Guironnet. Welcome Dylan!


Congratulations to Dr. Sieun Kim, Olsen lab student Hursh V. Sureka (@hursh_sureka), Dr. Basak Kayitmazer, and the Swan Lab (@Jim_Swan) on their new paper Effect of Protein Surface Charge Distribution on Protein-Polyelectrolyte Complexation!


Congratulations to graduate student Irina Rasid for her publication in Physical Review Materials titled Understanding the molecular origin of shear thinning in associative polymers through quantification of bond dissociation under shear!


Dr. Justin Paloni became our newest PhD graduate today! He successfully defended his thesis “Protein-Polymer Conjugate Arrays for Enhanced Biosensor Sensitivity and Selectivity” with Professors Bradley D. Olsen, Hadley D. Sikes and Michael S. Strano. Congratulations!


Check out grad student Helen Yao’s recent publication to Polymer Science titled Secondary structure drives self-assembly in weakly segregated globular protein–rod block copolymers!


Congratulations to graduate student Justin Paloni for being chosen to participate in the 2020 Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research Symposium by ACS, which recognizes outstanding students in the field of polymer science!


Congratulations to Helen Yao for being chosen as a Frank J. Padden Jr. Award finalist for the APS March Meeting! Read more about her work.


Congratulations to recent graduate Brian Seifried for his publication in Bioconjugate Chemistry titled Glycoprotein Mimics with Tunable Functionalization through Global Amino Acid Substitution and Copper Click Chemistry!


Former Olsen Lab postdoc Danielle J. Mai is now an Assistant Professor in Stanford University’s Department of Chemical Engineering! We wish her the best of luck on her academic endeavors! For more information on her research, please visit her official research webpage.


We would like to extend a warm welcome to grad student Zi Wang and undergraduates Anna Go and Angelo Guo from the Stephen L. Craig lab. We look forward to their collaboration!

Zi Wang
Anna Go


The Olsen Lab would like to welcome MIT undergraduate Zhining Shi to the lab, who will be working with Tzyy-Shyang Lin and Nathan J. Rebello on the BigSMILES project, a line notation that will accelerate materials discovery and innovation!



Aaron and Helen’s paper is featured on the cover of Soft Matter!

Congratulations to Wui Yarn (Daphne) Chan for a successful thesis defense! Daphne will be starting as a postdoc in the Hillmyer Group at the University of Minnesota.

Prof. Olsen was named a 2019 ACS Fellow!

Congrats to our 2019 graduates Reginald Avery (BioE PhD), Carolyn Mills (ChemE PhD), Brian Seifried (ChemE PhD), Erika Ding (ChemE SB), and Zachary Schmitz (ChemE SB)!!

Welcome to Emily Fitzgerald, a summer student visiting us from the Praxis Program at Smith College!

Good luck to postdoc Michelle Calabrese, who has started as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota!

Congratulations to Carolyn Mills for a successful thesis defense! Carrie will be starting as a postdoc in the Tullman-Ercek Group at Northwestern University.

Congratulations to Brian Seifried for a successful thesis defense! Brian will be starting at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Prof. Olsen was awarded the Owens Corning Early Career Award from the Materials Engineering & Science Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers!

Prof. Olsen was selected as part of MIT Office of Graduate Education’s 2019 Committed to Caring honor!

Congratulations to Justin for winning third prize in the 2019 DPOLY Poster Session!

Best of luck to a few of our postdocs moving onto new positions: Yun Jung Yang (Research Professor at POSTECH), Nari Ryu (Merck), and Sieun Kim (ThermoFisher). Congratulations, and we will miss you!



Congratulations to newlyweds Aaron and Anne!

Congratulations to Reginald Avery for a successful thesis defense! Reginald is starting as a Biomedical Engineer at the FDA.

Welcome to our newest group member, Kento! Congratulations to Takuya and his wife.

Good luck to Rui Wang, who is starting as an Assistant Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UC Berkeley in January 2019! Read more here.

Congratulations to our 2018 graduates Dr. Aaron Huang (Course X PhD) and Amy Wang (Course X S.B.)! We wish Amy the best of luck in her graduate program at Stanford!

Congratulations to Aaron on the investiture of his doctoral hood!

Welcome to our newest group member, Selin! Congratulations to Basak and her husband.

Congratulations to Aaron Huang for a successful thesis defense!

Congratulations to Danielle for being selected as a 2018 ACS PMSE Future Faculty Scholar!

Congratulations to Danielle and Chelsea for winning first prize at the DPOLY poster session!

Congratulations to Michelle Sing for starting her new position at Braskem!

Congratulations to Reginald for being named a 2018 Siebel Scholar!

Prof. Olsen is awarded the 2018 John H. Dillon Medal from the American Physical Society!



Congratulations to Hursh for receiving a student travel award for the 2017 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference (CBDST)!

Welcome to the newest member of our lab, Henry! He joined us on September 24 at 12:30 AM, healthy and weighing in at 7 lb 10 oz. Congratulations to Sieun and Andrew!

Congratulations to undergraduate researcher Erika Ding for being accepted into the Super UROP Program!

Prof. Olsen and the group are featured in an MIT News Spotlight (link).

Thanks to our interns for their hard work this summer! Good luck in your future endeavors!

Congrats to Brad for becoming a certified divemaster!

Reginald Avery was recently featured in an MIT News graduate student profile! Read about Reginald’s research, which focuses on preventing severe blood loss on the battlefield or in the clinic.

Welcome to our summer 2017 interns, Andriana Velmahos (Milton Academy), Amadou Sow (Roxbury Community College), and Brandon Clark (Amgen Scholar, Worcester Polytechnic Institute)!

Congratulations to our 2017 graduates, Dr. Shengchang Tang (Course X PhD), Dr. Michelle Sing (Course 3 / PPSM PhD), Helen Yao (Course X M.S.CEP), and Chelsea Edwards (Course X S.B.)!

Congratulations to Shengchang and Michelle on the investiture of their doctoral hoods!

Good luck to postdoc Angie Holmberg in her new position at Anfiro!

Congratulations to Michelle Sing for a successful thesis defense!

Prof. Olsen received tenure from the School of Engineering at MIT. Congratulations to Brad and the group for their accomplishments!

Our recent work on a new strategy to produce stronger polymers was published in PNAS and featured on MIT News. Congrats to Mingjiang!

Congratulations to Danielle Mai for winning an Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows Award! MIT News.

Congratulations to Chelsea Edwards, who was awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG)!

Congratulations to Carolyn Mills, who is a 2017 honoree of the MIT Graduate Women of Excellence Award!

Prof. Olsen has been named the Kavli The Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry! Watch his lecture from the Spring 2017 ACS National Meeting.

Congratulaions to Xuehui and Allie on their new article in Angewandte Chemie! The work is summarized in this video and on MIT News, and the full paper can be found here.



  • Welcome to our newest group member, Theo! Congratulations to Bruno and Sula!
  • Prof. Olsen delivers the Allan P. Colburn Memorial Lecture at the University of Delaware. Thanks to the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering for this honor and their hospitality.
  • Congratulations to Reginald Avery for being named honorable mention for the Pete Wishnok award in the MIT Department of Biological Engineering. Congrats also to the other winners for a job well done!
  • Prof. Olsen delivers the Sigma-Aldrich Lecture in the Department of Materials Science at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Congratulations to Mingjiang, Rui, Ken, Brad, and Jeremiah on their new article in Science! A brief article discussing the work can be found here and the full paper can be found here.
  • Congratulations to Shengchang on a successful defense! He will be a postdoc with Dr. Kristi Anseth at UC Boulder before beginning a faculty position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Materials Science and Engineering Department.
  • Best of luck to Allie, Manos, Mingjiang, and Minkyu at their new faculty positions at Columbia, UMass-Amherst, Yale, and Arizona!
  • Congratulations to Chris, Dongsook, and Matt on the investiture of their doctoral hoods!
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  • Congratulations to Chelsea Edwards on receiving the Goldwater Fellowship.
  • Congratulations to Chris Lam on Graduating. We wish you the very best of luck at ORNL.
  • Prof. Olsen named 2016 POLY fellow
  • Shengchang gave talk at APS Padden Symposium. Congratulations to all the finalists!