Professor, Macromolecular Chemistry

Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry University of Strathclyde 295 Cathedral Street Glasgow G1 1XL United Kingdom

Office: TG507
Phone:+44 (0)141 548 4648
orcidID logo0000-0001-6199-9995

Nico Bruns studied Chemistry at the Universities of Freiburg (Germany) and Edinburgh (Scotland). He graduated from the University of Freiburg as Diplom-Chemiker in 2003 and, under the supervision of Prof. Jörg C. Tiller and Prof. Rolf Mülhaupt, undertook a PhD in Macromolecular Chemistry, which he obtained in 2007. In his doctoral work, Nico investigated amphiphilic polymer conetworks as nanostructured support for biocatalysts. From 2007 to 2008, he continued his academic career as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Douglas S. Clark at the University of California, Berkeley, where he explored biotechnologically engineered protein cages as mechano-responsive sensor molecules in polymeric materials. Upon returning to Europe, Nico joined the Department of Chemistry of the University of Basel in Switzerland. From 2008 to 2013, he led an independent junior research group as Habilitand. In 2013, he was awarded a SNSF professorship, which enabled him to join the AMI, heading up the Macromolecular Chemistry group. In 2018, he was appointed full Professor of Macromolecular Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde (UK). In 2021, he was appointed Professor of Sustainable Functional Polymers  at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany. Two branches of his research group are hosted at AMI and in Glasgow. Nico is also a founding member and principal investigator of the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials.

His research encompasses an interdisciplinary, bio-inspired approach that combines polymer chemistry and protein engineering to create new opportunities for the sustainable synthesis of polymers and to design, engineer and realize materials and nanosytems with unprecedented new functions. His research interests are biocatalytic atom transfer radical polymerizations (bioATRP), bio-inspired block copolymer nanoreactors, protein cages, and proteins as force-responsive sensor molecules in materials such as fiber-reinforced composites. Nico is the recipient of a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation, a Marie Curie Fellowship, a Holcim Stiftung Wissen Habilitanden Fellowship, and the Pfizer Research Award for Young Scientists. Moreover, he was honoured as Emerging Investigator by the journals Chemical Society Reviews and Journal of Materials Chemistry A.