Jianjun Cheng obtained his PhD degree in Materials Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2001. He was a senior scientist at Insert Therapeutics, Inc., from 2001 to 2004 and a postdoctoral research scientist at MIT from 2004 to 2005. He joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005. In 2016, he was appointed as Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. Cheng is the co-inventor of 37 patents/patent applications and co-authored 170 publications.
Cheng’s research has made translational impact. Two nanomedicine systems he co-developed has made to clinical trials. He received a Prostate Cancer Foundation Competitive Award in 2007, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2008, a Xerox Award for Outstanding Research at Illinois in 2010, a NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2010, the Willett Faculty Scholar Award in 2013, and the Illinois Distinguished Promotion Award in 2015. Cheng is currently an Associate Editor of Biomaterials Science, Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a Fellow of American Chemical Society-Division of Polymer Chemistry, and a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science.