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Coup of Two New Faculty Hires 

The Chemistry Department is delighted to announce our two new faculty hires.  Please welcome Dr. Matt Jones and Dr. Han Xiao, who will both join the department as assistant professors on July 1, 2017!

Matt received a Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from Northwestern University and most recently served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of California, Berkeley. He plans to establish a world-leading research program focused on complexity, function, and dynamics in self-assembled inorganic nanosystems. This work will support a multidisciplinary research effort incorporating elements of nanoparticle synthesis, surface chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, soft matter assembly, and liquid-phase electron microscopy. The materials he develops will have immediate applications in the fields of plasmonics/metamaterials, biomedical interfaces, and nanoscale mechanics.  Matt will hold the Norman and Gene Hackerman Junior Chair and the Norman Hackerman-Welch Young Investigator designation. 

Han joins Rice after working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Stanford University. He received a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from The Scripps Research Institute and plans to develop and utilize various chemical biological tools to understand complex biological systems as well as develop novel therapeutic strategies. Specifically, his interdisciplinary research group will focus on understanding the interface between cancer and immunity and synthesizing various biomolecules to manipulate this interface for better immunotherapy. His research integrates elements from multiple disciplines spanning synthetic chemistry, chemical biology, molecular biology, cancer biology, and immunology.  Han will hold the Norman Hackerman-Welch Young Investigator designation and is a CPRIT Scholar ($2M). 

When asked about their anticipation and excitement about joining Rice, they are quoted as follows:

Matt Jones 2

Matt Jones

“Throughout my career I’ve been consistently drawn to the outstanding nanoscience research being conducted at Rice University. I feel incredibly honored to now be part of that community and able to contribute to such a rich tradition of scientific excellence. I look forward to establishing my own research group and sharing my enthusiasm for research, teaching, and chemistry with the exceptional students and faculty at Rice.”

Han Xiao 2

    Han Xiao

“I’m excited to join Rice University and be in such close proximity to the Texas Medical Center. I’m intrigued by the innovative and cohesive environment of Rice University and look forward to successful and fruitful collaborations with people at Rice and the Texas Medical Center.” 

Chairman Matteo Pasquali shared his excitement:  “I am truly delighted that Matt and Han will be joining.  Their whole recruitment process was an exciting roller coaster, as we were competing with several of the top programs in Chemistry, Materials Science, and Biology.  The week when they both accepted our offers was one of the most fulfilling in my career as chair.  I am sure that they will hit the ground running and make a positive impact from day one!”