Yunyan Qiu is currently a postdoctoral fellow with Sir Fraser Stoddart at Northwestern University (NU), where he researches in the field of molecular machines and related functional materials. Most of his work at NU is to design and harness artificial molecular machines (AMMs) to produce functional polymers and materials in a controlled manner. As a polymer chemist by training, he developed an ever-increasing amount of interest in exploring practical applications of artificial molecular pumps (AMPs), a subset of AMMs, in polymer chemistry and materials science. In particular, he worked on harnessing AMPs as precise polyrotaxane synthesizers to produce enthalpically and entropically demanding mechanically interlocked polymers with exquisite control over the number of threaded rings.
Yunyan is originally from China. He completed his undergraduate training at Peking University, majoring in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Then he came to the US and earned his PhD degree in Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) under the guidance of Professor Kevin Noonan and Tomek Kowalewski. At CMU, his research encompassed organometallic chemistry and polymer science, focusing on the rational design of conjugated polymers and the development of controlled methodologies to afford well-defined functional materials using metal-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions. In 2018, he was selected to be one of the 2018 PMSE Future Faculty Scholars and honored to participate in the 2018 CAS SciFinder Future Leaders program. In 2020, Yunyan was awarded one of the 2020 IIN Outstanding Researchers Awards by the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) and the 2020 Dream Chemistry Top 5 Prize organized by the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences.