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François Baneyx

Faculty Photo

Director, CoMotion

Vice Provost for Innovation

Director, Center for the Science of Synthesis Across Scales

Charles W. H. Matthaei Endowed Professorship
Chemical Engineering

Adjunct Professor


  • Ph.D., University of Texas (Austin), 1991
  • Ingénieur, E.N.S.I.G.C., Toulouse (France), 1987

Previous appointments

  • Department Chair, UW Department of Chemical Engineering, 2014-2018
  • Director, UW Center for Nanotechnology, 2005-2013
  • Site Director, NSF National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, 2004-2012
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Du Pont (Wilmington), 1991

Research Statement

Research in the Baneyx laboratory lies at the confluence of synthetic biology, nanotechnology, molecular engineering and materials science. We are a lead lab in CSSAS, the Center for the Science of Synthesis Across Scales, an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) directed by Prof. Baneyx that brings together investigators from three universities and two national laboratories.

Inspired by nature’s ability to fabricate intricate and often hierarchical materials with outstanding transport, optical, and magnetic properties, we seek to understand the rules that underpin the interaction of combinatorially-selected solid-binding peptides with inorganic and synthetic interfaces. We genetically install these peptides within the framework of rationally or computationally designed proteins, thus combining biological function (e.g., self-assembly, catalysis or molecular transport) with the adhesive and morphogenetic properties of the guest peptides. We use the resulting solid-binding proteins as “parts” in hybrid materials and devices, or synthesize them in cells to fabricate self-organizing, dynamic and living matter with applications ranging from biomedicine and bionanoelectronics to biomineralization and catalysis.

Select publications

  1. Ma, J., B. Cai, S. Zhang, T. Jian, J.J. De Yoreo, C.-L. Chen and F. Baneyx. 2021. Nanoparticle-mediated assembly of peptoid nanosheets functionalized with solid-binding proteins: Designing heterostructures for hierarchy. Nano Lett. 21:1636-1642
  2. Hellner, B., S. Alamdari, H. Pyles, S. Zhang, A. Prakash, K.G. Sprenger, J.J. De Yoreo, D. Baker, J. Pfaendtner and F. Baneyx. 2020. Sequence-structure-binding relationships reveal adhesion behavior of the Car9 solid-binding peptide: an integrated experimental and simulation study. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 142:2355-2363.
  3. Hellner, B., A.E. Stegmann, K. Pushpavanam, M.J. Bailey and F. Baneyx. 2020. Phase control of nanocrystalline inclusions in bioprecipitated titania with a panel of mutant silica-binding proteins. Langmuir 36:8503-8510.
  4. Soto-Rodríguez, J. and F. Baneyx. 2019. Role of the signal sequence in proteorhodopsin biogenesis in E. coli. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 116:912-918.
  5. Dunakey, S.J.G., B.L. Coyle, A. Thomas, B.J.F. Swift and F. Baneyx. 2019. Selective labeling and decoration of the ends and sidewalls of single-walled carbon nanotubes using mono- and bispecific solid binding fluorescent proteins. Bioconjug. Chem. 30:959-965.
  6. Soto-Rodríguez, J., Z. Hemmatian, J. Black, M. Rolandi and F. Baneyx. 2019. Two-channel bioprotonic photodetector. ACS Appl. Bio Mater. 2:930-935.
  7. Hellner, B., S.B. Lee, A. Subramanian, V.R. Subramanian and F. Baneyx. 2019. Modeling the cooperative adsorption of solid-binding protein on silica: molecular insights from SPR measurements. Langmuir 35:5013-5020.
  8. Swift, B.J.F., J. Shadish, C. DeForest and F. Baneyx. 2017. Streamlined synthesis and assembly of a hybrid sensing architecture with solid binding proteins and click chemistry. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139:3958-3961.

Honors & awards

  • Elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences, 2016
  • Elected Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology (AAM), 2015
  • Elected Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), 2015
  • Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2013
  • UW College of Engineering Faculty Innovator Award: Research, 2010
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Exploration Award, 2008