Jonathan Wilker

Jonathan Wilker

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Associate Professor of Materials Engineering (Courtesy Appointment)

Contact Information

Phone: +1 765 49-63382
School of Materials Engineering
Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering
701 West Stadium Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2045


  • B.S. 1991, Chemistry, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • Ph.D. 1996, Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Postdoctoral Scholar 1996-1999, Biochemistry and Chemistry, California Institute of Technology

Research Interests

Biological materials: Characterization, synthetic polymer mimics, and applications.

We are studying biological materials from the seas such as mussel adhesive, barnacle cement, and oyster reef structures. Ongoing efforts include characterizing the composition, bonding, and performance of these biomaterials. We then design and synthesize new polymeric materials using principles learned from nature. For example, we have recently made a biomimetic polymer adhesive with bonding strengths comparable to "super" glue. For applications development we are targeting new antifouling surfaces (preventing adhesion), rustproof coatings, and biomedical materials including surgical adhesives as well as cements for teeth and bone.

Please visit our lab's web site for more information: