Jonathan Barnes

​Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD, Northwestern University
BS MS, University of Kentucky
research interests:
  • Synthetic Organic Chemistry
  • Polymer Synthesis
  • Supramolecular Chemistry
  • Nanomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Inorganic & Environmental Chemistry

contact info:

mailing address:

  • CB 1134
  • ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899

Jonathan Barnes’ laboratory employs a multi-disciplinary approach towards research challenges in the areas of stimuli-responsive materials, combination therapeutics, and porous crystalline materials that serve as a platform for catalysis, chemical separation, and energy storage applications.

The Barnes Integrated Materials Research Group employs a multi-disciplinary approach towards research challenges in the areas of stimuli-responsive materials, combination therapeutics, and porous crystalline materials that serve as a platform for catalysis, chemical separation, and energy storage applications. The “keystone” of our research program is based on known methodologies in synthetic organic chemistry. Supramolecular and polymer chemistries are directly associated with this keystone, and together, all three areas represent the foundation of the research group. We aim to build on this foundation by constructing novel materials with well-defined functions – for both fundamental and applied purposes – that will ultimately lead us down research pathways in the areas of nanomaterials, biomedical engineering, and inorganic and environmental chemistries. 

Researchers who join the Barnes laboratory will gain valuable experience in a broad range of areas and techniques, such as synthetic chemistry, spectrometric identification of organic compounds, polymer synthesis, characterization of non-covalent bonding interactions and host-guest systems, absorption spectroscopy, electrochemistry, size-exclusion chromatography, dynamic light scattering, cell culturing, and in vivo efficacy studies. The new Barnes research space will consist of a large synthesis laboratory (multiple fume hoods, double glovebox, solvent purification system, etc.), in addition to a biological laboratory (complete with a cell culture room) and an instrument room for electrochemistry and optical absorption spectroscopy experiments.



July 2016-present, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis


Awards and Fellowships

April 2015   2015 IUPAC-SOLVAY International Award for Young Chemists                                                             
March 2015   Northwestern Department of Chemistry Award for Excellence in Graduate Research                             
August 2014   Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation         
February 2014   2013 Foresight Institute Distinguished Student Award Winner                                                                
June 2013   Department of Energy Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Award                                                           
July 2012   Northwestern International Institute for Nanotechnology Ryan Fellowship                                              
April 2012   Department of Defense National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship                          
September 2011   World Class University Fellowship – NanoCentury KAIST Institute / Korea                                           
August 2001   Thomas B. Nantz Memorial Scholarship (Excellence in Chemistry), University of Kentucky                


Selected Publications (30+ total)

Barnes, J. C.; Bruno, P.; Nguyen, H. V.-T.; Liao, L.; Liu, J.; Hemann, M. T.; Johnson, J. A. Using an RNAi Signature Assay to Guide the Design of Three-Drug Conjugated Nanoparticles with Validated Mechanisms, In Vivo Efficacy, and Low Toxicity. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 12494–12501.  Highlighted in MIT News

Barnes, J. C.; Ehrlich, D. J.; Gao, A. X.; Leibfarth, F. A.; Jiang, Y.; Zhou, E.; Jamison, T. F.; Johnson, J. A. Iterative Exponential Growth of Stereo- and Sequence-Controlled Polymers. Nature Chem. 20157, 810–815Highlighted in RSC’s Chemistry World.

Barnes, J. C.; Dale, E. J.; Prokofjevs, A.; Narayanan, A.; Gibbs-Hall, I. C.; Juríček, M.; Stern, C. L.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Botros, Y. Y.; Stupp, S. I.; Stoddart, J. F. Semiconducting Single Crystals Comprising Segregated Arrays of Complexes of C60J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015137, 2392–2399.

Barnes, J. C.; Frasconi, M.; Young, R. M.; Khdary, N. H.; Liu, W.-G.; Dyar, S. M.; McGonigal, P. R.; Gibbs-Hall, I. C.; Diercks, C. S.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Stern, C. L.; Goddard, W. A., III; Wasielewski, M. R.; Stoddart, J. F. Solid-State Characterization and Photoinduced Intramolecular Electron Transfer in a Nanoconfined Octacationic Homo[2]Catenane.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014136, 10569‒10572.

Juríček, M.; Strutt, N. L.; Barnes, J. C.; Butterfield, A. M.; Dale, E. J.; Baldridge, K. K.; Stoddart, J. F.; Siegel, J. S.  Induced-Fit Catalysis of Corannulene Bowl-to-Bowl Inversion.  Nature Chem. 20146, 222‒228.

Barnes, J. C.; Juríček, M.; Vermeulen, N. A.; Dale, E. J.; Stoddart, J. F. Synthesis of ExnBox Cyclophanes.  J. Org. Chem201378, 11962–11969.

Juríček, M. †Barnes, J. C.; Dale, E. J.; Liu, W.-G.; Strutt, N. L.; Bruns, C. J.; Vermeulen, N. A.; Ghooray, K.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Stern, C. L.; Botros, Y. Y.; Goddard, W. A., III; Stoddart, J. F.  Ex2Box: Interdependent Modes of Binding in a Two-Nanometer-Long Synthetic Receptor.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 12736–12746. †These authors contributed equally.

Barnes, J. C.; Fahrenbach, A. C.;  Cao, D.;  Dyar, S. M.;  Frasconi, M.; Giesener,  M. A.; Benítez, D.; Tkatchouk, E.; Chernyashevskyy, O.; Shin, W. H.; Li, H.; Sampath, S.; Stern, C. L.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Hartlieb, K. J.; Liu, Z.; Carmieli, R.; Botros, Y. Y.; Choi, J. W.; Slawin, A. M. Z.; Ketterson, J. B.; Wasielewski, M. R.; Goddard, W. A., III; Stoddart, J. F.  A Radically Configurable Six-State Compound.  Science  2013339, 429–433.  Highlighted in C&EN ‘News of the Week’, RSC’s Chemistry World, Nature Middle East, and Nature Chemistry’s News and Views.

Barnes, J. C.; Juríček, M.; Strutt, N. L.; Frasconi, M.; Sampath, S.; Giesener,  M. A.; McGrier, P. L.; Bruns, C. J.; Stern, C. L.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Stoddart, J. F.  ExBox: A Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Scavenger. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013135, 183–192.  Front Cover Article. Highlighted in C&EN and RSC’s Chemistry World.

Barnes, J. C.; Fahrenbach, A. C.; Dyar, S. M.; Frasconi, M.; Giesener, M. A.; Zhu, Z.; Liu, Z.; Hartlieb, K. J.; Carmieli, R.; Wasielewski, M. R.; Stoddart, J. F.  Mechanically-Induced Intramolecular Electron Transfer in a Mixed-Valence Molecular Shuttle.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci2012109, 1154611551.  Front Cover Article.

Fahrenbach, A. C.; Barnes, J. C.; Lanfranchi, D. A.; Li, H.; Coskun, A.; Gassensmith, J. J.; Liu, Z.; Benítez, D.; Trabolsi, A.; Goddard, W. A., III; Elhabiri, M.; Stoddart, J. F.  Solution-Phase Mechanistic Study and Solid-State Structure of a Tris(Bipyridinium Radical Cation) Inclusion Complex.  J. Am. Chem. Soc2012, 134, 3061–3072.

Li, Z.; Barnes, J. C.; Bosoy, A.; Stoddart, J. F.; Zink, J. I.  Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications.  Chem. Soc. Rev201241, 2590–2605. 



Johnson, J. A.; Longyan, L.; Barnes, J. C. U.S. Provisional Patent Application 62/346,923.  Drug Delivery Polymers and Uses Thereof.  Filed: June 7, 2016.

Johnson, J. A.; Barnes, J. C.; Ehrlich, D. J. C.; Jiang, Y.; Gao, A. X. U.S. Patent Application 15/074,779.  Formation of Macromolecules Using Iterative Growth and Related Compounds.  Filed: June 6, 2016.

Stoddart, J. F.; Barnes, J. C.; Juricek, M.  U.S. Patent 9,290,495.  Tetracationic Cyclophanes and Their Use in the Sequestration of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons By Way of Complexation.  Published: March 22, 2016.

Stoddart, J. F.; Dale, E. J.; Vermeulen, N. A.; Barnes, J. C.; Juricek, M.  U.S. Patent Application 14/844,577. ExCage: Synthesis of Viologen-Like Pyridinium-Based Cages for the Selective Capture of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.  Filed: September 3, 2015.    

Stoddart, J. F.; Fahrenbach, A. C.; Barnes, J. C.; Li, H.; Sampath, S.; Basuray, A.  U.S. Patent 9,120,799.  Crystalline Bipyridinium Radical Complexes and Uses Thereof.  Published: September 1, 2015.