Cori Jenkins Root

Cori Jenkins Root

Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Room:CP 305

Education and Training

Postdoctoral Scholar, California Institute of Technology (2016)
Purdue University Ph.D. (2015)
Saint Louis University B.S. (2010)

Research Interests

The research conducted in our group focuses on the synthesis, characterization and modification of polythiols. These synthetic polymers provide low cost, scalable materials that take advantage of the unique functionality afforded by thiol groups in enzymes, peptides, and small molecules. Within the copolymer matrix this highly reactive functional group can bind to metal ions, with itself to form a cross-linked network, or be appended with alternate functional groups via click chemistry. The streamlined synthesis and ease of modification enables polythiols to serve as the framework to explore a variety of functions. Some of these include the binding and removal environmental contaminants such as metal ions in solution as well as the entrapment and controlled release of small molecules from the polymer matrix. This research program employs polymer science, organic synthesis, and materials design with environmental and biomedical applications. Students will gain experience with gel permeation chromatography (GPC), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) as well as NMR, UV-Vis, and AA spectroscopies.


Jenkins, C. L.; Siebert, H. M.; Wilker, J. J. “Integrating Mussel Chemistry into a Bio-Based Polymer to Create Degradable Adhesives.” Macromolecules. 2017. 50, 561- 568.
Griffin, M. E.;   Jensen, E. H.;   Mason, D. E.;  Jenkins, C. L.;   Stone, S. E.;   Peters, E. C.; Hsieh-Wilson, L. C. “Comprehensive Mapping of O-GlcNAc Modification Sites Using a Chemically Cleavable Tag.” Molecular BioSystems. 2016. 12, 1756-1759.

Brennan, M. J.; Meredith, H. J.; Jenkins, C. L. Wilker, J. J; Liu, J. C. “Cytocompatibility studies of a biomimetic copolymer with simplified structure and high-strength adhesion.” Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A. 2016. 104(4) 983-989.

Jenkins, C. L.; Meredith, H. J.; Wilker, J. J. “Adhesives Inspired by Marine Mussels.” In Nuno Neves and Rui Reis (Eds). Biomaterials from Nature for Advanced Devices and Therapies. Jon Wiley and Sons Inc. 2016.

Meredith, H. J.; Jenkins, C. L.; Wilker, J. J. “Enhancing the Adhesion of a Biomimetic Polymer Yields Performance Rivaling Commercial Glue." Advanced Functional Materials. 2014. 24(21) 3259-3267.

Jenkins, C. L.; Meredith, H. J.; Wilker, J. J. “Molecular Weight Effects upon the Adhesive Bonding of a Mussel Mimetic Polymer.” ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. 2013. 5(11) 5091-5096.

Leng, C.; Liu, Y.; Jenkins, C. L. Meredith, H. J.; Wilker, J. J.; Chen, Z. “Interfacial Structure of a DOPA-Inspired Adhesive Polymer Studied by Sum Frequency Generation Vibrational Spectroscopy.” Langmuir. 2013. 29(22) 6659-6664.

Neto, A. I.; Meredith, H. J.; Jenkins, C. L.; Wilker, J. J; Mano, J. F. “Combining biomimetic principles from the lotus leaf and mussel adhesive: polystyrene films with superhydrophobic and adhesive layers.” RSC Advances. 2013. 3, 9352-9356.

Arechederra, M. N.; Jenkins, C. L.; Rincón, R. A.; Artyushkova, K.; Atanassov, P.; Minteer, S. D. “Chemical Polymerization and Electrochemical Characterization of Thiazines for NADH electrocatalysis Applications.” Electrochimica Acta. 2010. 55(22) 6659-6664.