Dr Robert Chapman

[Email] | [LinkedIn] | [Google Scholar] | [ORCID] | [UoN Staff Page]

  • 2020 - present: Lecturer, Discipline of Chemistry, University of Newcastle

  • 2015 - 2020: Vice Chancellors Research Fellow, DECRA Fellow and Lecturer, School of Chemistry, UNSW

  • 2012-15: PDRA (Biomedical Engineering), Imperial College London, Stevens Group

  • 2009-13: PhD (Chemistry), University of Sydney

  • 2008-09: Associate Consultant, Boston Consulting Group

  • 2002-07: B. Eng (Ind. Chem. Hons 1) UNSW

I am a lecturer in chemistry in the School of Environmental and Life Sciences, and hold a joint appointment as an adjunct lecturer at the School of Chemistry at UNSW. I work on the use of high throughput polymerisation techniques to design polymer therapeutics, to control the folding of polymers into protein-like mimics, and to design polymers that will bind to proteins, enzymes and antibodies. I have expertise in a broad range of polymer chemistry, peptide driven self assembly, drug delivery, tissue engineering and in nanoparticle based biosensing.

Prior to joining the University of Newcastle, I completed a BEng in Industrial Chemistry (2002-07) at UNSW. After a year working in management consulting for the Boston Consulting Group, I moved to the University of Sydney for his PhD in Chemistry (2009-12) under Profs. Sebatien Perrier and Katrina Jolliffe, where I studied the synthesis and self assembly of cyclic peptide - polymer conjugates. I subsequently worked as a postdoctoral research associate in the lab of Prof. Molly Stevens at Imperial College London (2013-15) on the development of nanomaterial based biosensors and scaffolds for tissue engineering, before returning to the School of Chemistry at UNSW as a Vice-Chancellors Research Fellow (2016) and then Lecturer and DECRA fellow (2017-20). In 2020 I moved to the University of Newcastle as a lecturer in chemistry.

Awards and Grants:

  • Chapman, Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), 2017-20

  • Chapman, UNSW VC Fellowship, 2016-18

  • Stenzel, Chapman; Discovery Project; 2017-20

  • Stevens, Gordon, Chapman; UK Medical Research Council CiC, 2015-16, £59K

PhD students

Zifei Han

(with Prof Martina Stenzel)

Zifei is a UNSW Scientia scholar, and began his PhD in 2019.

He works on the development of nanogels for the delivery of peptides targeting various heat shock protein in cancer cells.

[LinkedIn] [Google Scholar]

Ahmed Mustafa

(with Prof Martina Stenzel)

Ahmed began his PhD in 2017 with a long break over COVID. He works on high throughput methods for understanding polymer-protein interactions for the stabilisation of fragile proteins.

[LinkedIn] [Google Scholar]

Shegufta Farazi

(with Prof Martina Stenzel)

Shegufta has a B. Med. Chem (hons) from UNSW. She did her honours research project in the group (2018-19) on the design of nanogels for delivery of charged protein delivery. Her PhD work focusses on controlling the folding of single chain polymer nanoparticles and on using these as drug delivery vehicles.

[LinkedIn] [Google Scholar]

Henry Foster

(with Prof Martina Stenzel)

Prior to starting his PhD in 2020, Henry completed a B. Adv. Sci (Hons 1) in the group (2018-19). He is the recipient of the Paddon Row scholarship, which is awarded to the highest ranked commencing local PhD student in the school each year. Henry works on the development of high throughput star shaped polymers and single chain polymer nanoparticles.

[LinkedIn] [Google Scholar]


Zac di Pietro

(with Prof Erica Wanless)

Zac completed his BSc (Chemistry) in 2022 at UoN, and began his honours degree in June. He is working on understanding the specific ion in polymer brushes for the design of smart surfaces



Zihao (Alvin) Li (PhD, UNSW, 2022)

Daniele Melodia (PhD, UNSW, 2022)

Yiping Wang (PhD, UNSW, 2021)

Honours and Undergraduate:

Thomas Morris (Undergrad project, UoN, 2021)

Matthew McDonnald (Undergrad project, UoN, 2021)

Matthew Humphreys (Hons, UNSW, 2020)

Austin Lai (Hons, UNSW, 2019)

Alicia Cheng (Hons, UNSW, 2017)

Kecheng Li (MSc, UNSW, 2017)