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Brian Long

Brian K. Long



Research efforts in the Long Group are highly interdisciplinary and utilize the tools of organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, organometallic design, and even polymer science and engineering to address fundamental problems with real world impact. Our research is divided into two main thrusts: (1) the design and synthesis of functional polymeric materials, and (2) the development and utilization of next-generation polymerization catalysts. To find out more about each of these thrusts and current projects within the Long Research Group, please click on the “Group Website” link to the right.


Brian (BL) studied chemistry as an undergraduate at North Georgia College & State University (now UNG) and completed his B.S. degree in 2003. During his undergraduate career, he conducted research under the guidance of Prof. Dan Thompson at UNG, and as a participant in Furman University's NSF-REU program where he worked in the research groups of Profs. John Wheeler and Noel A. P. Kane-Maguire. BL began his doctoral research at the University of Texas at Austin where he worked under the guidance of Prof. C. Grant Willson and was co-advised by Prof. Christopher W. Bielawski. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2009, BL pursued his postdoctoral studies at Cornell University under the supervision of Prof. Geoffrey W. Coates. BL began as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville (UTK) in 2011, and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2018 and full Professor in 2023. His research and teaching efforts have been recognized through the Ffrancon Williams Endowed Faculty Award, an Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, a Department of Energy Early Career Research Program Award, and he was named the Gleb Mamantov Professor of Chemistry in 2020.


B.S., North Georgia College & State University (2003)
Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin (2009)
Postdoc, Cornell University (2009-2011)

Awards and Recognitions

Gleb Mamantov Associate Professor of Chemistry (2020)
Department of Energy, Early Career Research Program Award (2017)
Ffrancon Williams Endowed Faculty Award (2015-2019)
Army Research Office Young Investigator Award (2014)
UT Summer Pre-college Service Award (2014, 2015)
ACS POLY Division Graduate Travel Award (2008)
Presidential Honors Scholar (North Georgia College & State University) (2003)


Selected Publications:

Workman, C.E.; Bag, P.; Cawthon, B.; Ali, F. H.; Brady, N. G.; Bruce, B. D.; Long, B. K. “Alternatives to Styrene- and Diisobutylene-based Copolymers for Membrane Protein Solubilization via Nanodisc Formation” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2023, accepted. DOI: 10.1002/anie.202306572

Annamraju, A; Rajan, K.; Zuo, X.; Long, B. K.; Pingali, S. V.; Elder, T. J.; Labbé, N. “Atomic Level Interactions and Suprastructural Configuration of Plant Cell Wall Polymers in Dialkylimidazolium Ionic Liquids” Biomacromolecules 2023, 24, 2164. DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.3c00047

Wenger, L.E.; Shawver, N.M.; Koby, R.F.; Brennessel, W.W.; Long, B.K.; Hanusa, T.P.  “Heteroleptic Aluminum Allyls as Initiators for Lactide Polymerization” Organometallics 202241, 3718. DOI: 10.1021/acs.organomet.2c00482

Shawver, N.M.; Doerr, A.M.; Long, B. K.  “A perspective on redox-switchable ring-opening polymerization” J. Polym. Sci. 2022, 1. DOI: 10.1002/pol.20220585

Kaiser, J.M.; Burroughs, J.M.; Long, B. K. “Development of Photoinduced Initiation of Olefin Polymerization and its Application” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144, 21206. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.2c08548 
*Featured in Nature 611, 638 (2022), DOI: 10.1038/d41586-022-03709-1

Workman, C.E.; Cawthon, B.; Brady, N. G.; Bruce, B. D.; Long, B. K. “Effects of Esterified Styrene-Maleic Acid Copolymer Degradation on Integral Membrane Protein Extraction” Biomacromolecules 2022, 23, 4749. DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.2c00928

O’Connell, C.E.; Sabury, S.; Jenkins, J.E.; Collier, G.S.; Sumpter, B.G.; Long, B.K.; Kilbey II, S.M. “Highly Fluorescent Purine-Containing Conjugated Copolymers with Tailored Optoelectronic Properties” Polym. Chem. 2022, 13, 4921. DOI: 10.1039/d2py00545j

Wang, X.; Wilson, T. J.; Maroon, C.R.; Laub, J.A.; Rheingold, S.E.; Vogiatzis, K.D.; Long, B. K.  “Vinyl-Addition Fluoroalkoxysilyl-Substituted Polynorbornene Membranes for CO2/CH4 Separation” ACS Appl. Polym. Mater. 2022, 4, 7976. DOI: 10.1021/acsapm.1c01833
These authors contributed equally

Doerr, A.M.; Curry, M.R.; Chapleski, R.C.; Burroughs, J.M.; Lander, E.K.; Roy, S.; Long, B. K.  “Redox Potential as a Predictor of Polyethylene Branching Using Nickel α-Diimine Catalysts” ACS Catalysis 2022, 12, 73. DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.1c03646

Wang, X.; Jeong, Y. L.; Love, C.; Stretz, H.; Stein, G.E.; Long, B. K.  “Design, Synthesis, and Characterization of Vinyl-addition Polynorbornenes with Tunable Thermal Properties” Polym. Chem. 2021, 12, 5831. DOI: 10.1039/D1PY01050F

Brady, N. G.; Workman, C. E.; Cawthon, B.; Bruce, B. D.; Long, B. K.  “Protein Extraction Efficiency and Selectivity of Esterified Styrene–Maleic Acid Copolymers in Thylakoid Membranes” Biomacromolecules 2021, 22, 2544. DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.1c00274

Wang, X.; Wilson, T. J.; Alentiev, D.; Gringolts, M.; Finkelshtein, E.; Bermeshev, M.; Long, B. K.  “Substituted polynorbornene membranes: a modular template for targeted gas separations” Polym. Chem. 2021, 12, 2947. DOI: 10.1039/D1PY00278C
These authors contributed equally

Koby, R. F.; Doerr, A. M.; Rightmire, N. R.; Schley, N. D.; Brennessel, W. W.; Long, B. K.; Hanusa, T.  P.  “Mechanochemical Formation, Solution Rearrangements, and Catalytic Behavior of a Polymorphic Ca/K Allyl Complex” Chem. Eur. J. 2021, 27, 8195. DOI: 10.1002/chem.202100589

Additional Information

Lab Address: 458/459/340 Buehler Hall

Office: 420 Buehler Hall

Brian Long

Contact Information