Gregory Tew has been a professor of polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for 13 years. He leads a research group that focuses on synthesizing polymers that interact with biological systems, for use with medical applications. Specifically, they study polymers that affect the human immune system, for use with new vaccines and improving the body's acceptance of medical implants and transplant organs. One of Tew's big projects is an investigation of polymers that can trigger immune responses to fight cancer cells.
His graduate studies focused on materials chemistry, specifically, self-assembly, a process where surfaces, chemical conditions, or other factors induce molecules to come together in specific arrangements and formations. After a one-year postdoctoral fellowship, he found his current position by scouring the job postings in Chemical and Engineering News and other scientific publications.
Today, he runs a research laboratory, where he supervises a group consisting of 10–15 Ph.D. candidates, post-doctoral fellows, and undergraduates. He also teaches classes, and he currently serves as the graduate program director for his department.