Jonathan Sweedler

Profile picture for Jonathan Sweedler

Contact Information

71 Roger Adams Laboratory
600 S. Mathews Ave., 63-5
Director, School of Chemical Sciences
James R. Eiszner Family Chair in Chemistry
Professor of Neuroscience


Professor Sweedler is the Director of the School of Chemical Sciences and he holds the James R. Eiszner Family Chair in Chemistry; he is affiliated with the Departments of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and Bioengineering, the Neuroscience program, the Beckman Institute of Science and Technology, and the Institute of Genomic Biology.  Sweedler has authored or coauthored over 400 peer-reviewed publications, has 14 patents issued, and has delivered over 500 invited lectures to universities, companies, and at scientific meetings.  He is currently the Editor-in-Chief for Analytical Chemistry.

Research Interests


Professor Jonathan Sweedler’s research involves analytical neurochemistry.  He develops new measurement tools that enable small scale chemical analysis, and applies these tools to understanding the chemistry occurring in the brain.  He has been at the forefront in advancing small-volume mass spectrometry; he and his collaborators have characterized peptides in the honeybee, planarian, songbird, and sea snail brains, in individual cells and vesicles, the latter being one of the smallest samples ever assayed using mass spectrometry. They discovered and characterized literally hundreds of novel neuroactive peptides, studied the release of several classes of neurotransmitters, and investigated neurotransmitter cotransmission at the single cell and subcellular levels. They are studying d-amino acids and d-amino acid containing neuropeptides. As a member of large international research teams, Sweedler has performed comprehensive interrogation of the genome, transcriptome, and peptidome in a broad range of animals to uncover the signaling molecules and pathways involved in diverse functions and behaviors.  A subset of Sweedler's research is designed to understand the molecular (chemical) nature of learning and memory.



Research Description


Professor Sweedler runs a large center for the chemical characterization of the brain, and as such is associated with several NIH centers.

Sweedler is the PI of the UIUC Neuroprotoemics and Neurometabolomics Center on Cell-Cell Signaling, a P30 Center of Excellence from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse that provides the ability to follow neurochemical changes occurring during addiction processes: see

Sweedler is a member of the Center for Subcellular Genomics ( with the goal of providing the ability to profile the chemistry occurring in organelles within cells and relating this to the transcriptomics of those specific cells.


Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Tucson Arizona in 1989.

Postdoctoral associate at Stanford University with Richard Zare and Richard Scheller, 1989-1991.


Awards and Honors

His scientific contributions have been recognized by numerous awards including the ANACHEM Award,  Malcom E. Pruitt Award, ACS Analytical Chemistry Award, ACS Ralph N. Adams Award, the EAS Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Fields of Analytical Chemistry, the Viktor Mutt Prize, Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award, Heinrich-Emanuel Merck Prize, ACS Analytical Instrumentation Award, and the Gill Prize; he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor Sweedler is affiliated with the Department of Integrative Physiology, Bioengineering, College of Medicine, The Beckman Institute, the Institute of Genomic Biology and the Center for Advanced Study.

Recent Publications

Alim, F. Z. D., Romanova, E. V., Tay, Y. L., Rahman, A. Y. B. A., Chan, K. G., Hong, K. W., ... Hindmarch, C. C. T. (2019). Seasonal adaptations of the hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal system of the dromedary camel. PloS one, 14(6), [e0216679].

Cao, T., Morales-Soto, N., Jia, J., Baig, N. F., Dunham, S. J. B., Ellis, J., ... Bohn, P. W. (2019). Spatiotemporal dynamics of molecular messaging in bacterial co-cultures studied by multimodal chemical imaging. In T. Dai, J. Popp, & M. X. Wu (Eds.), Photonic Diagnosis and Treatment of Infections and Inflammatory Diseases II [108630A] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 10863). SPIE.

Gao, J., Yang, N., Lewis, F. A., Yau, P., Collins, J. J., Sweedler, J. V., & Newmark, P. A. (2019). A rotifer-derived paralytic compound prevents transmission of schistosomiasis to a mammalian host. PLoS biology, 17(10), e3000485.

Jeon, S., Li, Q., Rubakhin, S., Sweedler, J. V., Smith, J. W., Neuringer, M., ... Erdman, J. W. (2019). 13C-lutein is differentially distributed in tissues of an adult female rhesus macaque following a single oral administration: a pilot study. Nutrition Research, 61, 102-108.

Mothet, J. P., Billard, J. M., Pollegioni, L., Coyle, J. T., & Sweedler, J. V. (2019). Investigating brain d-serine: Advocacy for good practices. Acta Physiologica, 226(1), [e13257].

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