Samantha Wilner headshot
Samantha Wilner headshot

Samantha Wilner

Dr. Samantha Wilner grew up in the suburbs of central Massachusetts and later moved to New York City, receiving a B.S. in chemical engineering from Columbia University. After a brief return to Massachusetts to work as a lab technician, she moved back to New York to earn a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences (biochemistry) from Albert Einstein College of Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Matthew Levy. Dr. Wilner then moved to Philadelphia to pursue her postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Tobias Baumgart in the Chemistry Department at the University of Pennsylvania where she was funded by the NIH IRACDA program.

Dr. Wilner joined the Ursinus faculty in 2018. Her research focuses on the use of nucleic acids in drug delivery applications. Her lab is specifically interested in understanding how amphiphilic nucleic acid conjugates can be used to construct and target drug delivery vehicles and in developing new approaches for the delivery of nucleic acid therapeutics.




B.S., Columbia University
Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine


  • Fundamentals of Biochemistry (CHEM-347)
  • Biochemistry II (BCMB-452W)
  • Biophysical Chemistry (BCMB-307)
  • Biochemical Techniques (CHEM-340)
  • Rhetoric and Responsibilities of the Modern Scientist (CHEM-202W)
  • Common Intellectual Experience (CIE-200)

Research Interests

  • Drug delivery
  • Nucleic acid interactions
  • Self-assembly

Recent Work

(* Denotes undergraduate coauthor)

Bristow, P.*; Schantz, K.*; Moosbrugger, Z.*; Martin, K.*; Liebenberg, H.*; Steimle, S.; Xiao, Q.; Percec, V.; Wilner, S. E. Aptamer-Targeted Dendrimersomes Assembled from Azido-Modified Janus Dendrimers “Clicked” to DNA. Biomacromolecules 2024, 25 (3), 1541–1549.

Sikora, A.; Irby, S. M.; Hall, B. L.; Mills, S. A.; Koeppe, J. R.; Pikaart, M. J.; Wilner, S. E.; Craig, P. A.; Roberts, R. Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic by the Biochemistry Authentic Scientific Inquiry Lab (BASIL) CURE Consortium: Reflections and a Case Study on the Switch to Remote Learning. J. Chem. Educ. 2020, 97 (9), 3455–3462.

Nguyen, M. K.; Huynh, C. T.; Gilewski, A.; Wilner, S. E.; Maier, K. E.; Kwon, N.; Levy, M.; Alsberg, E. Covalently Tethering siRNA to Hydrogels for Localized, Controlled Release and Gene Silencing. Sci. Adv. 2019, 5 (8).

Buzzacchera, I.; Xiao, Q.; Han, H.; Rahimi, K.; Li, S.; Kostina, N. Y.; Toebes, B. J.; Wilner, S. E.; Möller, M.; Rodriguez-Emmenegger, C.; Baumgart, T.; Wilson, D. A.; Wilson, C. J.; Klein, M. L.; Percec, V. Screening Libraries of Amphiphilic Janus Dendrimers Based on Natural Phenolic Acids to Discover Monodisperse Unilamellar Dendrimersomes. Biomacromolecules 2019, 20 (2), 712–727.