Dr. Bentley received his B.S. (1963) and M.S. (1965) degrees in Chemistry from Auburn University, his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Texas in Austin in 1968, and did postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley in 1968 to 1969. Dr. Bentley was Professor and Chair of Chemistry at the University of Maine and won the Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award at the University. He joined Shearwater Polymers in 1997 to head its research group and start a drug development program.
During his time at Shearwater Polymers several new polyethylene glycol drug delivery platforms were created for the delivery of small molecules and proteins. Some of his ideas led to the invention of nalexogol (Movantik® , Astra Zeneca and Daiichi Sankyo) for the treatment of opioid induced constipation. Dr. Bentley has numerous patents and publications in several areas of chemistry. One of his patents was recognized as a top 101 invention by the local chapter of the Smithsonian Institute at the NASA museum. Dr. Bentley has been a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar and a Fellow of the Japan Agency for Science and Technology.