Prof. Kevin Plaxco


Research Interests and Biography

Kevin Plaxco is a Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with shared appointments between the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the Biomolecular Science and Engineering Graduate Program. Prof. Plaxco also serves as Director of campus’s Center for Bioengineering. Prior to joining UCSB in 1998 Dr. Plaxco received his Ph.D. from Caltech and performed postdoctoral studies at Oxford and the University of Washington. Dr. Plaxco’s research focus is on the physics of protein folding and its many and varied engineering applications.

A major aim of the group’s applied research is to harness the speed and specificity of folding in the development of sensors, adaptable surfaces, and smart materials. Dr. Plaxco has co-authored nearly a dozen patents and more than 180 papers on protein folding, protein dynamics, and folding-based sensors and materials, and is recognized by Thomson Reuters at one of the most highly cited chemists of the prior decade. He serves on the scientific boards of a half dozen biotechnology firms (several of which are commercializing technologies developed by his group), and has also written a popular science book on Astrobiology.