Kenneth S. Suslick

 Kenneth Suslick

Contact Information

Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
A420 CLSL, Box 15-6
600 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, Illinois 61801
Marvin T. Schmidt Research Professor of Chemistry
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Professor Suslick received his B.S. from the California Institute of Technology in 1974, his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1978, and came to the University of Illinois immediately thereafter. He has published more than 418 scientific papers, edited four books, and holds 56 patents and patent applications.

In addition to his academic research, Professor Suslick has had significant entrepreneurial experience. He was the lead consultant for Molecular Biosystems Inc. and part of the team that commercialized the first echo contrast agent for medical sonography, Albunex™, which became Optison™ by GE Healthcare. In addition, he was the founding consultant for VivoRx Pharmaceuticals and helped invent and commercialize Abraxane™, albumin microspheres with a paclitaxel core, which is the predominant current delivery system for taxol chemotherapy for breast cancer; VivoRx became Abraxis Bioscience, which was acquired by Celgene for $2.9 billion.   Most recently, Suslick invented, developed, and commercialized the "optoelectronic nose", a simple but highly effective technology for the identification and quantification of gas analytes. This has found important applications in the detection of toxic gases and explosives, the discrimination among complex odorants, and rapid diagnosis of disease based on their smell. He then co-founded ChemSensing, which began the commercialization of the Suslick group's optoelectronic nose technology and its successor, iSense Systems and Specific Diagnostics (both in Silicon Valley), for the biomedical applications of this unique sensor technology. 

Research Interests

  • sonochemical synthesis of materials, mechanochemistry of MOFs, amorphous and nanophase metals, carbides and catalysts; porphyrin and metalloporphyrin assemblies, monolayers, liquid crystals and nanoporous materials, protein microspheres; chemical and physical effects of ultrasound, heme proteins and their synthetic analogs, olfaction, sensors and artificial olfaction, protein microspheres for medical imaging and drug delivery

Research Description

The Suslick Research Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is multi-disciplinary: our research projects involve individuals with interests not only in inorganic, but also in organometallic, bio-organic, materials (both inorganic and biomaterials), surface, analytical and physical chemistry.

Our three major research areas are (1) the chemical effects of ultrasound  (which includes nano-materials synthesis and sonoluminescence), (2) the mechanochemistry of inorganic solids (including shock wave energy dissipation by MOFs, i.e., metal-organic framework solids), and (3) chemical sensing (specifically, our optoelectronic nose, i.e., colorimetric sensor arrays for the detection of VOCs). The latter project in artificial olfaction and molecular recognition is an exciting spinoff of our earlier work on the bioinorganic and materials chemistry of metalloporphyrins.

For more information on the Suslick Group and for pdf files of publications, please visit the Suslick Group Website.

h-index  =  117  (i.e., 117 publications each with 117 or more citations).  Total citations: >51,000.  i10-index = 334 (# papers with ≥10 citations).  Google Scholar, 10 Oct 2019.

For List of Publications with pdfs, please visit

Distinctions / Awards

  • Fellow, National Academy of Inventors
  • Sir George Stokes Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Centenary Prize, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • ACS Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education
  • ACS Senior Cope Scholar Award
  • Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids, ACS
  • Materials Research Society Medal
  • Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal, Acoustical Society of America.
  • Chemical Pioneer Award, American Institute of Chemists.
  • George Eastman Professor at the University of Oxford, 2018-2019
  • Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship
  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Senior Scientist Mentor Award
  • Fellow, American Chemical Society
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Fellow, Acoustical Society of America.
  • Fellow, Materials Research Society
  • Fellow, American Physical Society
  • Fellow, AAAS