Kenneth S Suslick

Marvin T. Schmidt Research Professor

  • Marvin T. Schmidt Professor Emeritus, Chemistry
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Personal profile

Personal profile

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

Professional Information

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

Honors & 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

Office Address

Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
A420 CLSL, Box 15-6
600 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, Illinois 61801

Office Phone


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