Kenneth S. Suslick

Marvin T. Schmidt Research Professor of Chemistry

Ken 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 and his research group have published more than 500 scientific publications, edited four books, and holds 71 patents and patent applications.

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 the chemical effects of ultrasound (which includes nano-materials synthesis and sonoluminescence), the mechanochemistry of inorganic solids (including shock wave energy dissipation by MOFs, i.e., metal-organic framework solids) and 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.

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 co-inventor of one of the first FDA-approved nanopharmacueticals, Abraxane™ (serum 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. This unique sensor technology is licensed to companies that Suslick co-founded: iSense Systems and its spinoff, Specific Diagnostics (both in Silicon Valley). Specific Diagnostics developed a new method of antibiotic susceptibility testing for very rapid diagnosis of sepsis that is now approved for use in the EU and fast-tracked for approval by the FDA in the US. In June 2022, BioMerieux (the large French biotech firm) purchased Specific Diagnostics for $430 million.

6 Overviews of Suslick Group Research

Selected Awards and Honors:

  • Distinguished Alumni Award, California Institute of Technology, 2023.
  • Theophilus Redwood Award, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021.
  • Eastern Analytical Symposium Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Fields of Analytical Chemistry, 2021.
  • Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids, American Chemical Society, 2020.
  • 76th George Eastman Professor, University of Oxford, 2018-2019.
  • Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal, Acoustical Society of America, 2018.
  • Chemical Pioneer Award, American Institute of Chemists, 2018.
  • Centenary Prize, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016.
  • Dreyfus Foundation Senior Scientist Mentor Award, 2015.
  • Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 2012.
  • Acoustical Society of America David T. Blackstock Mentor Award, 2009.
  • Sir George Stokes Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2008.
  • Senior Cope Scholar Award, American Chemical Society, 2004.
  • Wolfgang Göpel Award, Intl. Soc. on Olfaction & Electronic Noses, 2001.
  • Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education, American Chemical Society, 1994.
  • Materials Research Society Medal for Exceptional Recent Achievements in Materials Research, 1994.

  • NIH Research Career Development Award.
  • Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship.
  • Silver Medal of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce.
  • Innovation Transfer Award, Economic Development Corporation.
  • Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellow, 1974-1978.

  • Fellow, National Academy of Inventors.
  • Fellow, AAAS.
  • Fellow, American Chemical Society.
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Fellow, American Physical Society.
  • Fellow, Acoustical Society of America.
  • Fellow, Materials Research Society.

  • Harold S. Johnston Lectureship in Physical Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Schulich Visiting Professor Lectureship, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
  • Café Scientifique, Oxford University Natural History Museum, Oxford, UK.
  • George Eastman Lecture, Engineering Science, Oxford University.
  • Wilsmore Fellow, University of Melbourne.
  • Crano Memorial Lectureship, ACS Akron Section.
  • J.T. Donald Lectureship, McGill University, Montreal.
  • W. Heinlen Hall Lectureship, Bowling Green State University.
  • University of Melbourne Special Public Lectureship.
  • Robert A. Welch Foundation Lectureship.
  • 3ème Cycle Lectureship, Switzerland.
  • Charles William Murtiashaw III Lectureship, University of South Carolina, Columbia.
  • Five College Lecturer (Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Hampshire and U. Mass. Amherst).
  • Cherry Emerson Lectureship, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Publication Summary:  

  • > 500 scientific publications, including, 4 books edited, and 71 patents and patents pending.
  • H-index = 131 (i.e., 131 publications each with 131 or more citations);   >125 avg. citations/publication.
  • Total citations:   >67,000.   i10-index = 370 (# papers with >10 citations).    Google Scholar, 01 Sept 2023.

          For a complete list of publications and patents, with links to pdf files, please click here.

          For Google Scholar's current list of citations to Suslick's publications and patents, please click here.

          For an importable database of Suslick Group publications (in .ciw format for EndNote), please click here.

Selected Publications:

Introductory Reviews
Sonoluminescence and Cavitation
The Sonochemistry of Inorganic Materials
Mechanochemistry and Shockwave Energy Dissipation
The Sonochemistry of Biomaterials
Chemical Sensing, Sensor Arrays, and the Optoelectronic Nose
Metalloporphyrins and Bio-Inorganic Chemistry

Introductory Reviews

Reviews of Sonochemistry, Sonoluminescence, Cavitation, and Nanomaterials:

Reviews of Mechanochemistry:

Reviews of Chemical Sensing and Bioinorganic Chemistry:

Sonoluminescence and Cavitation:

The Sonochemistry of Inorganic Materials:

Mechanochemistry and Shockwave Energy Dissipation:

The Sonochemistry of Biomaterials:

Chemical Sensing, Sensor Arrays, and the Optoelectronic Nose:

Metalloporphyrins and Bio-Inorganic Chemistry



To all Suslick Group alumni and associates:
     Click here for the Suslick Group Photo Album (192 pages and >600 photos).
     Click here for Ken's presentation, "Time Flies Like a Banana".


Overview Suslick Group
Full CV
List of Publications
with PDFs
Words of
Humor and
A Chemist
Meets Hollywood
"The Seminar
A Chemist
In Court
Time Flies
Like a Banana
The Distillers
of Waters"
Laws of
the Universe
of CLS
Expert Witness
& Consulting
Cartoons of
Humor and
Cover Art


Kenneth S. Suslick
Dept. of Chemistry
University of Illinois
  at Urbana-Champaign
600 S. Mathews Av.
Urbana, IL 61801

Office: (217) 333-2794
Fax:    (217) 244-3186





Nature Cover 2002

Science Cover 1990

Science Cover 1991

Accounts Cover 2018

MRS Cover 1995

Supramolecular Chemistry 1998

The Journal of Physical Chemistry 2006
Nature Cover 2002

Science Cover 1990

Science Cover 1991

Accounts Cover 2018

MRS Cover 1995

Supramolecular Chemistry 1998

The Journal of Physical Chemistry 2006