Professor Philipp Kukura
Professor of Chemistry
We develop new optical methods with applications in biophysical chemistry, molecular biophysics and across the broader life sciences. Currently, we focus on mass photometry, light-scattering-based detection, imaging and mass measurement of single biomolecules in solution. Our goal is to transform our ability to monitor and quantify biomolecular processes – ultimately delivering technologies that enable us to directly observe biomolecules in action. We foster a strongly collaborative approach to research, and are based in the Kavli centre for nanoscale discovery, a highly interdisciplinary environment across departments, disciplines and divisions. Work in our group falls in two major categories: 1. Development of novel optical hardware and analysis approaches to enable new measurement modalities. 2. Application of our methodologies with a focus on mechanistic investigations of biomolecular interactions and assembly.
Philipp Kukura read Chemistry at St Hugh’s College Oxford until 2002 and obtained a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley under the supervision of Prof Rich Mathies in ultrafast spectroscopy before moving to ETH Zurich to work with Prof Vahid Sandoghdar in nano-optics. After returning to Oxford in 2010, he became a tutorial Fellow at Exeter College in 2011, and promoted to Full Professor in 2016. Awards include those by the Royal Society of Chemistry (Harrison-Meldola 2011 and Marlow 2015), the European Biophysical Society Association (Young Investigator Medal 2017), a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2018), the Klung-Wilhelmy Science Award (2018), the Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists UK (2019), and the RMS Medal for Light Microscopy (2021). He is founder and non-executive director of Refeyn Ltd (2018), where he acted as CEO from 2018 – 2020. The Kukura group has been and continues to be supported by the ERC (Starting, Consolidator and Proof of Concept) and the EPSRC (Career Acceleration Fellowship, Leadership Fellowship).