Kenneth Suslick
2023
Distinguished Alumni Award
 
recipient

Kenneth Suslick

BS
 ’
74
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Kenneth Suslick
2023
 
Distinguished Alumni Award
 recipient

Kenneth Suslick

BS
 ’
74
 ’
 ’
  ·  

Kenneth Suslick (BS ’74), the Marvin T. Schmidt Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is recognized for profound contributions to sonochemistry (the study of chemical reactions powered by high-frequency sound waves) and chemical sensing, which have advanced the field of medical imaging and facilitated lifesaving treatments for cancer and sepsis patients. He is also recognized for his recent achievements in the development of sensors that can detect odors and toxic gasses and have the potential to protect human lives and the environment.

Suslick’s work as a scientist, inventor, and serial entrepreneur has improved the lives of patients throughout the world. His breakthroughs in sonochemistry helped develop the first echo contrast agent for medical sonography. In this process, air-filled microbubbles with a crosslinked protein shell are injected into the bloodstream where they reflect sound waves, allowing physicians to see ultrasonic images in much greater detail. He also co-invented Abraxane, a common chemotherapy agent used in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer and pancreatic cancer.

Today, Suslick is advancing the field of chemical sensing, including work on a device that can rapidly test for antimicrobial susceptibility and, by extension, help identify potential sepsis patients; a device that is approved in Europe and the Food and Drug Administration has fast-tracked for approval. He has also developed an optoelectronic nose that can swiftly detect toxic gasses at very low concentrations. Suslick has over 65,000 citations, more than 500 publications, and more than 70 patents and patent applications.

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