Efie Kokkoli, a targeted drug delivery specialist, is a professor in the Chemical and Biomolecular Department at the Whiting School of Engineering. Her research focuses on the areas of DNA nanotechnology, multi-targeted gene and drug delivery, and the design of biopolymers and responsive hydrogels. With the goal of directing nanoparticles capable of carrying cancer drugs to tumor sites while sparing non-cancerous areas, her group concentrates on designing biomaterials ranging from polymeric nanoparticles to DNA nanotubes that respond best under certain conditions, like temperature or pH, and have specificity for cancer cells.
Kokkoli arrives from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota, where she served as professor, Shell Land Grant Chair, and director of undergraduate studies. She earned an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, and a master’s and PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the direction of Chip Zukoski. She did her postdoc with Matt Tirrell at the University of Minnesota and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has received the Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award and an NSF CAREER Award, and was inducted into the AIMBE College of Fellows.