Ken A. Dill, Distinguished Professor of Physics & Chemistry at Stony Brook University, will visit campus this Thursday and Friday, Dec. 4-5, as the college's second Robert S. Morris Class of 1976 Visiting Fellow. Dill, a member of the National Academy of Sciences who has been honored with numerous prestigious awards in his field, will present two lectures, "The Deep Innovation Engine of Science in America" at 4 p.m. on Thursday and "A Physical Chemist's Look at How Cells Grow and Evolve" on Friday at 3 p.m. in the Taylor Science Building’s Room G027 and G041 respectively.
Dill will also meet with professors and classes including Associate Professor of Chemistry Myriam Cotten’s biophysical chemistry class in which students will present projects developed for this occasion. The chemistry department, in coordination with the Career Center, is sponsoring a “Careers in Biochemistry/Chemistry” in the Sadove Student Center conference room at noon on Friday.
The founding director of Stony Brook’s Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology, Dill and fellow center researchers study biochemical networks in cells. According to the center’s website, they “use computational modeling to understand how proteins fold; design drugs for high-affinity binding to proteins; learn how protein motions cause biological mechanisms; explore the physical forces that drive proteins to aggregate in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s; and develop combinatorial computer algorithms for designing DNA sequences for synthetic biology.”
Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013, Dill has been honored and has received awards from many institutions and organizations. They include the Emily Gray Award from the Biophysical Society, the UCSF 53rd Annual Faculty Research Lecturer award, and the Biophysical Society’s Distinguished Service Award, among other honors. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Biophysical Society.
Dill came to the Stony Brook University in 2011 from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he was a distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry & biophysics He earned his Ph.D. in biology at the University of California, San Diego and pursued post-doctoral studies at Stanford in chemistry.
The Robert S. Morris Class of 1976 Visiting Fellowship provides support to bring a preeminent scholar in the field of math or science to Hamilton. The Morris Fellow affords emerging topic expertise intended to complement Hamilton's academic offerings. The fund was established in 2013 by Charter Trustee Robert Morris, Class of 1976 and father of Elizabeth ’16 and Robert ’17. Math and science departments host a fellow of their choice on a rotating basis.