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This month we are joined by Philipp Kukura, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, who will be talking about how interactions between biomolecules control the processes of life and how their malfunction shape disease. He highlights their characterization and quantification as essential to our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms.

A major challenge stems from the intrinsic heterogeneity and dynamics of molecular machines and its correlation with function and regulation. He will introduce mass photometry (MP), the accurate and precise mass measurement of single biomolecules by light scattering, which enables unique insight into the stoichiometries, structure, energetics and kinetics of biomolecular complexes and the resulting mechanisms. These capabilities provide a dynamic view of complex processes at the macromolecular level, which I will illustrate with recent results revealing the importance of intermolecular interactions for viral infection and therapeutic intervention.

Philipp Kukura

Speaker bio

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).

This is an in-person event with tea/coffee and biscuits served prior to the beginning of the seminar.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact the Centre for the Physical Science of Life team at

Centre for the Physical Science of Life Seminar Series

The Centre for the Physical Science of Life Seminar Series is the flagship seminar series for King’s College London’s Centre for the Physical Science of Life, connecting across disciplines and building collaborations between physical and life scientists to identify and solve the most fundamental riddles underpinning life.

Every month, we host a speaker to discuss a new research idea and seek contributions from audience members during the Q&A.

About us

The Centre for the Physical Science of Life realises the transformative power of physical science in advancing understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying living systems across scales. The goal of our unique physical science centre is to achieve a whole-scale quantitative understanding of life using physical and mathematical principles.

Based in the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical and Engineering Sciences (NMES), the Centre coalesces expertise across our Faculty in creative fusions of natural, mathematical and engineering sciences, our ambition is to solve the fundamental challenge of modern biology; bridging the gap between current biomolecular and systems level descriptions of biological phenomena.

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Event details

K-1.56 (Level -1)
King's Building
Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS