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Meet Clarkson

Evgeny Katz

One of the World's most cited Chemists

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Professor Evgeny Katz and his research team were featured by G4's Attack of the Show as they harvested electricity from a live lobster. Check out the video.

Evgeny Katz has a lot of numbers he can point to when he talks about his scientific success—hundred of thousands of dollars in research funding, for instance. Or his recent inclusion on the Hirsch Index of the world’s most cited chemists.

With a score of 60, meaning that Dr. Katz has written 60 papers that have been cited at least 60 times each, the Clarkson University professor is ranked at 380 out of 587 chemists from around the world. He recently received a congratulatory letter from Congressman Bill Owens for that achievement, too.

But at the end of the day, Dr. Katz, who is the Milton Kirker Chaired Professor of Colloid Science at Clarkson, counts his blessings in the number of his students who have gone on to their own success.

"One of my driving forces is not only doing science, but 'making' people. If I know my students are successful in doing research, in publishing papers, in getting good jobs, this is what makes me the most happy," Katz says. "I've already published 300 papers. I have a chaired professorship, the highest academic position I can get at Clarkson. So how can I get happiness now? Only in seeing the people working with me becoming successful."

Dr. Katz, who came to Clarkson from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in 2006, has 15 people working in his Laboratory of Bioelectronics & Bionanotechnology. The research group he’s so proud of includes six Ph.D. candidates, five post-doctoral researchers and four undergraduate students.

It’s a very busy place. Dr. Katz and his team are working on the chemical building blocks for technologies that combine biology and nanotechnology.

Their research includes a U.S. Department of Defense-sponsored project aimed at finding ways to monitor chemicals released after an injury, with an ultimate goal of detecting trauma and immediately injecting needed chemicals or hormones to possibly stabilize soldiers on the battlefield immediately after they are hurt. Some have dubbed the idea a “hospital on a chip.”

Dr. Katz is also interested in a chemical keypad lock that uses proteins as identifiers for a biofuel battery-powered "lock." Based on the same principles behind the combination for your gym locker, this system would require a series of sugars to be applied in a specific order, for instance. It’s a totally new way of looking at encrypting and encoding information.

For Dr. Katz, the new frontier lies somewhere at a chemical crossroad where biology and technology meet.

"We can program the chemical system in the same way engineers can program computers," he said. "It's a completely different universe and system, but the final question still might be yes or no, 1 or 0."

Dr. Katz continues to work around the clock. Last year, his research group published 23 papers—that’s about one paper for him to oversee and review every two weeks.

"It's a very international group. I think it’s a good environment for young people to start their career because they learn not only science, but how to communicate with different nations," Katz said. "You never feel lost at Clarkson. It's an extremely active environment with lots of opportunities for research with other people."