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Kevin Dorfman

Kevin Dorfman


Associate Professor

Phone: 612-624-5560

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  • Postdoc, Institut Curie (France), 2002-2005
  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, MIT, 2002
  • M.S. in Chemical Engineering, MIT, 2001
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Penn State University, 1999


  • AES Electrophoresis Society Mid-Career Award, 2014
  • Allan P. Colburn Award of the AIChE, 2012
  • Guillermo E. Borja Award, 2012
  • Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2010
  • DARPA Young Faculty Award, 2009
  • Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, 2007
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2007
  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award, 2006
  • Human Frontier Science Program Career Development Award, 2006

Research Areas

The research currently underway in the group centers around questions in polymer physics and microfluidic/nanofluidic technologies. We are particularly interested in understanding the dynamics of DNA in confined systems, which allows us to simultaneously investigate the basic physical properties of semiflexible polymers while advancing genomics applications. In this area, we use a combination of experimental tools (fluorescence microscopy and nanofabrication), simulations (Brownian dynamics and Monte Carlo) and theory. We are also involved in collaborations on block polymers (with Frank Bates), adsorption of polymers in flow (with Satish Kumar), mechanics of basement membrane (with Victor Barocas and Yoav Segal), dynamics of the bacteria nucleoid (with Pietro Cicuta, Marco Cosentino Lagomarsino and Bianca Sclavi), and the design of advanced microdevices (with David Norris and C. Dan Frisbie).

Selected Publications

  • Douglas R. Tree, Yanwei Wang and Kevin D. Dorfman, "Extension of DNA in a nanochannel as a rod-to-coil transition," Physical Review Letters 110, 208103 (2013).
  • Liang Dai, Douglas R. Tree, Johan R.C. van der Maarel, Kevin D. Dorfman and Patrick S. Doyle, "Revisiting blob theory for DNA diffusivity in slitlike confinement," Physical Review Letters 110, 168105 (2013).
  • Avelino Javer, Zhicheng Long, Eileen Nugent, Marco Grisi, Kamin Siriwatwetchakul, Kevin D. Dorfman, Pietro Cicuta and Marco Cosentino Lagomarsino, "Short-time movement of E. coli chromosomal loci depends on coordinate and subcellular localization," Nature Communications 4, 3003 (2013).
  • Joel D.P. Thomas, Mark. N. Joswiak, Daniel W. Olson, Sung-Gyu Park and Kevin D. Dorfman, "Ratchet nanofiltration of DNA," Lab on a Chip 13, 3741-3746 (2013).
  • Scott B. King and Kevin D. Dorfman, "The role of order during Ogston sieving of DNA in colloidal crystals," Analytical Chemistry 85, 7769-7776 (2013).
  • Kevin D. Dorfman, Scott B. King, Daniel W. Olson, Joel D.P. Thomas and Douglas R. Tree, "Beyond gel electrophoresis: Microfluidic separations, fluorescence burst analysis, and DNA stretching," Chemical Reviews 113, 2584-2667 (2013).
  • Zhicheng Long, Eileen Nugent, Avelino Javer, Pietro Cicuta, Bianca Sclavi, Marco Cosentino Lagomarsino and Kevin D. Dorfman, "Microfluidic chemostat for measuring single cell dynamics in bacteria," Lab on a Chip 13, 947-954 (2013).
  • Kevin D. Dorfman, "The Fluid Mechanics of Genome Mapping," AIChE Journal 59, 346-354 (2013).
  • Douglas R. Tree, Yanwei Wang and Kevin D. Dorfman, "Mobility of a semiflexible chain confined in a nanochannel," Physical Review Letters 108, 228105 (2012).
  • Sung-Gyu Park, Daniel W. Olson and Kevin D. Dorfman, "DNA electrophoresis in a nanofence array," Lab on a Chip 12, 1463-1470 (2012).