Illinois Mark

Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory | U of I

Main Navigation



Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory
208 North Wright Street Urbana, Illinois 61801


Office hours 8:30a - 5:00p


Phone: 217-333-3097
Fax: 217-244-6375


Kristopher Kilian

Kristopher Kilian

Assistant Professor
Materials Science and Engineering
3112 Micro and Nanotechnology Lab
208 N. Wright Street
Urbana, Illinois 61801
(217) 244-2142
Send Email

Research Statement:
My laboratory is interested in how the properties of materials influence cellular signaling and the regulation of cell state and fate. Inspired by biological materials, we develop model systems that mimic the structure and composition of the tissue microenvironment to elucidate natures design criteria used in the fabrication of complex cellular architectures. Of major interest is the role that substrate mechanics, cell geometry and adhesion ligand presentation play in guiding the epigenetic state of adherent cells. Specifically, we are investigating how the microenvironment of synthetic materials can be tuned to influence chromatin architecture, gene expression and the reprogramming of somatic cells. We have pioneered the use of microengineered surfaces to study how tissue geometry, mechanical properties and matrix composition guides cellular processes which has allowed us to deconstruct the mechanochemical signals in the microenvironment that regulate the epigenetic state of adherent cells.

Research in the group is highly interdisciplinary and is driven by both biological hypothesis and technology development. Students in the lab gain practical experience in organic synthesis, surface chemistry and characterization, soft lithography, nanomaterial synthesis, and cell and molecular biology techniques.
Research Interests:
self-assembled monolayers; surface chemistry; biomaterials; hydrogels; microengineering; nanostructured materials; tissue engineering; stem cells; reprogramming; epigenetics
Undergraduate Research Opportunities:
I have mentored 8 undergraduate students in my laboratory over the past 2.5 years. My laboratory currently hosts 3 Materials Science and Engineering undergraduates, 1 Bioengineering undergraduate, and 1 MCB undergraduate performing research. The undergraduate students are supervised by graduate students and are working on mini-research projects under the broad aims of the graduate students specific research project.
For more information:
MatSE Faculty Webpage
Kilian Lab Webpage

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements:

  • U Committee Prize, University of New South Wales (2009)
  • Cornforth Medal, The Royal Australian Chemical Institute (2008)
  • Poster Prize, The International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Brisbane Australia (2006)
  • The Environmental Management Pre-college Analytical Chemistry Program (EMPAC), University of Washington (1992)

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements for Teaching:

  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, College of Engineering, UIUC

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements for Research:

  • Australian Research Council Eureka Prize Finalist for Excellence in Research by an Interdisciplinary Team
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, National Institutes of Health