Statistical Physics in Biology

A workshop in honor of Ken Dill


This event celebrates the ongoing scientific legacy of Ken Dill and brings together those around him who he has so profoundly inspired: his colleagues but especially his students and postdocs from across the world.


October 6 - 8, 2018
Bateman Physical Sciences Center
Arizona State University
550 E Tyler Mall 
Tempe, AZ 85287




The talks will reflect the broad range of Ken’s scientific interests and his commitment with which he so masterfully refocused his students' and postdocs' scientific trajectories. To capture the breadth of Ken's curiosity--and the deep scientific questions which he has motivated across physics, chemistry, biology and even beyond - is what this event is all about. 

Ken Dill
Ken Dill Presenting

About Ken Dill

Ken was born in 1947 in Oklahoma. He received SB and SM degrees from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. While there, he acquired a deep appreciation for physics and mathematics. At the same time, the problems that most captured his imagination lay in biology. So, after doing grad student rotation projects at UCSD on questions of origins of life, he joined the lab of BH Zimm. There, Ken was introduced to the protein folding challenge that would profoundly impact his future scientific trajectory. After a short postdoc with PJ Flory at Stanford University, Ken began his assistant professorship at the University of Florida, Gainesville, where he then explored the protein folding question that had piqued his interest from his doctoral days. 

From his early work in polymer physics to his later work in protein folding, Ken has published over 300 articles spanning the fields of polymer theory, protein folding, conformational sampling, HP lattice modeling, water structure and hydrophobicity, atomistic simulations, drug discovery, cellular proteostasis and the foundations of non-equilibrium statistical physics through the principle of Maximum Caliber. 

After a 25 year career at UCSF, Ken’s scientific achievements were recognized by election to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2008 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2010, Ken moved to Stony Brook University as the Louis and Beatrice Laufer Professor of Physics and Chemistry, to build and head the Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology.

Laufer Center
Center for Biological Phsyics
School of Molecular Sciences