Kevin Dorfman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. In 2002, he received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from MIT under the supervision of Howard Brenner. Prior to arriving at Minnesota in 2006, he worked as an HFSP postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Jean-Louis Viovy at Institut Curie (Paris, France). His work at Minnesota has been recognized by a Packard Fellowship, the NSF CAREER Award, the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the Dreyfus New Faculty Award, and the Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.
The research currently underway in the Dorfman 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).