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Featured Profile: Gavin King

Gavin King

Scientist and inventor Dr. Gavin King is working toward new medical discoveries.

King investigates how protein molecules behave on the surface of the cells they inhabit. In this role, the proteins serve as gatekeepers, creating channels that let substances pass in and out through the membranes that hold cells together. Because more than half of all drugs target membrane proteins, King’s findings may prove invaluable to the development of new medical treatments.

In addition to his research, King is an innovator. He developed a microscope that allows researchers to more easily study individual molecules while allowing the molecules to function as they would in their normal environment. The device, which can accurately scan objects about 1/50,000 the width of a human hair, could replace or supplement other imaging machines that require the sample be examined in extreme temperatures or a vacuum to obtain an accurate scan.

King has won numerous awards including a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award, given to faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars  through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.

Dr. Gavin King is an associate professor with appointments in physics in the College of Arts and Science and in biochemistry, a joint unit of the School of Medicine and College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine