Efie Kokkoli, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and a core researcher of the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT), is a targeted drug delivery specialist. She engineers innovative functionalized biomaterials and targeted nanoparticles for the delivery of therapeutics to help transform methods of cancer treatment.
Kokkoli’s research focuses on DNA nanotechnology, multi-targeted gene and drug delivery, and the design of biopolymers and responsive hydrogels. Her team creates novel nanoparticles that have specificity for cancer cells, can respond to triggers such as temperature or pH, and are capable of carrying different therapeutics to tumor sites while sparing healthy tissues. Her group also designs thermosensitive and biodegradable polymeric hydrogels that can be used for local delivery of drugs to different sites of interest, or as scaffolds for 3D cell entrapment.
Kokkoli received her diploma in chemical engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, MS and PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed her postdoctoral work at the University of Minnesota and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to joining the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2018, she was a Shell Land Grant Chair professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. Her professional awards include the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award, the Institute of Technology Best Professor Award, the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, and was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows.