Kevin Gardner was trained in biochemistry and biophysics with undergraduate work at UC Davis (B.S., Biochemistry, 1989), graduate work at Yale (Ph.D. with Joseph Coleman, Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, 1995) and postdoctoral research at the University of Toronto with Lewis Kay. After starting his lab at UT Southwestern Medical Center in 1998, he moved to New York in 2014 to found and direct the Structural Biology Initiative of CUNY’s Advanced Science Research Center and serve as a Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the City College of New York. Using a combination of structural biology, biochemistry and cell biology approaches, his group has probed the atomic-level signaling mechanisms of proteins used by cells to sense and respond to the environment around them. Such studies have deciphered how proteins use common sensory mechanisms despite tremendous diversity in their functions and biological settings, laying the foundation for understanding their natural regulation and artificial control through small molecule approaches. This has led to the foundation of two biotech companies, Peloton Therapeutics, Inc. and Optologix, Inc., building on these findings to develop novel cancer therapeutics and optogenetic tools.