Dr Karen Polizzi is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Biotechnology in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. She has spent her career at the interface of biology and engineering, training first as a biochemist and then as an engineer. She obtained her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2005 working under Dr Andreas Bommarius on the directed evolution of enzyme biocatalysts. After a brief postdoctoral position in the same group, she moved to the University of Exeter in the UK to learn about genetically encoded biosensors. She joined Imperial College in 2008 as a Research Fellow in the Department of Life Sciences, but transferred to Chemical Engineering a decade later. At Imperial College, Karen leads an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers working broadly in the application of synthetic biology to biological manufacturing.
Imperial College London