Khalid Salaita

Khalid Salaita

Associate Professor
Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry
Director for Graduate Studies in the Chemistry Department
Program Faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology

Khalid Salaita is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry, and Director for Graduate Studies in the Chemistry Department at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (USA). Khalid grew up in Jordan and moved to the US in 1997 to pursue his undergraduate studies at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia (USA). He worked under the mentorship of Prof. Nancy Xu studying the spectroscopic properties of plasmonic nanoparticles. He then obtained his Ph.D. with Prof. Chad Mirkin at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) in 2006. 

During that time, he studied the electrochemical properties of organic adsorbates patterned onto gold films and developed massively parallel scanning probe lithography approaches. From 2006-2009, Khalid was a postdoctoral scholar with Prof. Jay T. Groves at the University of California at Berkeley (USA) where he investigated the role of receptor clustering in modulating cell signaling. In 2009, Khalid started his own lab at Emory University, where he is currently investigating the use of nucleic acids as molecular force sensors, smart drugs, and synthetic motors. 

In recognition of his independent work, Khalid has received a number of awards, most notably: the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the Camille-Dreyfus Teacher Scholar award, the National Science Foundation Early CAREER award, the Kavli Fellowship, and Merck Future Insight Prize. Khalid is currently the director of the Center on Probes for Molecular Mechanotechnology, and an Associate Editor of SmartMat. Khalid’s program has been supported by NSF, NIH, and DARPA.


Office Location:
506 Atwood


Google Scholar

Emory University

Emory Department of Chemistry
Research Focus Areas:
  • Cancer Biology
  • Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Biomechanics
  • Additional Research:

    In 2009, Khalid started his own lab at Emory University, where he currently investigates biophysical aspects of receptor-mediated cell signaling. To achieve this goal, his group has pioneered the development of molecular force probes and nano-mechanical actuators that are integrated with living cells. These materials are used to investigate the molecular mechanisms of a number of pathways where piconewton forces are thought to be important. These pathways include the Notch-Delta pathway, T cell receptor activation and the integrin-based focal adhesion pathway.

    IRI Connection: