Candan Tamerler

Dr. Candan Tamerler
  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Charles E. & Mary Jane Spahr Professor
  • Ph.D.


Dr. Tamerler is a C.E. and M. J. Spahr Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She is currently serving as the associate vice-chancellor for research at the University of Kansas. Prior to this position, Dr. Tamerler served as the associate dean for research at the School of Engineering between 2019-2022. Dr. Tamerler joined to KU in the Fall of 2013. Previously, Dr. Tamerler was a research professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Washington after having served as a visiting professor and the assistant director of the Genetically Engineered Materials Science & Engineering Center (GEMSEC). Tamerler has been one of the founding investigators of the GEMSEC, which was established as an National Science Foundation (NSF)-Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) in 2005. While concurrently holding a Visiting Professor position at the University of Washington between 2002-2010, she was a professor (tenured) and the Chair of Molecular Biology and Genetics Department at the Istanbul Technical University (ITU). While at ITU, Tamerler founded and served as the director of the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Research Center (MOBGAM), a multi-disciplinary initiative involving faculty members from different colleges including engineering and, arts and sciences. She played an integral role in raising funds for the construction of the MOBGAM building, led several projects as PI and Co-PI supported by European Union, State Planning Organization, TUBITAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey and industry.

Dr. Tamerler`s research is at the intersection of engineering, biology, and nanotechnology. Her research group brings a cell-free synthetic biology-based approach to bio-enabled and bio-based materials design and processes. Her most notable contributions include engineering of cell free material biofunctionalization, biomolecular recognition based self-assembled hybrid molecular systems for design, synthesis and biofabrication of materials for medicine and biotechnology. Her work has been supported by NIH, NSF and industry. She has published over 150 refereed journal articles, several proceedings, book chapters and patents, which received more than 9000 citations (H-index 48). She has been awarded visiting scientist and professorship positions at University of Westminster (UK) and Nagoya University (Japan). She received the 2023 functional materials division distinguished scientist award by The Minerals, Materials and Metals society (TMS). Dr. Tamerler is a fellow of the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TUBA), a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).


Molecular Biomimetics, Bio-nanotechnology, Nanotechnology, Bio-enabled Materials Science, Biomaterials