Martin Burke's directory photo.

Martin Burke


Primary Affiliation

Artificial Intelligence for Materials


Status Part-time Faculty

Home Department of Chemistry

Phone 244-8726


Address 3257 Beckman Institute, 405 North Mathews Avenue

  • Biography

    Martin Burke is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and the May and Ving Lee Professor for Chemical Innovation at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He led the SHIELD Team at Illinois, and is also a professor in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.


    • B.A., chemistry, John Hopkins University, 1998

    • Ph.D., chemistry, Harvard University, 2003

    • M.D., health sciences and technology, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2005

  • Honors
    • 2022: Elected, National Academy of Medicine

    • 2022: Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

    • 2021: Presidential Medallion, University of Illinois 

    • 2021: Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumnus Award

    • 2021: LAS Impact Award, UIUC

    • 2021: Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation

    • 2019: iCON Award

    • 2019: Mukaiyama Award, Japan

    • 2017: American Chemical Society Nobel Laureate Award for Graduate Education

  • Research

    Research interests:

    • Synthesis

    • study of small molecules with protein-like functions

    Research in the Burke group focuses on the synthesis and study of small molecules with the capacity to perform protein-like functions. Ultimately, we envision such compounds serving as substitutes for missing or dysfunctional proteins, thereby operating as prostheses on the molecular scale. To enable these studies, we seek to develop new strategies and methods that make the process of complex small molecule synthesis as simple, efficient, and flexible as possible. We further aim to harness the power of this chemistry to illuminate the underpinnings of higher-order small molecule function in atomistic detail. Collectively, these efforts seek to make possible the development of molecular prosthetics as a general strategy for the understanding and betterment of human health.