Achillefs Kapanidis studied Chemistry at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki (Greece). After completing a Master’s in Food Science at Rutgers University, he received his PhD in Biological Chemistry for his work at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, also at Rutgers.
After holding research scientist positions in single-molecule biophysics at Berkeley and UCLA, he became a Senior Lecturer at the University of Oxford in 2005, and a Professor of Biological Physics in 2013; Prof Kapanidis has also been an ERC grant holder and is currently a Wellcome Trust Investigator. He is leading a group of physical and biological scientists (the 'Gene Machines' group) which studies microbial biological machinery involved in gene expression, maintenance, and regulation, with a focus on gene transcription and DNA repair. The main tool of the group is single-molecule fluorescence microscopy coupled with advanced image and time-series analysis; the past few years, his group has also been working on rapid and ultrasensitive detection of antibiotic resistance and pathogenic viruses, including influenza and coronaviruses.
The work of Prof Kapanidis has been published in more than 100 papers and book chapters, as well as in several patent applications. Prof Kapanidis had also been pursuing miniaturised single-molecule imaging, a project that culminated in his co-founding of the Oxford Nanoimaging spin-out; for these contributions, he was co-awarded the 2019 Innovator of the Year Award from the BBSRC. Finally, Prof Kapanidis has been a key person for the establishment of a new interdisciplinary institute at Oxford (to open in 2021) focused on using cutting-edge physical approaches to study biological mechanisms in living cells.