KARY BANKS MULLIS received a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1993, for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The process, which Mullis conceptualized in 1983, is hailed as one of the monumental scientific techniques of the twentieth century.
A method of amplifying DNA, PCR multiplies a single, microscopic strand of the genetic material billions of times within hours. The process has multiple applications in medicine, genetics, biotechnology, and forensics. PCR, because of its ability to extract DNA from fossils, is in reality the basis of a new scientific discipline, paleobiology.
He has authored several major patents. His patented inventions include the PCR technology and UV-sensitive plastic that changes color in response to light. His most recent patent application covers a revolutionary approach to instantly mobilize the immune system to neutralize invading pathogens and toxins, leading to the formation of his latest venture, Altermune LLC. Altermune is currently focusing on Influenza A and drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
He is the author of Dancing Naked in the Mind Field.