Keitz, Benjamin K. Ph.D.

Assistant Professor Headshot of Professor Benjamin K. Keitz


Office:  4.462 Mailing Address:
Phone: (512) 232-2373 The University of Texas at Austin
Fax: McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering
Email: 200 E Dean Keeton St. Stop C0400
UT Mail: C0400 Austin, TX 78712-1589

Research Areas: Energy, Advanced Materials, Polymers & Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Environmental Engineering 

Research Group Website

Research Presentation for Prospective Graduate Students

Educational Qualifications

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Berkeley (2012-present)
Ph.D., Chemistry, California Institute of Technology (2012)
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin


Chemical and biological synthesis of functional materials combined with mechanistic studies and development of structure-property relationships.


We use synthetic chemistry and synthetic biology in conjunction with chemical engineering fundamentals to design new functional materials for use in catalysis, energy generation, environmental remediation, biological separations, and medicine. By connecting concepts from each of the above fields, we aim to develop artificial ecosystems where biological processes can interface with inorganic and organic substrates to generate materials with previously
unknown structure and function. The nature of our work requires an engineering approach that incorporates aspects of chemical kinetics, synthetic chemistry, surface chemistry, structural biology, and the study of genetic/metabolic networks. By implementing and developing tools in each of these areas we hope to prepare students and scholars for the engineering challenges of the future.

Awards & Honors

NSF CAREER Award (2020)
Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award (2020)
NIH Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (2019)
Herbert Newby McCoy Thesis Award (2013)
Sigma-Aldrich Student Innovation Award (2012)
National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship (2008)
Intel Undergraduate Fellow (2007)

Selected Publications

  • Fan G, Graham AJ, Kolli J, Lynd NA, Keitz BK. Aerobic Radical Polymerization Mediated by Microbial Metabolism. Nat. Chem. 2020; 12:638-646. doi:10.1038/s41557-020-0460-1.
  • Dundas CM, Keitz BK. Tuning Extracellular Electron Transfer by Shewanella oneidensis Using Transcriptional Logic Gates. ACS Syn. Bio. 2020; 9: 2301-2315 doi:10.1021/acssynbio.9b00517.
  • Springthorpe SK, Dundas CM, Keitz BK. Microbial Reduction of Metal-Organic Frameworks Enables Synergistic Chromium Removal. Nat. Commun. 2019; Nov 19;10:5212:1-11. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13219-w
  • Dundas CM, Graham AJ, Romanovicz DK, Keitz BK. Extracellular Electron Transfer by Shewanella oneidensis Controls Palladium Nanoparticle Phenotype. ACS Syn. Bio. 2018; 7(12):2726-2736. doi: 10.1021/acssynbio.8b00218.
  • Fan G, Dundas CM, Graham AJ, Lynd NA, Keitz BK. Shewanella oneidensisas a living electrode for controlled radical polymerization. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 2018 May 1;115(18):4559-4564. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1800869115.
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