Kalle Levon

  • Research Professor


Kalle Levon

Kalle Levon is an expert in the field of organic electronics, with particular interest in medical diagnostics. Using organic electronics as early-stage cancer markers, Levon focuses his efforts on assisting medical doctors with point-of-care diagnostics.

Levon joined the faculty of Polytechnic Institute of NYU in 1989 as an assistant professor of polymer chemistry. He became an associate professor in 1993 and department head in 1995. He successfully pioneered the department’s transition from chemistry to biological sciences and engineering and introduced degree programs in biomedical engineering, biomedical sciences, and bioinformatics.  During this time, he also became head of the Polymer Research Institute (1996-2003). As associate provost of research and intellectual property (2003-2006), Levon focused primarily on the Institute’s patent portfolio. While in this position, he founded the Brooklyn Enterprise for Science and Technology (BEST).

He developed courses in biosensors, tissue engineering, sequence analysis, and protein structure/property relationship. His $5 million in research funding during a 10-year period led to novel discoveries in bacteria, virus, protein and DNA detection.

Levon earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Organic Chemistry from Helsinki University in 1976 and 1981, respectively, and a PhD in Agriculture from Tokyo University in 1986.

Levon holds over 15 patents and is the author of numerous published papers on early cancer detection, DNA hybridization, and other immunoassay-type investigations. He serves on the board of The Journal of Nanomedicine and the governing board of Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Systems.

Levon is a member of the National Institute of Health’s Biointerfaces and Biomaterials group, which meets three times a year to review over 100 proposal applications in the fields of biosensors, diagnostic devices, and tissue engineering scaffolds. He is also a member of the Biophysical Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Chemical Society.

He is a recipient of the Wechsler Award for Excellence, the Search for Electroactive Materials Award, the Othmer Institute Award and the FiDIPro Finnish Distinguished Professor Award.

Research Interests
Phase separation in polymer blends and solutions, gelation, conductive polymers Biosensors

University of Helsinki
Master of Science,

University of Tokyo
Doctor of Agriculture,

Journal Articles

Liquid Crystallinity in Electrically Conducting Polymers, Levon, K., Pashkovich, E., Park, K. C., accepted in "Electrical and Optical Polymer Systems", Ed. G Wnek, D. Wise, Marcel Dekker, inc. New York, 5, 137-165 (1997). Crystallization and Phase Separation of High-Density Polytehylene in the Presence of Comb-Like Polymer, Poly(Octadecylacrylate), Kim, M.S., Levon, K., European Polymer Journal, (1997) Chromatic Changes in the Blends of Electroactive Polymers with Comb-Shaped Flexible Polymers, Kim, M.S., Levon, K., Macromol. Symp., 116, 73-104 (1997) Order-Disorder Transition in Alkylated Polythiophenes, Park K.C., Levon, K., Macromolecules 30 (11) 3175-3183 (1997). Blend of Electroactive Poly(3-dodecylthiophene) with Comb-like Alkylated Polyacrylate, Kim, M.S., Levon, K., J. Pol. Sci., Phys. Ed., 7, 1025-1041 (1997). Solution Properties of Polyaniline by Light Scattering Measurements: Achieving Spatial Homogeniety, Seery, T.A.P., Angelopoulos, M., Levon K., Seghal, A., Synthetic Metals 84 79-80 (1997). Structure Formation in Conducting Polymers, Levon, K., Park, K.C., Cai, C., Synthetic Metals 84, 335-338 (1997). Blend of Electro-Active Complexes of Polyaniline and Surfactant with Alkylated Polyacrylate, M.S. Kim, K. Levon, J. Coll. and Interface Sci., 190, 17-36 (1997). Blends of Alkylated Comb-Like Polyacrylates with Copolymers with a Controlled Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate Composition. Kim, M.S., Levon, K., J.Pol.Sci. 34, 1665-1677 (1996). Molecular Recognition Solvents for Electrically Conducting Polyaniline, Vikki, T., Pietila, L.-O., Osterholm, H., Ahjopalo, L., Takala, A., Toivo, A., Levon, K., Passiniemi, P., Ikkala, O., Macromolecules 29, 2945-2953, (1996). Conformational Study of Poly(para-Phenylene) by Molecular Mechanics Minimization, Park, K.C., Dodd, L.R., Kwei, T.K., Levon, K., Macromolecules 29 (22) 7149-7154, (1996). Doping-Induced Anisotropy in Amphiphatic Electro-Acitve Polymers, Zheng, W.-Y., Levon, K., Laakso, J., Österholm, J.-E., Taka, T., Polymer Journal, 28 (5) 412-418 (1996). Synthesis and Molecular Composites of Functionalized Polyisocyanates, Khatri, C.A., Vaidya, M.M., Levon, K., Jha, S.K., Green, M.M., Macromolecules, 28, 4719-4728 (1995). Ring-Substituted Polyaniline Copolymers Combining High Solubility with High Conductivity. Liao, Y.H., Angelopoulos, M., Levon, K., J. Pol. Sci.:Part A: Pol. Chem. 33, 2725-2729 (1995). Molecular Composites, Dai, Y.K., Chu, E.Y., Kwei, T.K., Ho, K.-S., Levon, K., J.Pure & Appl. Chem., 67 (12), 1991-1996, (1995) Miscibility of Poly(caprolactone), a Semicrystalline Polymer, with Amorphous Poly(styrene-4-hydroxystyrene) Copolymers, Vaidya, M.M., Levon, K., Pearce, E.M., J. Pol. Sci., Pol. Phys. , 33, 2093-2108 (1995) Thermal Doping of Polyaniline-Dodecylbenzene Sulphonic Acid Complex without Auxiliary Solvents, Levon, K., Ho, K.-S., Zheng, W.-Y., Laakso, J., Kärnä, T., Taka, T., Polymer, 36, 2733-2738 (1995). Solubilization of Polyaniline in Water by Intermolecular Complexation, Liao, Y., Levon, K., Macromolecular Rapid Commun.,16, 393-397, (1995) Phase Behaviors and Interactions of N-Alkylated Polyaniline and Ethylene-co-vinylacetate Blends, Zheng, W.-Y., Levon, K., Taka, T., Laakso, J., Osterholm, J.-E., J. Pol. Sci.: Part B: Pol. Phys. 33, 1289-1306 (1995). Miscibility Studies of Poly(3-Alkyl Thiophene)/Poly-(ethylene-co-vinylacetate) Blends with a Solvatochromatic Transition in Solid Phase, Levon, K., Chu, E., Ho, K.-S., Laakso, J., Kwei, T.K., Mao, J., Zheng, W.-Y., J. Pol. Sci., Part B: Pol. Phys., 33, 537-545 (1995). Self-Assembly of the Electro-Active Complexes of Polyaniline and Surfactants Zheng, W.- Y., Levon, K., Wang, R., Taka, T., Macromolecul. Chem. Phys., 196, 2443-2462 (1995) Investigation of the Aggregation Phenomenon of Polyaniline in Dilute Solutions, Liao, Y., Kwei, T.K., Levon, K., Makromol. Chem. and Phys., 196, 3107-3116 (1995) Doping of Polyaniline with Polymeric Dopants in Solid State, Gel State and Solutions, Liao, Y., Levon, K., Polymers for Advanced Technologies, 6, 47-51 (1995). Characterization and Solid State Properties of N-Alkylated Polyanilines in the Neutral State, Zheng, W.-Y., Levon, K., Laakso, J., Osterholm, J.-E., Macromolecules, 27, 7754-7768 (1994). Stratification of Fullerenes, Weng, D., Levon, K., Mao, J., Lee, H.K., Tour, J., Schrivens, W.A., Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc., 349, 127-132, 1994. Approaches to Molecular Composites from Fluorine-containing Bis-maleimides: Part II, Pendharkar, S.M., Tesoro, G.C., Levon, K., Polymers for Advanced Technologies, 5, 591-595, (1994). Conductivity and Structure of DBSA-Protonated Polyaniline, Taka, T., Laakso, J., Levon, K., Solid State Commun., 92, 393-396 (1994). Thermally Induced Phase Separation in Ternary Crystallizable Polymer Solutions, Vadalia, H, Lee, H.K., Myerson, A., Levon, K, J.Member.Sci., 89, 37-50 (1994). Electrically Conducting Thin Films of Aniline Derivatives, Punkka, E., Levon, K., Zheng, W.- Y., Laakso, J., Stubb, H., Thin Solid Films, 243, 515-520 (1994). Dilute Solution Chiral Optical Changes Signal the Thermally Reversible Gelation of Poly(n-hexyl isocyanate) in Hydrocarbon Solvents, Green, M.M., Khatri, C.A., Reidy, M.P., Levon, K., Macromolecules, 26, 4723-4725 (1993). Self-Organization of Polymers in the Third Millennium, Levon, K., J. Pol. Sci.: Polymer Symposium 75; "Polymers to the Year 2000 and Beyond: A Memorial Symposium for Herman F. Mark", Eds. S. Atlas, E.M. Pearce, F.R Eirich, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 151-159 (1993). Processable Conducting Polymer Blends, Levon, K., in "Additives for Advanced Technologies" Ed. A. Golowoy, Philadelphia, XXX-XXX (1993). Molecular Composites in Thermosets, Kwei, T.K., Levon, K., Liu, F., Mey-Marom, A., Munukutla, S., and Tesoro, G., Polymers for Advanced Technologies, 4, 537-547 (1993). Algebraic Approach to Solution of the Relaxation Problem with Non-Conserved Order Parameter, Izmailov, A.F., Levon, K., Margolina, A., Phys. Lett. A, 176 (5), 313-316 (1993) Structure Formation due to Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation and Crystallization in Polypropylene Solutions by Temperature-Jump Experiments, Lee, H.K., Myerson, A.S., Levon, K., " "Novel Trends with Polyolefins", Ed.T.C.Chuang, Plenum Press, NY, 209-223 (1993). Layered Structure with Side-Chain Crystallinity in Undoped Poly(3-alkylthiophenes, Ho, K.-S., Laakso, J., Levon, K., Mao, J., Taka, T., Zheng, W.-Y., Synthetic Metals 55-57, 384-387 (1993). Phase Behavior of Undoped Poly(3-Alkyl Thiophene) with Ethylene-co-Vinylacetates. A Solvatochromatic Transition in the Solid State, Levon, K., Ho, K.-S., Laakso, J., Mao, J., Zheng, W.-Y., Synthetic Metals 55-57, 3591-3596 (1993). Side-Chain Order in Poly(3-Alkyl Thiophenes), Hsu, M., Ho, K.-S., Kwei, T.K., Levon, K., Myerson, A.S., Macromolecules 26 (6), 1318-1323 (1993). Multiple Percolation in Conducting Polymer Blends, Levon, K., Margolina, A., Patashinsky, V., Macromolecules, 26 (15) 4061-4063 (1993). Influence of Temperature Changing Regime on Phase Separation Process.I. Case of Non-Conserved Order Parameter, Margolina, A. Izmailov, A.F., Levon, K., Physica A. 186, 563-577 (1992). Non-Equilibrium Liquid-liquid Phase Separations in Crystallizable Polymer Solutions, Lee, H.K., Myerson, A., Levon, K., Macromolecules, 25 (15), 4002-4010 (1992). Synthesis and Characterization of Some Imide End-Capped Amide-Imides, Liu, F.J., Munukutla, S, Levon, K, Tesoro, G, Journal of Polymer Science: Part A., 30, 157-162 (1992). Phase Equilibria and Phase Separation Dynamics in Semicrystalline Polymer Blends, Lee, H., Myerson, A., Levon, K., International Conference on Membranes, ICOM-90, Symp. Preprints, Chicago, XXX-XXX (1990). Modification of Lignin to Electrically Conducting Polymers, Kuusela, T., Levon, K., Lindberg, J.J., Osterholm, J-E., ACS Symp. Series 397, Eds. W. Glasser, G. Sarkanen, 218-XXX(1989). Specialty Polymers from Lignin, Lindberg, J.J., Levon, K., Kuusela, T., ACS Symp. Series 397, Eds., W. Glasser and S. Sarkanen, 190-XXX (1989) Modification of Lignin, Lindberg, J.J., Levon, K., Kuusela, T., Acta Polymerica, 39, 1/2, 47-50 (1988). Improvement of the Thermal Stabilization of Polyethylenes with Lignosulphonate, Levon, K., Huhtala, J., Malm, B., Lindberg, J.J., Polymer, 28, 745-750 (1987). Acceleration of the Beating of Pulp by the Use of Modified Lignosulfonate, Levon, K., Meshitsuka, G. Nakano, J., Mokuzai Gakkaishi, 32, 12, 1011-1016 (1986). Effect of Organic Compounds on the Beating Rate, Levon, K., Meshitsuka, G., Nakano, J., Mokuzai Gakkaishi, 32, 9, 691-696 (1986). Electrically Conducting Compound Synthesized from Lignin and Sulphur, Levon, K., Kinanen. A., Lindberg, J.J., Polymer Bulletin, 16, 433-439 (1986). The Electrical Conductivity Properties and Structures of Substituted Poly(Phenylene Sulphides), Synthesized from Phenols and Sulphur, Laakso, J., Hortling, B., Levon, K., Lindberg, J.J., Polymer Bulletin, 14, 225 (1985). C-13 NMR Investigation of Crosslinked Polyethylenes, Hortling, B., Soljamo, K., Levon, K., Pellinen, J., Lindberg, J.J., Macromolecular Chemie, 186, 131-137 (1985).