Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli received her SB in Chemistry in 1994 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she did research with Robert W. Field. She did her graduate work in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley with Paul Alivisatos studying the surface properties of semiconductor nanocrystals using surface sensitive spectroscopic techniques. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2000. She did postdoctoral work with Joe Jacobson at the MIT Media Lab from 2000 to 2002. In 2002 she joined the faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT where she held the chairs of the Homer A. Burnell Professor and an Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Professor. From 2012 to 2015 she was technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
In 2015 she joined the University of Massachusetts Boston as an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering. She received the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (ONR YIP) in 2004 and the Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching in Engineering at MIT. She is a long time member of the American Chemical Society, and currently the past Chair of the Biophysical Subdivision of the Physical Chemistry Executive Committee of the ACS. She is also a member of the Materials Research Society. Her work investigates the physical interface of nanoparticles with biomolecules, exploring the fundamental properties of nanoparticle-protein, nanoparticle- DNA interactions, and nanoparticle protein coronas, in addition to developing applications that exploit the interface for triggered release from gold nanoparticles and nanorods and rapid diagnostics for infectious disease that use gold and silver nanoparticles.