Kary Banks Mullis (born December 28, 1944) is a biochemist. In the 1980s, he invented the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a central technique in molecular biology which allows the amplification of specified DNA sequences. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the Japan Prize for this work in 1993.
Mullis was born in North Carolina, and grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a PhD in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1973.
He has been married four times (including his current marriage), and has two sons and one daughter. He is the founder of the company Altermune, LLC .
Mullis holds several highly idiosyncratic views. In his 1998 essay collection Dancing Naked in the Mind Field he relates experiences that he attributes to space alien visitors. He also claims that the evidence behind astrology has not been adequately appreciated.
He has also advocated that concentrations be measured in "number of things per milliliter" instead of "moles per milliliter" because of the arbitrariness of Avogadro's number. He denigrates the hysteria about global warming, denying that it is human caused, and he believes we are more likely entering an ice age.
Mullis, according to the above mentioned essay collection, has been at various times an avid surfer and drug-user. (Nitrous oxide, marijuana, DET , LSD (before it was illegal)) He currently resides in Newport Beach, California and in Anderson Valley, California.