Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Profiles
Chad A Mirkin, PhD

Chad A Mirkin, PhD

Professor of Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and Medicine (Hematology and Oncology)

Focus of Work

Bio

Dr. Chad A. Mirkin is the Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology and the George B. Rathmann Prof. of Chemistry, Prof. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Prof. of Biomedical Engineering, Prof. of Materials Science & Engineering, and Prof. of Medicine at Northwestern University. He is a chemist and a world-renowned nanoscience expert, who is known for his discovery and development of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) and SNA-based biodetection and therapeutic schemes, the in...[Read full text]Dr. Chad A. Mirkin is the Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology and the George B. Rathmann Prof. of Chemistry, Prof. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Prof. of Biomedical Engineering, Prof. of Materials Science & Engineering, and Prof. of Medicine at Northwestern University. He is a chemist and a world-renowned nanoscience expert, who is known for his discovery and development of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) and SNA-based biodetection and therapeutic schemes, the invention of Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN) and related cantilever-free nanopatterning methodologies, On-Wire Lithography (OWL), Co-Axial Lithography (COAL), and contributions to supramolecular chemistry and nanoparticle synthesis. He is the author of over 700 manuscripts and over 1,100 patent applications worldwide (over 300 issued), and the founder of multiple companies, including AuraSense, Exicure, TERA-print, and CDJ Technologies.

Mirkin has been recognized for his accomplishments with over 130 national and international awards. These include the Harrison Howe Award, the Remsen Award, Ralph N. Adams Award, the Dickson Prize in Science, the RUSNANOPRIZE, the Nichols Medal, the 2016 Dan David Prize, the inaugural NAS Sackler Prize in Convergence Research, the RSC Centenary Prize, the Friends of the National Library of Medicine Distinguished Medical Science Award, the ACS Nano Lectureship Award for the Americas, the Linus Pauling Medal, the Thomson Reuters “Nobel-Class” Citation Laureate, RSC's “Chemistry World” Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Walston Chubb Award for Innovation, the ACS Award for Creative Invention, an Einstein Professorship of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the Havinga Medal, the Esselen Award, the Biomedical Eng. Society’s Distinguished Achievement Award, the Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award, the ACS Inorganic Nanoscience Award, a NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the Collegiate Inventors Award, the ACS Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry, a Dickinson College Metzger-Conway Fellowship, the 2003 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences, the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, the Leo Hendrick Baekeland Award, the Materials Research Society Young Investigator Award, the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, the PLU Fresenius Award, the Harvard University E. Bright Wilson Prize, the BF Goodrich Collegiate Inventors Award, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award, the DuPont Young Professor Award, the NSF Young Investigator Award, the Naval Young Investigator Award, the Beckman Young Investigator Award, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award.

Mirkin served as a Member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology (Obama Administration) for eight years, and he is one of very few individuals to be elected to all three US National Academies (Medicine, Science, and Engineering), and in addition, he is a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Inventors, the American Chemical Society, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Materials Research Society. Mirkin has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of over 20 scholarly journals, and at present, he is an Associate Editor of JACS. He is the founding editor of the journal Small, one of the premier international nanotechnology journals, and he has co-edited multiple bestselling books.

Mirkin holds a B.S. degree from Dickinson College (1986, elected into Phi Beta Kappa) and a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the Penn. State Univ. (1989). He was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the MIT prior to becoming a professor at Northwestern Univ. in 1991.[Shorten text]

Academic Focus

Mirkin group research focuses on developing methods for controlling the architecture of molecules and materials on the 1 – 100 nm length scale, understanding their fundamental properties, and utilizing such structures to develop novel analytical tools that can be applied in the areas of chemical and biological sensing, gene regulation, immunomodulation, lithography, catalysis, optics, and energy generation, storage, and conversion. Mirkin has pioneered the use of nanoparticle-biomolecule conjuga...[Read full text]Mirkin group research focuses on developing methods for controlling the architecture of molecules and materials on the 1 – 100 nm length scale, understanding their fundamental properties, and utilizing such structures to develop novel analytical tools that can be applied in the areas of chemical and biological sensing, gene regulation, immunomodulation, lithography, catalysis, optics, and energy generation, storage, and conversion. Mirkin has pioneered the use of nanoparticle-biomolecule conjugates as synthons in materials science and the development of many nanoparticle-based extra- and intracellular biodiagnostic and therapeutic tools.[Shorten text]

Education and Certification

  • PhD: Pennsylvania State University, Organic Chemistry (1989)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chemistry (1991)