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Chad Mirkin


B.S.: Dickinson College 1986; Ph.D.: Penn State University 1989


George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry

Materials Science and Engineering; Medicine; Biomedical Engineering; Chemical and Biological Engineering; Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology

Research Statement

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.

Selected Publications

  • Lin, H.; Lee, S.; Sun, L.; Spellings, M.; Engel, M.; Glotzer, S. C.; Mirkin, C. A. “Clathrate Colloidal Crystals,” Science, 2017, 355, 931-935.
  • Chen, P.-C.; Liu, X.; Hedrick, J. L.; Xie, Z.; Wang, S.; Lin, Q. Y.; Hersam, M. C.; Dravid, V. P.; Mirkin, C. A. “Polyelemental nanoparticle libraries,” Science, 2016, 352, 1565-1569.
  • Kim, Y.; Macfarlane, R. J.; Jones, M. R.; Mirkin, C. A. “Transmutable nanoparticles with reconfigurable surface ligands,” Science, 2016, 351, 579-582.
  • Lifschitz, A. M.; Young, R. M.; Mendez-Arroyo, J.; Stern, C. L.; McGuirk, C. M.; Wasielewski, M. R.; Mirkin, C. A. “An Allosteric Photoredox Catalyst Inspired by Photosynthetic Machinery,” Nature Communications, 2015, 6, 6541.
  • Ozel, T.; Bourret, G. R.; Mirkin, C. A. “Coaxial Lithography,” Nature Nanotechnology, 2015, 10, 319-324.
  • Jones, M. R.; Seeman, N. C.; Mirkin, C. A. “Programmable Materials and the Nature of the DNA Bond,” Science, 2015, 347, 1260901.
  • Radovic-Moreno, A. F.; Chernyak, N.; Mader, C. C.; Nallagatla, S.; Kang, R.; Hao, L.; Walker, D. A.; Halo, T. L.; Merkel, T. J.; Rische, C.; Ananatatmula, S.; Burkhart, M.; Mirkin, C. A.; Gryaznov, S. M. “Immunomodulatory Spherical Nucleic Acids,” Proc. Natl. Aca. Sci., 2015, 112, 3892-3897.
  • Macfarlane, R. J.; Jones, M. R.; Lee, B.; Auyeung, E.; Mirkin, C. A. “Topotactic Interconversion of Nanoparticle Superlattices,” Science, 2013, 341, 1222-1225.
  • Jensen, S. A.; Day, E. S.; Ko, C. H.; Hurley, L. A.; Luciano, J. P.; Kouri, F. M.; Merkel, T. J.; Luthi, A. J.; Patel, P. C.; Cutler, J. I.; Daniel, W. L.; Scott, A. W.; Rotz, M. W.; Meade, T. J.; Giljohann, D. A.; Mirkin, C. A.; Stegh, A. H. “Spherical Nucleic Acid Nanoparticle Conjugates as an RNAi-Based Therapy for Glioblastoma,” Science Trans. Med., 2013, 5, 209ra152.
  • Langille, M. R.; Zheng, J.; Personick, M. L.; Mirkin, C. A. “Stepwise Evolution of Spherical Seeds into 20-Fold Twinned Icosahedra,” Science, 2012, 337, 954-957.
  • Macfarlane, R. J.; Lee, B.; Jones, M. R.; Harris, N.; Schatz, G. C.; Mirkin, C. A. “Nanoparticle Superlattice Engineering with DNA,” Science, 2011, 334, 204-208.
  • Yoon, H. J.; Kuwabara, J.; Kim, J.-H.; Mirkin, C. A. “Allosteric Supramolecular Triple-Layer Catalysts,” Science, 2010, 330, 66-69.
  • Huo, F. W.; Zheng, Z. J.; Zheng, G. F; Giam, L. R.; Zhang, H.; Mirkin, C. A. “Polymer Pen Lithography,” Science, 2008, 321, 1658-1660.
  • Rosi, N. L.; Giljohann, D. A.; Thaxton, C. S.; Lytton-Jean, A. K. R.; Han, M. S.; Mirkin, C. A. “Oligonucleotide-Modified Gold Nanoparticles for Intracellular Gene Regulation,” Science, 2006, 312, 1027-1030.
  • Mirkin, C. A.; Letsinger, R. L.; Mucic, R. C.; Storhoff, J. J. “A DNA-Based Method for Rationally Assembling Nanoparticles into Macroscopic Materials,” Nature, 1996, 382, 607-609.

Selected Honors/Awards

  • 2018 Remsen Award
  • 2018 Ralph N. Adams Award in Bioanalytical Chemistry
  • 2017 Fellow, American Chemical Society
  • 2017 Wilhelm Exner Medal
  • 2017 Dickson Prize in Science
  • 2017 William H. Nichols Medal
  • 2016 Dan David Prize
  • 2016  American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal
  • 2015 Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
  • 2015 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Convergence Research
  • 2015 Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Centenary Prize
  • 2013 Fellow, National Academy of Inventors
  • 2013 Linus Pauling Medal
  • 2013 Walston Chubb Award for Innovation
  • 2012 American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention
  • 2011 Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2010 Fellow, National Academy of Medicine
  • 2010 Fellow, National Academy of Sciences
  • 2009 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize
  • 2009 Member, President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology (PCAST, Obama Administration)
  • 2009 Fellow, National Academy of Engineering   


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