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Chad Mirkin


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


George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry

Professor of Medicine - Hematology/Oncology

Professor of Materials Science & Engineering

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering

Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN)

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

Zhou, W.; Lim, Y.; Lin, H.; Lee, S.; Li, Y.; Huang, Z.; Du, J.S.; Lee, B.; Wang, S.; Sánchez-Iglesias, A.; Grzelczak, M.; Liz-Marzán, L.M.; Glotzer, S.C.; Mirkin, C.A.; "Colloidal quasicrystals engineered with DNA," Nature Materials,2023,

Mirkin, C. A.; Petrosko, S. H. "Inspired Beyond Nature: Three Decades of Spherical Nucleic Acids and Colloidal Crystal Engineering with DNA," ACS Nano, 2023, 17, 17, 16291-16307.

Teplensky, M. H.; Distler, M. E.; Kusmierz, C. D.; Evangelopoulos, M.; Gula, H.; Elli, D.; Tomatsidou, A.; Nicoleascu, V.; Gelarden, I.; Yeldandi, A.; Batlle, D.; Missiakas, D.; Mirkin, C. A. “Spherical Nucleic Acids as an Infectious Disease Vaccine Platform,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2022, 119, e2119093119. 

Wahl, C. B.; Aykol, M.; Swisher, J. H.; Montoya, J. H.; Suram, S. K.; Mirkin, C. A. “Machine learning-accelerated design and synthesis of polyelemental heterostructures,” Science Advances, 2021, 7, eabj5505.

Wang, Shuya; Qin, L.; Yamankurt, G.; Skakuj, K.; Huang, Z.; Chen, P.-C.; Dominquez, D.; Lee, A.; Zhang, B.; Mirkin, C. A. “Rational Vaccinology with Spherical Nucleic Acids,” PNAS, 2019, 116, 10473-10481.

Walker, D. A.; Hedrick, J. L.; Mirkin, C. A. “Rapid, large-volume, thermally controlled 3D printing using a mobile liquid interface,” Science2019, 366, 360-364.

Huang, L.; Liu, M.; Lin, H.; Xu, Y.; Wu, J.; Dravid, V. P.; Wolverton, C.; Mirkin, C. A. “Shape regulation of high-index facet nanoparticles by dealloying,” Science2019, 365, 1159-1163.

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.

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, 2010330, 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.

Taton, T. A.; Mirkin, C. A.; Letsinger, R. L. “Scanometric DNA Array Detection with Nanoparticle Probes,” Science, 2000, 289, 1757-1760, doi: 10.1126/science.289.5485.1757. 

Piner, R. D.; Xu, F.; Zhu, J.; Hong, S.; Mirkin, C. A. “Dip Pen Nanolithography,” Science, 1999, 283, 661-663, doi: 10.1126/science.283.5402.661.

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

  • 2023 - Materials Today Innovation Award
  • 2023 – King Faisal Prize
  • 2022 - MRS Medal
  • 2022 – John P. McGovern Science and Society Award
  • 2022 – Faraday Medal
  • 2022 – UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences
  • 2021 Royal Society of Chemistry de Gennes Prize
  • 2021 G. M. Kosolapoff Award, Auburn University and the Auburn Section of the ACS
  • 2020 ACS Division of Colloid and Surface Science Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nanoscience
  • 2020 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Award
  • 2019 Nakamura Award, American Association for Advances in Functional Materials (AAAFM)
  • 2019 Harry and Carol Mosher Award (Silicon Valley Section of the American Chemical Society)
  • 2019 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine
  • 2019 SCI Perkin Medal
  • 2019 Netherlands Award for Supramolecular Chemistry
  • 2018 Theodore William Richards Medal (Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society)
  • 2018 Harrison Howe Award (Rochester Section of the American Chemical Society)
  • 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