Chad A. Mirkin

Group Leader / 847-491-2907 / Ryan Hall, Room 3012 /

About Chad

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 850 manuscripts and over 1,200 patent applications worldwide (over 400 issued), and the founder of multiple companies, including Nanosphere, AuraSense, TERA-print, Azul 3D, MattIQ, and Flashpoint Therapeutics.

Mirkin has been recognized for his accomplishments with over 250 national and international awards. These include the King Faisal Prize in Science, the Faraday Medal, UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in Life Sciences, Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine, the SCI Perkin Medal, Friendship Award, Nano Research Award, AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Award, Richards Award and Medal, 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 2014 National Security Science and Engineering Fellowship (NSSEFF) Award, the 2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher (2002-2012), the ACS Nano Lectureship Award for the Americas, the Vittorio deNora Award (The Electrochemical Society), the Linus Pauling Medal, the Thomson Reuters “Nobel-Class” Citation Laureate, RSC’s “Chemistry World” Entrepreneur of the Year Award, a Honorary Membership in the Materials Research Society of India, the Walston Chubb Award for Innovation, an Honorary Degree from Nanyang Technological Univ. Singapore, recognition as the Lee Kuan Yew Distinguished Visitor to Singapore, an Honorary Professorship from Hunan Univ. China, the ACS Award for Creative Invention, the Herman S. Bloch Award for Scientific Excellence in Industry, an Einstein Professorship of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Edward Mack Jr. Memorial Award, the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the Havinga Medal, the Gustavus John Esselen Award, the Biomedical Eng. Society’s Distinguished Achievement Award, a DoD NSSEFF Award, the Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award, the ACS Inorganic Nanoscience Award, the iCON Innovator of the Year Award, a NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the Collegiate Inventors Award, an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Dickinson College, the Pennsylvania State Univ. Outstanding Science Alumni 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, Crain’s Chicago Business “40 under 40 Award,” the Discover 2000 Award for Technological Innovation, I-Street Magazine’s Top 5 List for Leading Academics in Technology, 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 scientists to be elected to all three US National Academies (Medicine, Science, and Engineering), and in addition, he is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Chemical Society, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the Materials Research Society, and others. Mirkin has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of over 30 scholarly journals, including JACS, Acc. Chem. Res., Angew. Chem., Adv. Mater., Biomacromolecules, Macromolecular Bioscience, SENSORS, Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Chem. Eur. J., Chemistry & Biology, Nanotechnology Law & Business, The Scientist, J. Mater. Chem., J. Cluster Sci., and Plasmonics. 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.


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