Chad Mirkin

For the second time, Northwestern's Chad A. Mirkin, a world-renowned leader in nanotechnology research and its application, has been selected by the US Department of Defense as a fellow in its National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF) program.


Mirkin, who thrives on collaboration across disciplines, is one of 10 distinguished university faculty scientists and engineers from around the country forming this year’s class. He also was one of six individuals selected in 2008 for the program’s inaugural class and is the only person to win the prestigious award twice.

Mirkin is the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, as well as a professor of medicine, of chemical and biological engineering, of biomedical engineering and of materials science and engineering. He also is founding director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern.

The highly competitive NSSEFF program provides grants to top-tier researchers from US universities to conduct long-term, unclassified, basic research in core science and engineering disciplines that is of strategic importance to the Department of Defense.

Mirkin will receive up to $3 million in direct research support for up to five years for his project “Functional Crystals Through Encodable Hard and Soft Matter.” The project focuses on using building blocks chemically modified with DNA to program the formation of single crystals that can be used in a variety of applications.

Mirkin has had an enormous impact on nanoscale manufacturing and applications of nanotechnology in medicine, including cancer detection and treatment. He is the founder of numerous companies that are commercializing nanotechnology applications in the life science industries. To date, Mirkin has more than 960 patents and applications, which are the basis for more than 1,800 commercialized products.


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