Chad Mirkin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Chad Mirkin
Born (1963-11-23) November 23, 1963 (age 56)
Alma materDickinson College, Pennsylvania State University
AwardsLemelson-MIT Prize, 2009; Linus Pauling Award, 2013; Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Convergence Research, 2015; Dan David Prize, 2016; Wilhelm Exner Medal, 2017; William H. Nichols Medal Award, 2017; Kabiller Prize, 2019; Perkin Medal 2019
Scientific career
FieldsChemistry, Materials science, and Nanotechnology
InstitutionsNorthwestern University
External video
"Nanotechnology: Moving Beyond Small Thinking", Chad Mirkin, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)

Chad Alexander Mirkin (born November 23, 1963) is an American chemist. He is the George B. Rathmann professor of chemistry, professor of medicine, professor of materials science and engineering, professor of biomedical engineering, and professor of chemical and biological engineering, and director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology and Center for Nanofabrication and Molecular Self-Assembly at Northwestern University.[1]

Mirkin is known for his development of nanoparticle-based biodetection schemes, the invention of dip-pen nanolithography (recognized by National Geographic as one of the top 100 scientific discoveries that changed the world), and contributions to supramolecular chemistry, nanoelectronics, and nanooptics. In 2010, he was listed as the most cited chemist in the world over the last decade in terms of total citations, the second highest most cited chemist[2] in terms of impact factor,[3] and the top most cited nanomedicine researcher.[4] He was the first chemist to be elected into all three branches of the National Academies. He has published over 750 manuscripts (Google Scholar H-index = 171) and has over 1100 patents and patent applications (over 350 issued, over 80% licensed as of December 1, 2018). These discoveries and innovations have led to over 2000 commercial products that are being used worldwide.

Early life and education[edit]

Mirkin was born November 23, 1963, in Phoenix, Arizona.[5] He received his B.S. degree from Dickinson College in 1986 and his PhD from Penn State University in 1989.[1][6] He was an NSF postdoctoral research fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he worked with Professor Mark S. Wrighton on microelectrode devices for electrocatalysis.[7] He became a professor at Northwestern University in 1991.[6]


The focus of his research is on developing methods for controlling the architecture of molecules and materials on the 1 – 100 nm length scale and utilizing such structures in the development of analytical tools that can be used in the areas of chemical and biological sensing, lithography, catalysis, and optics. Mirkin has pioneered the use of DNA and nanoparticles as synthons in materials science and the development of nanoparticle-based biodiagnostics.[1][6]

A common strategy used by Mirkin's group is the use of the unique properties of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs), spherical arrangements of nucleic acids with or without organic or inorganic nanoparticle cores, to enable the synthesis of novel materials and colloidal crystals, the development of high sensitivity probes for chemical and medical diagnostic purposes, and single-entity structures capable of intracellular gene regulation. His 1996 work with SNA-gold nanoparticle conjugates introduced the concept of a nanoparticle as an atom and nucleic acids as bonds, and it laid the ground work for the fields of colloidal crystal engineering with DNA and molecular diagnostics based upon well-defined nanoparticle and nanocrystal bioconjugates. SNAs are the cornerstone of Luminex's FDA-cleared Verigene system (now used in over half of the world's top hospitals), EMD Millipore's SmartFlare platform, and four drugs in human clinical trials. In addition, his inventions of DPN, Polymer Pen Lithography (PPL), and Beam Pen Lithography (BPL) are the basis for the TERA-fab M and E series commercial patterning tools, known as desktop fabs (TERA-print, LLC).

Mirkin served on several editorial advisory boards, including ACS Nano, the Journal of the American Chemical Society and Angewandte Chemie. He is the founding editor of the nanotechnology journal Small, and he is an associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Mirkin is a founder of multiple companies, including Nanosphere (acquired by Luminex), AuraSense, Azul 3D, TERA-print, and Exicure.

Science policy[edit]

In addition to his academic and research work, Mirkin has been involved in shaping science policy decisions. From 2009 to 2017 Mirkin was appointed to President Barack Obama's President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).[8][9]

Mirkin co-chaired and contributed chapters ("Applications: Nanobiosystems, Medicine, and Health" and "Synthesis, Processing, and Manufacturing of Components, Devices, and Systems") to the world study on nanotechnology research directions for societal needs (Nanotechnology Research Directions for Societal Needs in 2020: Retrospective and Outlook, Boston and Berlin: Springer 2010. Roco, M. C.; Mirkin, C. A.; Hersam, M. C., editors). He also co-chaired the PCAST report titled, "Engage to Excel," focusing on teaching and engagement issues involving students who are in their first two years of undergraduate study at R-1, 2 and 4-year institutions, and community colleges. Mirkin also served as the PCAST ex-officio member of the Advanced Manufacturing Steering Committee. The report produced by the committee calls for sustaining the investments in advanced science and technology that produced America's innovation economy and the establishment of a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes.

Mirkin participated as a delegate at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2011 Summit (Honolulu), with leaders, including President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and representatives from Fortune 500 companies. At APEC, he served on a panel with the president of Chile, Sebastian Piñera Echenique, focused on, "Game Changing Technology Redefining the Region.”

Awards and honors[edit]

Chad Mirkin with AIC Gold Medal, 2016


  1. ^ a b c "Chad Mirkin, professor". Northwestern University. Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Chad Mirkin". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Top ten chemists: Data provided by Thomson Reuters from its Essential Science Indicators, January 1999-June 2009". Times Higher Education. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Laboratory Heads Ranked by Total Citation Score". Nanomedicine Research. Nanomedicine Lab Registry. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  5. ^ "2010 Mack Award Recipient – Dr. Chad A. Mirkin". OSU Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. Ohio State University. Archived from the original on 2015-11-19. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "Chad A. Mirkin". Northwestern University. Mirkin Research Group. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Chemistry Mirkin, Chad". Granthome.
  8. ^ Kelleher, Lauren (April 27, 2009). "NU professor named to Obama's science council". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  9. ^ Fellman, Megan (April 27, 2009). "Mirkin Named to Obama's Science and Technology Advisory Council". Northwestern University NewsCenter. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Ira Remsen Award". Maryland Section. 14 November 2018. Archived from the original on 14 November 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Dr. Chard Alexander Mirkin". Rusano. 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  13. ^ "American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal". Science History Institute. March 22, 2018.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Royal Society of Chemistry Prizes and Awards 2015". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  16. ^ Fellman, Megan (June 24, 2009). "Chad Mirkin Receives $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention". Northwestern University. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  17. ^ "George Rathmann Professor: Chad Mirkin". Northwestern. September 2000. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  18. ^ "Chad A. Mirkin – 1992". Novel Discoveries: Beckman Young Investigators, 1991–2009. Irvine, CA: Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. 2011. p. 115.

External links[edit]