Erik Winfree

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Erik Winfree
Born (1969-09-26) September 26, 1969 (age 52)
Alma materCalifornia Institute of Technology
University of Chicago
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
InstitutionsCalifornia Institute of Technology

Erik Winfree (born September 26, 1969[1]) is an American applied computer scientist, bioengineer, and professor at California Institute of Technology.[2] He is a leading researcher into DNA computing and DNA nanotechnology.[3][4][5]

In 1998, Winfree in collaboration with Nadrian Seeman published the creation of two-dimensional lattices of DNA tiles using the "double crossover" motif. These tile-based structures provided the capability to implement DNA computing, which was demonstrated by Winfree and Paul Rothemund in 2004, and for which they shared the 2006 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology.[3][6]

In 1999, he was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35.[7]

He graduated from the University of Chicago with a BS, and from the Computation and Neural Systems program at the California Institute of Technology with a PhD, where he studied with John Hopfield and Al Barr.[8] He was a Lewis Thomas Postdoctoral Fellow in Molecular Biology at Princeton University.[9] He was a 2000 MacArthur Fellow. His father Arthur Winfree, a theoretical biologist, was also a MacArthur Fellow.


  • DNA Based Computers V: Dimacs Workshop DNA Based Computers V June 14–15, 1999 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Editors Erik Winfree, David K. Gifford, AMS Bookstore, 2000, ISBN 978-0-8218-2053-7
  • Evolution as computation: DIMACS workshop, Princeton, January 1999, Editors Laura Faye Landweber, Erik Winfree, Springer, 2002, ISBN 978-3-540-66709-4
  • "DNA Computing by Self-Assembly", Ninth Annual Symposium on Frontiers of Engineering, National Academies Press, 2004, ISBN 978-0-309-09139-8
  • Algorithmic Bioprocesses, Editors Anne Condon, David Harel, Joost N. Kok, Arto Salomaa, Erik Winfree, Springer, 2009, ISBN 978-3-540-88868-0


  1. ^ Erik Winfree resume
  2. ^ Erik Winfree's homepage
  3. ^ a b Pelesko, John A. (2007). Self-assembly: the science of things that put themselves together. New York: Chapman & Hall/CRC. pp. 201, 242, 259. ISBN 978-1-58488-687-7.
  4. ^ ""Biomolecular Computing" colloquium abstract". Archived from the original on 2017-01-08. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  5. ^ Technology Review's 1999 TR35
  6. ^ Seeman, Nadrian C. (June 2004). "Nanotechnology and the double helix". Scientific American. 290 (6): 64–75. Bibcode:2004SciAm.290f..64S. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0604-64. PMID 15195395.
  7. ^ "1999 Young Innovators Under 35". Technology Review. 1999. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  8. ^ Erik Winfree's bio at Caltech Department of Computer Science Archived June 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Erik Winfree bio at Harvard

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