Chad A. Mirkin

Invented Dip-Pen Nanolithography and nanoparticle-based biodetection schemes

The field of nanotechnology is rapidly growing, and at the forefront is Dr. Chad A. Mirkin, world-renowned chemist and nanotechnolgy researcher. Dr. Mirkin is the Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology, George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University.

A celebrated nanoscience expert, Dr. Mirkin is best-known for his development of nanoparticle-based biodetection schemes, the invention of Dip-Pen Nanolithography and contributions to supramolecular chemistry. He is author of 380 manuscripts and more than 350 patents, and the founder of three companies, AuraSense, Nanosphere and NanoInk, which he established with his team at Northwestern University to commercialize nanotechnology applications in the life sciences and semiconductor industries. Currently, Dr. Mirkin is the third most cited chemist in the world1. He was recently inducted to the National Academy of Engineering and selected for President Obama’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology. For Dr. Mirkin’s impact on the fields of medicine, science and education, he has been awarded the 2009 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize.

Dr. Mirkin’s accomplishments in these areas are well recognized, with over 50 national and international honors. Top awards include: the Biomedical Engineering Society’s Distinguished Achievement Award, the ACS Inorganic Nanoscience Award, the iCON Innovator of the Year Award, a NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2002, 2004), the ACS Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry, the Crain’s Chicago Business “40 under 40 Award,” the Discover 2000 Award for Technological Innovation, the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, the Harvard University E. Bright Wilson Prize, the DuPont Young Professor Award, the NSF Young Investigator Award, and most recently the 2009 Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award and the 2009 Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest.

A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Mirkin serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of over twenty scholarly journals including: American Chemical Society, Accounts of Chemical Research, Advanced Materials, BioMacromolecules, Macromolecular Bioscience, SENSORS, Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Chemistry-A European Journal, Chemistry & Biology, Nanotechnology Law & Business, The Scientist, Journal of Materials Chemistry and Journal of Cluster Science, Plasmonics. Dr. Mirkin is the founding editor of the scholarly journal Small, a premier international nanotechnology journal, and the coauthor of two bestselling books on nanobiotechnology, Nanobiotechnology: Concepts, Applications and Perspectives and Nanobiotechnology II: More Concepts and Applications.

Dedicated to inspiring youth in the sciences, Dr. Mirkin also engages in many educational projects. Through his work with the International Institute for Nanotechnology, he spearheaded the development of the DiscoverNANO Web site, designed to introduce youth to nanotechnology, founded and launched Nanoscape, a journal that communicates the results of successful undergraduate research projects, developed nanotechnology exhibits for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and developed two Research Experience programs, enabling undergraduate and high school students to conduct hands-on research in nanotechnolgy.

Dr. Mirkin holds a BS degree from Dickinson College (1986) and a PhD degree in chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University (1989). Prior to becoming a chemistry professor at Northwestern University in 1991, he was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

1Data provided by Thomson Reuters from its Essential Science Indicators database, 1 January 1998 to 30 June 2008