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Chad Mirkin to receive Nano Research Award

Honored for his invention of dip-pen nanolithography and spherical nucleic acids

EVANSTON - Northwestern University’s Chad A. Mirkin and Chinese Academy of Sciences Professor Lei Jiang have been named recipients of the prestigious 2018 Nano Research Award.

Mirkin is the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) at Northwestern. He is being honored for his achievements in nanoscience and nanotechnology, including his invention of dip-pen nanolithography, a suite of cantilever-free scanning probe lithography tools and spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) used in materials and colloidal crystal engineering, extracellular and intracellular molecular diagnostics, gene regulation and immune modulation therapies. SNAs are the basis for more than 1,600 commercial products, including four drugs undergoing human clinical trials.

These achievements “have improved lives and dramatically increased our scientific understanding and capabilities,” according to the Nano Research news release, distributed by award co-sponsor Springer Nature.

“It is a privilege to receive the 2018 Nano Research Award along with distinguished Professor Lei Jing,” Mirkin said. “I have known and admired Professor Ling’s work for many years. We share a mutual commitment to harnessing the power and potential of nanotechnology toward solving many of the world’s most challenging problems. I also want to thank Tsinghua University Press and Springer Nature for this tremendous honor.”

The Nano Research Award is given annually to individual scientists who have made significant contributions to nanotechnology research — the ability to view, manipulate and create molecules and materials at the smallest scale. The winner is selected by an award committee made up of Nano Research editors and representatives from sponsors Tsinghua University Press and Springer Nature.

The Nano Research Award will be presented June 29 to July 2 at the 2018 Sino-US Nano Forum in Chengdu, China. 

Mirkin and Jiang have been invited to give keynote speeches and will receive their awards at the 5th Annual Nano Research Awards at the 2018 Sino-US Nano Forum in Chengdu, China.

Mirkin is among an elite group scientists, engineers and medical doctors to be elected to all three branches of the U.S. National Academies — the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine. He recently was named a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Mirkin is a professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a professor of chemical and biological engineering, biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering.