Faculty Directory
Chad Mirkin

George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, and (by courtesy) Chemical and Biological Engineering and Biomedical Engineering

Director, International Institute for Nanotechnology


2190 Campus Drive
Ryan Hall, Room 3010
Evanston, IL 60208

847-467-7302Email Chad Mirkin


Mirkin Research Group


Materials Science and Engineering

Chemical and Biological Engineering

Biomedical Engineering


PhD Program in Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences


NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemistry, MIT, Cambridge, MA

Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, Penn State, State College, PA

B.S. Chemistry (Phi Beta Kappa), Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

Research Interests

Fundamental and applied nanoscience, nanomaterials, nanibiotechnology, nanomedicine, nanolithography

Our research focuses 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 biomolecules as synthons in materials science and the development of nanoparticle-based biodiagnostics. Many of the concepts and materials developed within his laboratories are now the basis for commercial detection and lithography systems.

Significant Recognition

  • 2023 Materials Today Innovation Award
  • 2023 King Faisal Prize
  • 2022 John P. McGovern Science and Society Award
  • 2022 Faraday Medal
  • 2022 UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences
  • 2022 Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal
  • 2021 De Gennes Prize, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 2021 G.M. Kosolapoff Award
  • 2020 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize
  • 2019 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine
  • 2019 Perkin Medal
  • 2019 Netherlands Award for Supramolecular Chemistry
  • 2018 Theodore William Richards Medal
  • 2018 Remsen Award
  • 2018 Ralph N. Adams Award in Bioanalytical Chemistry
  • 2017 Fellow, American Chemical Society
  • 2017 Wilhelm Exner Medal
  • 2017 Dickson Prize in Science
  • 2017 William H. Nichols Medal
  • 2016 Dan David Prize
  • 2016 American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal
  • 2015 Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
  • 2015 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Convergence Research
  • 2015 Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Centenary Prize
  • 2013 Fellow, National Academy of Inventors
  • 2013 Linus Pauling Medal
  • 2013 Walston Chubb Award for Innovation
  • 2012 American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention
  • 2011 Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2010 Fellow, National Academy of Medicine
  • 2010 Fellow, National Academy of Sciences
  • 2009 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize
  • 2009 Member, President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology (PCAST, Obama Administration)
  • 2009 Fellow, National Academy of Engineering

Significant Professional Service

  • Scientific Advisory Board, Digital Medicine & Artificial Intelligence Translational Research Program (WISDM), Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
  • Member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST, Obama Administration)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of the American Chemical Society
  • Editorial Board Member, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of over 30 scholarly journals, including Nano Letters, ACS Nano, and Angewandte Chemie
  • International Organizing Committee, PACIFICHEM 2025
  • Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) Conference Evaluation Committee (CEC)
  • National Academy of Engineering
  • Founding editor of the journal Small
  • Science Advisory Board member for the International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computation and Engineering

Selected Publications

  • Calcaterra, Heather A.; Zheng, Cindy Y.; Seifert, Soenke; Yao, Yudong; Jiang, Yi; Mirkin, Chad A.; Deng, Junjing; Lee, Byeongdu, Hints of Growth Mechanism Left in Supercrystals, ACS nano (2023).
  • Wahl, Carolin B.; Day, Alexandra; Gupta, Vishu; Dos Reis, Roberto R.; Liao, Wei Keng; Mirkin, Chad A.; Choudhary, Alok; Dravid, Vinayak P.; Agrawal, Ankit, Machine Learning Enabled Image Classification for Automated Data Acquisition in the Electron Microscope, Microscopy and microanalysis : the official journal of Microscopy Society of America, Microbeam Analysis Society, Microscopical Society of Canada (2023).
  • Wahl, Carolin B.; Chen, Jie; Zhang, Hengrui; Liu, Wei; Zhang, Shengtong; Wu, Jiezhong; Mirkin, Chad A.; Dravid, Vinayak P.; Apley, Daniel W.; Chen, Wei, Automated Crystal System Identification from Four-dimensional Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy Data Using Brain-inspired Artificial Intelligence, Microscopy and microanalysis : the official journal of Microscopy Society of America, Microbeam Analysis Society, Microscopical Society of Canada (2023).
  • Wahl, Carolin B.; Mirkin, Chad A.; Dravid, Vinayak P., Towards Autonomous Electron Microscopy for High-throughput Materials Discovery, Microscopy and microanalysis : the official journal of Microscopy Society of America, Microbeam Analysis Society, Microscopical Society of Canada (2023).
  • Teplensky, Michelle H.; Evangelopoulos, Michael; Dittmar, Jasper W.; Forsyth, Connor M.; Sinegra, Andrew J.; Wang, Shuya; Mirkin, Chad A., Multi-antigen spherical nucleic acid cancer vaccines, Nature Biomedical Engineering (2023).
  • Callmann, Cassandra E.; Vasher, Matthew K.; Das, Anindita; Kusmierz, Caroline D.; Mirkin, Chad A., In Vivo Behavior of Ultrasmall Spherical Nucleic Acids, Small (2023).
  • Smith, Peter T.; Ye, Zihao; Pietryga, Jacob; Huang, Jin; Wahl, Carolin B.; Hedlund Orbeck, Jenny K.; Mirkin, Chad A., Molecular Thin Films Enable the Synthesis and Screening of Nanoparticle Megalibraries Containing Millions of Catalysts, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2023).
  • Chen, Chaojian; Lin, Millicent; Wahl, Carolin; Li, Yuanwei; Zhou, Wenjie; Wang, Zhe; Zhang, Ye; Mirkin, Chad A., Dynamic Metal-Phenolic Coordination Complexes for Versatile Surface Nanopatterning, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2023).