2019 SCI Perkin Medal Award winner: Chad A. Mirkin


SCI_America_small_no_backgroundWorld-renowned chemist and nanoscience expert to be honored by the Society of Chemical Industry on September 10, 2019 

PHILADELPHIA, March 14, 2019 – The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), America Group, announced today that Dr. Chad A. Mirkin has won the 2019 SCI Perkin Medal. Dr. Mirkin is the Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology and the George B. Rathmann Prof. of Chemistry, Prof. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Prof. of Biomedical Engineering, Prof. of Materials Science & Engineering, and Prof. of Medicine at Northwestern University. This honor recognizes his contributions to nanotechnology and nanochemistry and the commercial products and process that are based upon them, including the invention and development of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) and myriad nanopatterning methodologies.

mirkin-web-cropped2“The work Chad has done in nanotechnology and supramolecular chemistry has resulted in innovative solutions that have a positive impact on people’s lives,” said Craig Rogerson, chair, president, and CEO of Hexion Inc. and Chair of SCI America. “The SCI is pleased to reward Chad’s remarkable success in the industry, his contributions to science, and his commitment to developing diagnostic and therapeutic tools for the benefit of society.”

The Perkin Medal Selection Committee, consisting of the Chairs or Presidents of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Science History Institute, and the Society of Chemical Industry, noted Dr. Mirkin’s considerable contributions to chemistry, especially with regards to health care. “Dr. Mirkin’s diagnostic inventions are used in half of the world’s top hospitals today, resulting in better doctoring, a better patient experience, a reduction in antibiotic resistance, and in lowering health care costs,” said Dr. Robert G. W. Anderson, President and CEO of the Science History Institute. “He exemplifies what the Perkin Medal stands for.”

Dr. Mirkin will receive the medal at a dinner in his honor on September 10, 2019 at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia.

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About Chad A. Mirkin

Dr. Chad A. Mirkin is known for his discovery and development of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) and SNA-based biodetection and therapeutic schemes, the invention of Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN) and related cantilever-free nanopatterning methodologies, On-Wire Lithography (OWL), Co-Axial Lithography (COAL), and contributions to supramolecular chemistry and nanoparticle synthesis. He is the author of over 730 manuscripts and over 1,100 patent applications worldwide (over 330 issued), and the founder of multiple companies, including AuraSense, Exicure, TERA-print, and CDJ Technologies.

Dr. Mirkin has been recognized for his accomplishments with more than 130 national and international awards, including the inaugural NAS Sackler Prize in Convergence Research, the Linus Pauling Medal, the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, and the iCON Innovator of the Year Award. He served as a Member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology (Obama Administration) for eight years, and he is one of very few scientists to be elected to all three US National Academies (Medicine, Science, and Engineering), and in addition, he is a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Inventors, the American Chemical Society, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Materials Research Society. Mirkin has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of over 20 scholarly journals and at present is an Associate Editor of JACS and a PNAS Board Member. He is the Founding Editor of the journal Small, one of the premier international nanotechnology journals, and he has co-edited multiple bestselling books.

Dr. Mirkin holds a B.S. degree from Dickinson College (1986, elected into Phi Beta Kappa) and a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the Penn. State Univ. (1989). He was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the MIT prior to becoming a professor at Northwestern Univ. in 1991.

About the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Perkin Medal

The annual award is recognized as the highest honor given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. It commemorates the discovery of the first synthetic dye (the so-called Perkin mauve) by Sir William Henry Perkin in 1856. This discovery was a significant step forward in organic chemistry that led to the birth of a major segment of the chemical industry. The SCI Perkin Medal was first awarded to Sir William at a banquet held by the SCI in New York in 1906. Since then, more than 100 such awards have been given to notable scientists.

About the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI)

SCI America Group, launched in 1894, is part of the Society of Chemical Industry’s international organization. It provides a unique networking forum for chemical industry leaders, industrial scientists, and technologists to exchange new business ideas and best practices. It celebrates achievement to promote public awareness of the contributions of industrial chemistry and inspires students to enter technical careers. SCI America events are managed by the Science History Institute. The Perkin Medal award dinner will be the final event of Innovation Day, a full day of research collaboration in the molecular sciences held at the Institute in Philadelphia on September 10, 2019.

About the Science History Institute

The Science History Institute collects and shares the stories of innovators and of discoveries that shape our lives. The Institute preserves and interprets the history of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences. Headquartered in Philadelphia, with offices in California and Europe, the Institute houses an archive and a library for historians and researchers, a fellowship program for visiting scholars from around the globe, a community of researchers who examine historical and contemporary issues, an acclaimed museum that is free and open to the public, and a state-of-the-art conference center.

About The Mirkin Research Group

The Mirkin Research Group focuses on developing methods for controlling the architecture of molecules and materials on the 1 – 100 nm length scale, understanding their fundamental properties, and utilizing such structures to develop novel tools that can be applied in the areas of chemical and biological sensing, gene regulation, immunomodulation, lithography, catalysis, optics, and energy generation, storage, and conversion. The Mirkin Research Group has pioneered the use of nanoparticle-biomolecule conjugates as synthons in materials science and the development of many nanoparticle-based extra- and intracellular biodiagnostic and therapeutic tools.


Resa Thomason, SCI-America

Sheryl Cash, International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN)
Northwestern University