News

Mirkin selected for Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine

CBES investigator Chad Mirkin has been selected to receive the $250,000 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine, the world’s largest monetary award for outstanding achievement in nanotechnology and its application to medicine and biology.

The honor is named after Northwestern University trustee and alumnus David G. Kabiller, who endowed the award in 2018. This is the first year Northwestern researchers were eligible to receive the prize, which was selected by an independent, international committee of scientists.

“(Mirkin’s) discovery and development of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs), which form a cornerstone of bionanotechnology, have changed the way we think about and use DNA and RNA,” the award selection committee said in a statement.

“He has synthesized many versions of SNAs, elucidated the fundamental chemical and physical properties that distinguish them from all other forms of matter, and used them in paradigm-shifting approaches to high-sensitivity, extra- and intracellular molecular diagnostic tools and pharmaceutical development. These include more than 1,800 commercial products in the life sciences, biomedicine and biotechnology to-date, including one of the first FDA-cleared, menu-driven, point-of-care medical diagnostic systems, platforms capable of analyzing the genetic content of single living cells, and structures exceedingly useful for the treatment of skin disorders and cancers via both gene regulation and immunomodulatory pathways.”

Mirkin will officially receive the award on Nov. 13 at a banquet in Chicago. Molly Stevens, a professor at Imperial College London, will also be presented with the Kabiller Young Investigator’s Award in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine on that date.

“This is a remarkable recognition for three decades of work performed by hundreds of talented researchers from all parts of the world,” Mirkin said in a press release issued by Northwestern. “I am very grateful to David Kabiller for his commitment to advancing nanotechnology discoveries in biology and medicine.”

Electron-like nanoparticles challenge current understanding of matter

Northwestern University researchers led by Center for Bio-Inspired Science (CBES) investigators Monica Olvera de la Cruz and Chad Mirkin have made a discovery that may upend the current notion of matter. They found that tiny nanoparticles engineered with DNA in colloidal crystals act just like electrons — opening a pathway to design new materials.

“This is going to get people to think about matter in a new way,” Mirkin said. “It’s going to lead to all sorts of materials that have potentially spectacular properties that have never been observed before. Properties that could lead to a variety of new technologies in the fields of optics, electronics and even catalysis.” 

Mirkin led the experimental work and Olvera de la Cruz spearheaded the computational work in which the electron-like behavior was first observed. Their findings were published online June 21 in Science.  

Northwestern Now

CBES Featured in EFRC's "Inspiration, not Imitation"

The Energy Frontier Research Centers' Summer 2019 Newsletter is out and CBES research is prominently featured in the article titled, "Inspiration, Not Imitation.” CBES Executive Director of Research Liam Palmer gives his thoughts on the challenges and breakthroughs the Center has encountered regarding artificial muscle development over the years.

EFRC Summer 2019 Newsletter

Rogers, Mirkin to receive 2019 Nakamura Awards

CBES investigators Chad A. Mirkin and John A. Rogers will each receive a 2019 Nakamura Award from the American Association for Advances in Functional Materials (AAAFM) this August.

The inaugural award, named after Nobel Prize winner Shuji Nakamura, recognizes “significant contributions and … exceptional innovation in the field of functional materials.”

Mirkin was cited for his contributions to nanoscale functional materials and the commercial products and processes that are based upon them, including the invention and development of spherical nucleic acids, and cantilever-free, scanning probe-based and 3D printing methodologies. Rogers was selected “for his pioneering contributions to the flexible, stretchable and wearable electronic systems for healthcare and exploratory neuroscience,” according to the AAAFM award announcement.

Both scientists will accept their awards during the AAAFM-UCLA Conference on Functional Materials, which will be held August 19-22 in Los Angeles.

Joanna Aizenberg elected to the National Academy of Sciences

CBES Investigator Joanna Aizenberg was elected to the National Academy of Sciences this spring.  Aizenberg, the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science and Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Biology was elected "For being the pioneer of the budding field of bioinspired materials chemistry, applying lessons from natural systems to inventing artificial materials with unprecedented properties. She has made groundbreaking, seminal contributions to biomineralization, crystal engineering, smart surfaces, and antifouling and stimuli-responsive materials that display unique hierarchical designs."

 

Read more about the award Here.

CBES Investigator Joanna Aizenberg elected to National Academy of Engineering

CBES Investigator Joanna Aizenberg has been elected to the National Academyof Engineering.  Election to the NAE honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education, and to the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing or implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.  More can be read about this award Here.

CBES Researcher Heather Calcaterra Awarded NSF Fellowship

Heather Calcaterra, a graduate student in Professor Mirkin's CBES group, has been selected to be a part of the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Congratulations on the great work and we look forward to more!

EFRC Winter 2019 Newsletter Released

The Winter 2019 EFRC research newsletter was recently released and can be viewed in full HERE.

CBES Investigators Named Global 'Highly Cited Researchers'

CBES Investigators have been identified as being in the top one percent by citations in 2018.  Along with 8 other Northwestern University researchers, John A. Rogers, Chad A. Mirkin, and Samuel I. Stupp have been recognized by Clarivate Analytics for their seemingly ubiquitous contributions in their fields of study.

Read the Northwestern University Press Release HERE

Read the full Highly Cited Researchers 2018 List and executive summary HERE

CBES Research Highlighted in EFRC Newsletter

Principle Investigator George Schatz was featured in the most recent EFRC newsletter discussing CBES research.  The article, titled "Mother Nature Does it Better", details how the work CBES is conducting looks to natural biological processes in nature to improve current manmade systems and devices.

The full article can be read HERE.

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