Last week, Carnegie Mellon University awarded NAM member Chad A. Mirkin this year’s Dickson Prize in Science for his outstanding contributions to the field. Dr. Mirkin is a chemist and a world-renowned nanoscience expert. He is best-known for his development of nanoparticle-based biodetection schemes, an ultrasensitive technique used to determine the concentrations of various chemical agents in the sub part per million volume range. This technology can be used in a variety of settings including in the analysis of DNA, to detect relevant molecules in food (like antioxidants), and to measure concentrations of disease biomarkers in humans, among others.
Dr. Mirkin has received more than 100 national and international awards, including the inaugural Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Convergence Research in 2015. He served as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology during the Obama administration, and he is one of very few scientists to be elected to all three U.S. National Academies–the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine. He has founded five companies and has authored over 1,000 patents worldwide. Dr. Mirkin is currently 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.
The Dickson Prize in Science has been awarded annually since 1970 to the person who has been judged by Carnegie Mellon University to have made the most progress in the scientific field in the United States for the year in question. At Carnegie Mellon, the field of science is interpreted to include the natural sciences, engineering, computer science or mathematics. The award includes a medal and a cash prize.
Dr. Mirkin accepted his award on February 2 and gave a lecture at Carnegie Mellon entitled, “Nanotechnology: Small Things Matter.” You can view the full award ceremony and lecture by clicking here.
Dr. Mirkin has been a member of the NAM since 2010.