Awards and Honors

Chad A. Mirkin, John A. Rogers to receive Nakamura Award

By Sheryl Cash

June 18, 2019

Prestigious honor recognizes exceptional innovations in the field of functional materials

Chad A. Mirkin

EVANSTON, Ill.—Northwestern professors Chad A. Mirkin and John A. Rogers and will each receive a 2019 Nakamura Award from the American Association for Advanced Functional Materials (AAAFM) for their “significant contributions and exceptional innovations in the field of functional materials.”

The award, named after the Nobel Prize winner Shuji Nakamura, will be presented at the second AAAFM-UCLA Conference on Functional Materials in Los Angeles from August 19-22. Each recipient will receive $5,000.

Mirkin will receive the AAAFM-Nakamura Award “for his contributions to nanoscale functional materials and the commercial products and process that are based upon them, including the invention and development of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) and cantilever-free, scanning probe-based, and 3D printing methodologies,” according to the AAAFM announcement. “The breadth of impact of Mirkin’s discoveries are virtually unrivaled.”

Mirkin is the director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) and the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, as well as a professor of chemical and biological engineering, biomedical engineering, and materials science and engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering. He is also a professor of medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine.

Mirkin has authored more than 740 manuscripts and has submitted more than 1,100 patent applications worldwide, with more than 330 issued. He has founded seven companies, including Exicure, TERA-Print, and Azul 3D. National Geographic magazine recognized Mirkin’s invention of dip-pen nanolithography as one of the “top 100 scientific discoveries that changed the world.”

Mirkin is among an elite group of scientists, engineers, and medical doctors to be elected to all three branches of the US National Academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine. Mirkin served on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology from 2009 through 2016.

John A. Rogers

Rogers will receive a Nakamura Award for “his pioneering contributions to the flexible, stretchable, and wearable electronic systems for health care and exploratory neuroscience.”

Rogers is the Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and professor of biomedical engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering, professor of neurological surgery in the Feinberg School of Medicine, and the director of the Center for Bio-integrated Electronics. He also is a member of the Simpson Querrey Institute and the IIN. He has affiliate appointments in chemistry, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science at Northwestern.

Rogers studies materials and patterning techniques for unusual electronic and photonic devices, with an emphasis on bio-integrated and bio-inspired systems.

“His extraordinary innovations could help revolutionize the future of health care and personal medicine,” according to AAAFM. Rogers has published more than 650 papers, is a co-inventor on more than 100 patents, and has co-founded several successful technology companies.

Rogers has received numerous other honors and awards for his work, including the Lemelson-MIT Prize, the MacArthur Fellowship, and the Smithsonian Award for American Ingenuity in the Physical Sciences, and most recently, the Benjamin Franklin Medal from the Franklin Institute. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern University is an umbrella organization that represents and unites more than $1 billion in nanotechnology research, education and supporting infrastructure.