Awards and Honors

Chad Mirkin named 2018 Remsen Award recipient

By Megan Fellman

January 09, 2018

Northwestern University’s Chad A. Mirkin will receive the prestigious Remsen Memorial Lecture Award for his outstanding discoveries in chemistry. The award is presented annually by the American Chemical Society Maryland Section, in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins department of chemistry.

Mirkin is the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry and director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern.

The Remsen Award was created in 1946 in honor of Ira Remsen, the first chairman of the chemistry department and the second president at Johns Hopkins University. The honor recognizes chemists of outstanding achievements, mirroring Remsen’s long career as a professor and researcher. Remsen awardees include scientists Edward Teller, Willard Libby, R.B. Woodward, Charles Townes, Roald Hoffman and Robert Grubbs. To date, 17 Nobel laureates have received Remsen Awards.

“It is a tremendous privilege to receive the Remsen Award and to know that I share this honor with the world’s most accomplished chemists, in some cases, historical icons who have inspired aspects of my work,” Mirkin said. “I sincerely thank the ACS Maryland Section and the Johns Hopkins department of chemistry for this extraordinary honor.”

Mirkin will give the 73rd Remsen Memorial Lecture on Nov. 15 in Baltimore. Following his remarks, he will receive a plaque and $2,500 honorarium.

Mirkin is a world-renowned chemist and expert in nanotechnology, primarily noted for his invention of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) used in materials and colloidal crystal engineering, extracellular and intracellular molecular diagnostics, gene regulation and immune modulation. Currently, SNAs are the basis for more than 1,600 commercial products, including four drugs undergoing human clinical trials.

Mirkin is a professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and professor of chemical and biological engineering, biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering. He is one of very few scientists, engineers and medical doctors to be elected to all three branches of the U.S. National Academies — the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine.

Chad Mirkin is this year’s recipient of the Remsen Award from the Maryland Section of the American Chemical Society and the Chemistry Department of Johns Hopkins. Mirkin is the 73rd Remsen honoree, joining a list of scientific luminaries that includes Edward Teller, Willard Libby, R.B. Woodward, Charles Townes, Roald Hoffman and Robert Grubbs. 17 former recipients have won Nobel Prizes.