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His current research focuses on the development of methods for controlling molecular architecture on the 1-100nm scale and using such structures for inventing technologies that impact chemistry, biology and medicine. His research group is best known for the discovery and development of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) as well as enabling techniques such as dip-pen nanolithography (DPN), polymer pen lithography (PPL) and beam pen lithography (BPL) – methods that allow scientists to “draw” and create patterns of extraordinary sophistication and complexity on a variety of surfaces using nanoscale pens and chemicals and biological materials as inks.
He is the Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology and the Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Medicine at Northwestern University.
He is a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology, and a member of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. His recent awards include the Wilhelm Exner Medal, the William H. Nichols Medal Award, and the Dan David Prize.