Expert to discuss revolutionizing medicine through nanotechnology in Ford Distinguished Lecture

The growing capacity to build sensors, screening devices and curative structures as small as atoms promises to bring massive changes to the way we study, diagnose and treat cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and extend life in the not-too distant future.

Chad A. Mirkin, a chemist and world-renowned nanoscience expert, will explain how when he delivers the Allen & Constance Ford Distinguished Lecture at Case Western Reserve University at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27, in the Wolstein Research Building Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Mirkin is the director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology and the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University. His lecture, titled “Revolutionizing the Field of Medicine through Advances in Nanotechnology,” will highlight the development of hand-held super-sensitive medical diagnostic tools that provide rapid sampling and results, the first ways of detecting and genetically identifying tumor cells circulating within the body, and powerful new methods to regulate genes using novel nanostructures, called spherical nucleic acids, which are, in essence, programmable artificial atoms.

Mirkin is known for his development of nanoparticle-based biodetection systems; the invention of Dip-Pen Nanolithography, which is a method of etching molecules or nanomaterials onto a surface; and contributions to supramolecular chemistry. At present, he is listed as the most cited chemist in the world (Thomson Reuters), as well as the most cited nanomedicine researcher in the world (Nanomedicine Registry).

A reception will follow immediately in the Wolstein atrium.

The Ford Distinguished Lecture is held twice a year in partnership with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve.