Nadrian C. Seeman

Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor of Chemistry;
B.S. University of Chicago; Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh; Postdoctoral research at Columbia University and MIT

Office: Waverly Building, 24 Waverly Place, Room 1066
Lab Homepage

Areas of Research/Interest
DNA Nanotechnology, Macromolecular Design and Topology, Biophysical Chemistry of Recombinational Intermediates, DNA-Based Computation, and Crystallography

Research Description
More than 30 years ago, Ned Seeman founded the field of Structural DNA Nanotechnology. This area of chemistry uses the information inherent in DNA for structural purposes. Branched DNA molecules that can be designed to self-assemble from synthetic strands are central to this effort. Cohesive ends allow them to assemble to produce polyhedra and nanotubes. In addition, DNA motifs have been used to produce 2D lattices that are characterized by atomic force microscopy. 3D lattices built the same way are studied by x-ray crystallography. The goal is to use DNA to scaffold other species, such as biological macromolecules and nanoelectronic components. This program has led to a variety of nanomechanical devices, including a translator, walkers, nanorobots and a nanomechanical assembly line. Other research involves DNA-based computation and self-replicating systems. A different program in the lab is concerned with characterizing intermediates in genetic recombination, particularly the recognition of homology, by the techniques of molecular biophysics.


T. Wang, R. Sha, R. Dreyfus, M.E. Leunissen, C. Maass, D. Pine, P.M. Chaikin & N.C. Seeman, Self-Replication of Information-Bearing Nanoscale Patterns, Nature, 478, 225-228 (2011).

B. Chakraborty, N. Jonoska & N.C. Seeman, A Programmable Transducer Self-Assembled from DNA, Chem. Sci. 3, 168-176 (2012).

N.A. Baas & N. C. Seeman, On the Chemical Synthesis of New Topological Structures, J. Math. Chem. 50, 220-232 (2012).

C. Liu, E. Kim, B. Demple & N.C. Seeman, A DNA-Based Nanomechanical Device Used to Characterize the Distortion of DNA by Apo-SoxR Protein, Biochem. 51, 937-943 (2012).

T. Wang, D. Schiffels, S. M. Cuesta, D. K. Fygenson & N. C. Seeman, Design and Characterization of 1D Nanotubes and 2D Periodic Arrays Self-Assembled From DNA Multi-Helix Bundles, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 1606-1616 (2012).

J.E. Padilla, W. Liu & N.C. Seeman, Hierarchical Self Assembly of Patterns from the Robinson Tilings:  DNA Tile Design in an Enhanced Tile Assembly Model, Natural Computing 11, 323-338 (2012).

N. Nguyen,  J.J. Birktoft, R. Sha, T. Wang, J. Zheng, P.E. Constantinou, S.L. Ginell, Y. Chen, C. Mao & N.C. Seeman, The Absence of Tertiary Interactions in a Self-Assembled DNA Crystal Structure, J. Mol. Recognition 25, 234-237 (2012).

N. Jonoska & N.C. Seeman, Computing by Molecular Self-Assembly, Interface Focus 2, 504-511 (2012).

Y. Liu, R. Wang, L. Ding, R. Sha, N.C. Seeman & J.W. Canary, Templated Synthesis of Nylon Nucleic Acids and Characterization by Nuclease Digestion, Chem. Sci., 3, 1930-1937 (2012).

K.-T. Wu, L. Feng, R. Sha, R. Dreyfus, A.Y. Grosberg, N.C. Seeman & P.M. Chaikin, Polygamous Particles, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA) 109, 18731-18736 (2012).

L. Feng, R. Sha, N.C. Seeman and P.M. Chaikin, Topological Interaction by Entangled DNA Loops, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 188301 (2012).

M. Ye, J. Guillaume, Y. Liu, R. Sha, R. Wang, N.C. Seeman & J.W. Canary, Site-Specific Inter-Strand Cross-Links of DNA Duplexes, Chem. Sci. 4, 1319-1329 (2013).

R. Sha, J.J. Birktoft, N. Nguyen, A.R. Chandrasekaran, J. Zheng, X. Zhao, C. Mao, N.C. Seeman, Self-Assembled DNA Crystals:  The Impact on Resolution of 5'-Phosphates and the DNA Source, NanoLett. 13, 793-797 (2013).

L. Feng, R. Dreyfus, R. Sha, N.C. Seeman, P.M. Chaikin, DNA Patchy Particles, Adv. Materials 20, 2779-2783 (2013).

L. Feng, J. Romulus, M. Li, R. Sha, J. Royer, K.-T. Wu, Q. Xu., N.C. Seeman, M. Weck, P.M. Chaikin, Cinnamate-Based DNA Photolithography, Nature Materials 12, 747-753 (2013).

N.C. Seeman, Art as a Stimulus for DNA Nanotechnology, Leonardo 47 (2), 143-149 (2014).

D.A. Rusling, A.R. Chandrasekaran, Y. Ohayon, T.Brown, K.R. Fox, R. Sha, C. Mao & N.C. Seeman, Functionalizing Designer DNA Crystals with a Triple-Helical Veneer, Angew. Chemie Int. Ed. 53, 4060-4063 (2014).

A. Udomprasert, M.N. Bongiovanni, R. Sha, W.B. Sherman, T. Wang, P.S. Arora, J.W. Canary, S.L. Gras & N.C. Seeman, Amyloid Fibrils Nucleated and Organized by DNA Origami Constructions, Nature Nanotech. 9, 537-541 (2014).

J.E. Padilla, M.J. Patitz, R. Pena, R.T. Schweller, N.C. Seeman, R. Sheline, S.M. Summers, & X. Zhong, Asynchronous Signal Passing for Tile Self-Assembly: Fuel Efficient Computation and Efficient Assembly of Shapes, Int. J. Founds. of Comp. Sci. 25, 459-488 (2014).

D.D. Li, X.J. Wang, F. Shi, R. Sha, N.C. Seeman, J.W. Canary, Templated DNA Ligation with Thiol Chemistry, Org. & Biomol. Chem. 12, 8823-8827 (2014).

N A. Baas, N.C. Seeman, A. Stacey, Synthesizing Topological Links, J. Math. Chem., 53, 183-199 (2015).

M.B. Jones, N.C. Seeman and C.A. Mirkin, Programmable Materials and the Nature of the DNA Bond, Science 347, 840-840, DOI: 10.1126/Science 1260901 (2015).

J.E. Padilla, R. Sha, M. Kristiansen, J. Chen, N. Jonoska & N.C. Seeman, A Signal-Passing DNA Strand Mechanism for an Active Self-Assembly of DNA Nanostructures, Angew. Chemie Int. Ed., 54, 5939-5942 (2015).

J. Zhao, A.R. Chandrasekaran, Q. Li, X. Li, R. Sha, N.C. Seeman & C. Mao, Post-Assembly Stabilization of Rationally Designed DNA Crystals, Angew. Chemie, accepted for publication (2015).

External Affiliations
American Crystallographic Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Biophysical Society, New York Academy of Sciences, American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Materials Research Society, Pittsburgh Diffraction Society, International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computation and Engineering (Founding President, 2004-5).

Damon Runyon Fellow (1972-3), NIH Postdoctoral Fellow (1973-1976), Sidhu Award for RNA crystallography (1974), Basil O'Connor Fellow (1978-1981), NIH Research Career Development Award (1982-1987), Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology for the construction of DNA polyhedra (1995), Discover award in Emerging Technologies for DNA tinkertoys (1997), Honorary Distinguished Prof., Univ. Peruana Cayetano Heredia(1998-), Elected AAAS Fellow(1998), Margaret and Herman Sokol Award in the Sciences, for founding DNA nanotechnology (1999), Margaret and Herman Sokol Chair in Chemistry, New York University (2001-), Tulip Award in DNA-Based Computation (2004), Elected Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (2005), NIH MERIT Award (2005), Nanotech Briefs Nano50 Innovator Award for DNA nanotechnology (2005), World Technology Network Biotechnology Award (2005), Festschrift Volume, Nanotechnology: Science and Computation, (J.Chen, N.Jonoska, G.Rozenberg, Eds), Springer-Verlag, Berlin (2006), Nichols Medal from NY Section of Am. Chem. Soc. (2008), Frontiers of Science Award, from the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (2009) John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, (2010-2011), Elected Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science & Letters (2010), Alexander Rich Medal, from MIT (2010), Kavli Prize in Nanoscience (2010), ISNSCE Award, from ISNSCE, (2011).

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