a leading designer and manufacturer of breakthrough products at the nanoscale,
announced today that Dr. Christopher Dwyer, its Co-Founder and Senior Research
Scientist, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
(PECASE). Announced by the White House, PECASE is the highest honor given to
scientists beginning their careers by the Federal Government. Dwyer received
a five-year, $1 million research grant to further his studies to aid critical
"These extraordinarily gifted young scientists and engineers represent
the best in our country," said President Barack Obama. "With their
talent, creativity, and dedication, I am confident that they will lead their
fields in new breakthroughs and discoveries and help us use science and technology
to lift up our nation and our world."
Nominees are selected for their innovations in their field of research and
commitment to community service. The Department of Defense's Army Research
Office nominated Dr. Dwyer, who was recognized for his "extraordinary
potential to catalyze the kinds of scientific and technological advances that
have long been at the core of this nation's strength," according to John
P. Holdren, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, who issued
Dr. Dwyer has a unique combination of wet-lab and bit-lab experience, and is
a pioneer in the merged disciplines of DNA nanotechnology and computer science.
He has conducted extensive research using DNA as scaffolding to support sensors
that are programmed to target specific devices - for use in cancer therapeutics,
bioweapons defense, and rapid readouts of DNA. "We want to be able to fuse
computational techniques with these sensors to come up with better sensing systems,"
Dr. Dwyer said, "This award is important because it provides the resources
we need to develop this new circuit technology and to apply it to a spectrum
Dr. Dwyer co-founded Parabon NanoLabs for its unique combination of DNA nanotechnology
fabrication and grid computing sequence optimization that has culminated in
the development of proprietary technology for precisely directing the self-assembly
of designer macromolecules. "We're bringing computation to a length, scale,
and domain where it hasn't been possible before," explained Dr. Dwyer.
Also a recipient of the 2008 Young Investigator Award from the Army Research
Office and a member of the 2009 DARPA Computer Science Study Group, Dr. Dwyer
serves as Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke
"It's a privilege to have Chris on our team," stated Dr. Steven
Armentrout, Parabon NanoLabs President and CEO. "He's brilliant, passionate
and consistently innovative - a world-class scientist and engineer most
deserving of this esteemed honor."
The President will present each PECASE recipient with his or her award at a
ceremony at the White House this fall.
Parabon NanoLabs, a subsidiary of Parabon Computation, Inc., designs and develops
a new class of therapeutics and other products made possible by proprietary
technology for precisely directing the self-assembly of designer macromolecules
that are functionalized with molecular subcomponents (e.g., enzymes, metals
or pharmaceuticals). Our nanoscale development platform gives our scientists
the ability to design and construct multi-functional macromolecules from simpler
subcomponents, replacing the current paradigm of "molecular discovery"
with that of "molecular design." Parabon NanoLabs is actively developing
macromolecules for use in the areas of cancer therapeutics, and nanoarrays for
rapid readouts of DNA and nano-sensors for bioweapons defense.