Wyss core faculty member Peng Yin, Ph.D. has received a Young Faculty Award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to pursue work in programmable nanofabrication using nucleic acids. His proposal is entitled “Programmable Inorganic Materials Synthesis with DNA Nano-Structures.” He is one of just 39 young scientists to be selected for the $300,000 award from a pool of more than 400 applicants.
Yin’s research at the Wyss Institute focuses on engineering programmable molecular systems that are inspired by biology, such as the self-assembly of DNA and RNA into structures and devices that can do useful molecular work. For instance, such structures could one day be used to probe and program biological processes for imaging and therapeutic applications. He is also an Assistant Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School.
DARPA’s Young Faculty Award program recognizes the nation’s brightest young scientists, giving them broad latitude to explore advances in their particular area of research. The program combines funding, mentoring, and networking with both industry and experts from the Department of Defense with the goal of helping recipients frame their future research in the context of the nation’s defense needs. “The grants help advance the work of promising young faculty while providing them with a solid grounding in defense science and technology.” said Dr. Thomas Lee, Director of DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office.
Yin and other awardees will meet at DARPA headquarters in Arlington, VA for a kickoff and review meeting October 25 and 26. Grantees must develop and validate their research ideas over a two-year period.