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Jason Kahn

Staff Scientist | Soft and Bio Nanomaterials


  • Biomaterials
  • Self-assembly
  • Automated materials synthesis
  • Biotemplating
  • Enzymatic catalysis
  • DNA origami and structure synthesis
  • DNA scaffold design

CFN Research Activities

My research utilizes biomolecular self-assembly as a tool to explore broad questions and applications at the nanoscale. These topics bring together functional materials, including nanoparticles, quantum dots, proteins, and enzymes, with nanoscale structure mediated by DNA-self assembly, including both arbitrary organization and prescribed lattice ordering. Through marrying nanoscale functionality with prescribed order, we can begin to experimentally realize concepts that were previously unattainable through more traditional chemical methods. Our biomaterials program involves the development of automated synthesis platforms, including liquid handling equipment that combines synthesis and characterization, that will aid in guiding materials synthesis and serve as a resource to external users.


  • B.S.: Cornell University
    • Major: Biological Engineering
  • PhD: Cornell University
    • Biological Engineering, Concentration in Materials Science
    • Dissertation Title: Engineering DNA Gels for Cell-Free Protein Production

Professional Appointments

  • Postdoctoral Research: Columbia University
    • Department of Chemical Engineering
    • Project: Nanoscale structure synthesis, DNA-based lattice programming and scaffolded materials
  • Postdoctoral Research: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    • Institute of Chemistry
    • Project: Biohybrid materials, programmed and stimuli-responsive materials synthesis

Selected Publications & Research Highlights

  • Y. Tian, J.R. Lhermitte, L. Bai, T. Vo, H.L. Xin, R. Li, M. Fukuto, K.G. Yager, J.S. Kahn, Y. Xiong, B. Minevich, S.K. Kumar, and O. Gang. 3D-Organized Nanomaterials through DNA-prescribed and Valence-controlled Material Voxels. Nature Materials
  • A.F. De Fazio, A.H. El-Sagheer, J.S. Kahn, I. Nanhakumar, M. Burton, T. Brown, O.L. Muskens, O. Gang, A.G. Kanaras. Light-induced reversible DNA ligation of gold nanoparticle superlattices. ACS Nano 13, 5771-5777 (2019).
  • J.S. Kahn, L. Freage, M.A.A. Garcia, and I. Willner. Stimuli Responsive DNA-Functionalized Metal-Organic Frameworks. Adv. Mater. 29, 1602782 (2017).
  • J.S. Kahn, Y. Hu, and I. Willner. Stimuli-Responsive DNA-Based Hydrogels: From Basic Principles to Applications. Acc. Chem. Res. 4, 680-690 (2017).
  • J.S. Kahn, R.C.H. Ruiz, S. Sureka, S. Peng, T. Derrien, D. An, and D. Luo. DNA Microgels as a Platform for Cell-Free Protein Expression and Display. Biomacromolecules 17, 2019-2026 (2016).
  • J.S. Kahn, A. Trivonov, A. Cecconello, W. Guo, C. Fan, and I. Willner. Integration of DNA-Based Hydrogels with Surfaces by the Hybridization Chain Reaction. Nano Lett. 15, 7773-7778 (2015).