Paul W. K. Rothemund


Paul Wilhelm Karl Rothemund is a research professor at the Computation and Neural Systems department at Caltech.[1] He has become known in the fields of DNA nanotechnology and synthetic biology for his pioneering work with DNA origami. He shared both categories of the 2006 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology with Erik Winfree for their work in creating DNA nanotubes, algorithmic molecular self-assembly of DNA tile structures, and their theoretical work on DNA computing.[2] Rothemund is also a 2007 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.[3]

Paul Rothemund
EducationLaconia High School (New Hampshire)
Alma materCaltech;
University of Southern California
Known forDNA origami
AwardsFeynman Prize in Nanotechnology;
MacArthur Fellowship
Scientific career


Rothemund graduated from Laconia High School, New Hampshire, in 1990. He was the team captain of the championship Laconia team for the television quiz show Granite State Challenge. After graduating, Rothemund studied as an undergraduate at Caltech from 1990–1994, where he was a resident and member of Ricketts House. He attained his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 2001.

As a research fellow at Caltech, Rothemund has developed a technique to manipulate and fold strands of DNA known as DNA origami. Eventually, Rothemund hopes that self-assembly techniques could be used to create a "programming language for molecules, just as we have programming languages for computers."[4] His work on large-scale sculptures of his DNA origami was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from February 24 to May 12, 2008.[5]

His grandfather, Paul Rothemund, was a chemist as well.[6]


  1. ^ "Paul W.K. Rothemund official website". Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  2. ^ "2006 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize". Foresight Institute. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Paul Rothemund". MacArthur Foundation. 18 January 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  4. ^ Pelesko, John A. (2007). Self assembly: the science of things that put themselves together. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis. p. 259. ISBN 978-1584886877.
  5. ^ Eischeid, John (11 April 2008). "When Art and Science Meet, Nanoscale Smiley Faces Abound". Scientific American. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  6. ^ Chang, Chi K. (2016). "Paul Rothemund and S. Ferguson MacDonald, and their Namesake Reactions—The Influence of the Fischer School on my Life in Porphyrin Chemistry". Israel Journal of Chemistry. 56 (2/3): 130–143. doi:10.1002/ijch.201500043.

External linksEdit

  • Paul Rothemund's home page
  • March 2006 Nature paper on DNA origami
  • March 2007 TED Talk
  • September 2008 TED Talk