About Charlie

Charles M. Lieber was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1959. He attended Franklin and Marshall College for his undergraduate education and graduated with honors in Chemistry. After doctoral studies at Stanford University and postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology, he moved to the East Coast in 1987 to assume the position of Assistant Professor at Columbia University. Here Lieber embarked upon a new research program addressing the synthesis and properties of low-dimensional materials. He moved to the Department of Chemistry at Harvard University in 1991. Lieber currently holds a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as the Joshua and Beth Friedman University Professor. He also serves as the Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Lieber has been a pioneer in nanoscience and nanotechnology, where he has originated new paradigms that have defined the rational growth, characterization, and original applications of functional nanometer diameter wires and heterostructures. Lieber has introduced seminal concepts central to the bottom-up paradigm of nanoscience, and has been a leader in defining directions and demonstrating applications of nanomaterials in areas ranging from electronics, computing, and photonics, to pioneering the interface between electronics, biology and medicine, including his current focus on brain science. Lieber has made decisive and pioneering work in various fields of nanoscience and technology. He has initiated and shaped nanomaterial synthesis, nanostructure characterization, development of nanoelectronics and nanophotnics, nanostructure assembly and computing, and nanoelectronics for biology and medicine.  

He has published over 400 papers in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals, has edited and contributed to many books on nanoscience, and is the principal inventor on more than 50 patents.

Lieber has been recognized with numerous awards and prizes: some of the most notable ones include, NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2017 and 2008); MRS Von Hippel Award (2016); Remsen Award (2016); IEEE Nanotechnology Pioneer Award (2013); Willard Gibbs Medal (2013); Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2012); Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience (2010); Inorganic Nanoscience Award of the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry (2009); Einstein Award, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2008); Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Award (2005); ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials (2004); APS McGroddy Prize for New Materials (2003); MRS Medal (2002); Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology (2001); NSF Creativity Award (1996); and ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (1992).

He has mentored many generations of students and postdocs who have gone on to build successful careers in academia, industry, consulting, etc., across the world.