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Mark Bathe

Contact Info

room 16-255

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


  • 2004



Research Interests

The Laboratory of Prof. Mark Bathe at MIT uses nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) to engineer revolutionary new materials at the nanometer-scale, or nanoscale, where one nanometer is approximately 10,000x smaller than the thickness of an individual human hair. One goal of these nanoscale materials is to enable the targeted, in vivo delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids such as siRNA, messenger RNA, and CRISPR to organs and tumors that are otherwise impossible to reach. Achieving this goal may help to develop cures for over 7,000 known genetic diseases, and cancer. Another goal is to design new “qubits” that are the equivalent of “transistors” from conventional semi-conductor chips. Achieving this goal would enable quantum computing to augment conventional silicon computers that have reached the end of Moore’s Law. And yet another goal of these nucleic acid materials is to be able to write, store, and read data in a dense, energy-efficient manner. Achieving this goal would offer the ability to make a low-cost, zettabyte-scale (1 trillion gigabytes) file system for the archival storage of all the world’s information.


Mark Bathe is a Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT, Director of the MIT New Engineering Education Transformation, Member of the Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine, and Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard. He obtained his Doctoral Degree at MIT working in the Departments of Mechanical, Chemical, and Biological Engineering before moving to the University of Munich as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow to carry out his postdoctoral research in Biological Physics. He returned to MIT in 2009 to join the faculty in the Department of Biological Engineering, where he runs an interdisciplinary research group focused on engineering nucleic acids for application to vaccines, therapeutics, structural biology, and computing.



Fields, Forces, and Flows in Biological Systems (20.430J)
Physical Biology (20.415)
Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Biomechanics (20.410J)
Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems (20.110J)
Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Biomechanics (20.310J)