BBS Faculty Member - William Shih

William Shih

Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Longwood Center, Room LC3313
360 Longwood Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-632-5143
Fax: 617-394-2897
Visit my lab page here.

We explore design principles for self-assembling molecular machines. As our model system, we primarily use structural DNA nanotechnology. We seek to apply our knowledge towards construction of artificial systems that help solve problems of biological and medical interest.

Currently we focus on building tools for molecular biophysics (macromolecular structure determination and single-molecule assays) and tools for diagnostics and therapeutics (nanoparticle adjuvants for vaccines, drug delivery, tissue engineering). For many applications, our present capabilities are too primitive. Thus we also investigate enabling technologies for increasing the complexity of programmable self-assembled systems.

Last Update: 6/12/2017


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Ponnuswamy N, Bastings MMC, Nathwani B, Ryu JH, Chou LYT, Vinther M, Li WA, Anastassacos FM, Mooney DJ, Shih WM. Oligolysine-based coating protects DNA nanostructures from low-salt denaturation and nuclease degradation. Nat Commun 8, 15654, 2017.

Perrault SD, Shih WM. Virus-inspired membrane encapsulation of DNA nanostructures to achieve in vivo stability.
ACS Nano 8, 5132-40, 2014.

Dietz H, Douglas SM, Shih WM. Folding DNA into twisted and curved shapes.
Science 325, 725–730, 2009.

Douglas SM, Dietz H, Liedl T, Högberg B, Graf F, Shih WM. Self-assembly of DNA into nanoscale three-dimensional shapes.
Nature 459, 414–418, 2009.

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of Harvard College