Personal profile

Personal profile

Professor Silverman received the B.S. degree in chemistry from UCLA in 1991. He obtained the Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Caltech in 1997, working with Dennis Dougherty on physical organic chemistry and molecular neurobiology, and he performed postdoctoral research with Thomas Cech at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 2000, working in the areas of chemical biology and organic chemistry.

Research Interests

DNA as an enzyme; DNA as a catalyst

Professional Information

The Silverman lab is a group of researchers who are interested in identifying, characterizing, and applying DNA as a catalyst. We use techniques and concepts from chemical biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and other disciplines to design our experiments and interpret our results. We have many projects that are suitable for undergraduate research students. Please see for more information about research in the Silverman lab.

Honors & Awards

Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry (2012)
UIUC Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research (2011)
LAS Professorial Scholar Award, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Illinois (2010)
Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, American Chemical Society, Division of Biological Chemistry (2009)
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007)
Fellow, UIUC Center for Advanced Study (2004)
Fellow, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (2003)

Office Address

Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
140 RAL, Box 57-5
600 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Phone


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