Chris Dwyer

Christopher Dwyer

Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Chris Dwyer received his B.S. in computer engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 1998, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000 and 2003, respectively.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 209B Hudson Hall, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-5275
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003
  • M.S. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000
  • B.S. Pennsylvania State University, 1998

Research Interests

My group studies the design, synthesis and properties of nanostructures for future computer and sensor systems. Specifically, we use DNA self-assembly, a bottom-up fabrication technique that can be used to achieve molecular scale resolution, to build experimental devices which we then characterize using a variety of tools from nanoscience. Connecting this research to the real world requires us to adopt a broad and vertical research approach that employs computational modeling and analytical theory to demonstrate how the unique properties of the systems we discover, and engineer, can best be used. Work in this area of nanoscience is exciting, cross-cutting and requires students to engage in subjects far beyond traditional areas of computer science and engineering.


Computer Engineering
Nanomaterial manufacturing and characterization
Nanoscale/microscale computing systems
Computer Architecture
Self-assembled computer architecture

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF). Office of the Secretary of Defense. 2014
  • Kavli Fellow. National Academy of Sciences. 2011
  • Computer Science Study Group. DARPA. 2009
  • Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. President of the United States of America. 2008
  • Young Investigator Award. Army Research Office. 2008

Courses Taught

  • COMPSCI 350L: Digital Systems
  • ECE 350L: Digital Systems
  • ECE 590: Advanced Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • ECE 891: Internship

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Rowland, CE; Delehanty, JB; Dwyer, CL; Medintz, IL, Growing applications for bioassembled Förster resonance energy transfer cascades, Materials Today (2016) [10.1016/j.mattod.2016.09.013] [abs].
  • Wang, S; Zhang, X; Li, Y; Bashizade, R; Yang, S; Dwyer, C; Lebeck, AR, Accelerating Markov Random Field Inference Using Molecular Optical Gibbs Sampling Units, Proceedings - 2016 43rd International Symposium on Computer Architecture, ISCA 2016 (2016), pp. 558-569 [10.1109/ISCA.2016.55] [abs].
  • Wang, S; Vyas, R; Dwyer, C, Fluorescent taggants with temporally coded signatures., Optics express, vol 24 no. 14 (2016), pp. 15528-15545 [10.1364/oe.24.015528] [abs].
  • LaBoda, CD; Dwyer, CL, Upconverting Nanoparticle Relays for Resonance Energy Transfer Networks, Advanced Functional Materials, vol 26 no. 17 (2016), pp. 2866-2874 [10.1002/adfm.201505029] [abs].
  • Nellore, V; Xi, S; Dwyer, C, Self-Assembled Resonance Energy Transfer Keys for Secure Communication over Classical Channels., ACS Nano, vol 9 no. 12 (2015), pp. 11840-11848 [10.1021/acsnano.5b04066] [abs].