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Frederick D. Lewis

Professor Emeritus

B.A.: Amherst College 1965
Ph.D.: University of Rochester 1968

Research Statement

Professor Lewis retired and closed his laboratory in 2017, ending 48 years of teaching, and research as a member of the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University and leadership in the international photochemical community.  His research was in the field of molecular photochemistry, including isomerization and addition reactions and electron transfer dynamics.  In 1969 his research group initiated studies directed toward understanding the photochemical reactions of organic chromophores.  In 1995 his research group initiated studies of the interaction of DNA with ultraviolet light. The foundation for these studies was the design, synthesis, and characterization of short stable DNA base pair domains incorporating organic chromophores as probes of photoinduced processes. Collaborations with structural chemists, spectroscopists, and theoreticians both at Northwestern and at other universities in the U.S. and Europe was essential for the success of these studies.  

Selected Publications

F. D. Lewis, R. M. Young, M. R. Wasielewski, Tracking photoinduced charge separation in DNA: from start to finish. Accounts Chem. Res. 2017, 51, 1746-1754.

K. E. Brown, A. S., Y. Wu, L. Ma,; A. K. Mishra, B. T. P., R. M. Young, F. D. Lewis, M. R. Wasielewski Fluorescent excimers and exciplexes of the purine base derivative 8-phenylethynylguanine in DNA hairpins. Faraday Discuss. 2017, 207, 525-526.

Brown, K. E.; Singh, A. P. N.; Wu, Y.-L.; Mishra, A. K.; Zhou, J.; Lewis, F. D.; Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R.: Tracking Hole Transport in DNA Hairpins Using a Phenylethynylguanine Nucleobase. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 12084-12092.

Fujii, T.; K. Thazhathveetil, A.; Yildirim, I.; Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R.; Schatz, G. C.; Lewis, F. D.: Structure and Dynamics of Electron Injection and Charge Recombination in i-Motif DNA Conjugates. J. Phys. Chem. B 2017, 121, 8058-8068.

Thazhathveetil, A. K.; Harris, M. A.; Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R.; Lewis, F. D.: Efficient Charge Transport via DNA G-Quadruplexes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 1730-1733.

Mishra, A. K.; Weissman, H.; Krieg, E.; Votaw, K. A.; McCullagh, M.; Rybtchinski, B.; Lewis, F. D.: Self-Assembly of Perylenediimide–Single-Strand-DNA Conjugates: Employing Hydrophobic Interactions and DNA Base-Pairing To Create a Diverse Structural Space. Chem.Eur.J 2017, 23, 10328-10337.

Renaud, N.; Harris, M. A.; Singh, A. P. N.; Berlin, Y. A.; Ratner, M. A.; Wasielewski, M. R.; Lewis, F. D.; Grozema, F. C.: Deep-hole transfer leads to ultrafast charge migration in DNA hairpins. Nat. Chem. 2016, 8, 1015-1021.

Harris, M. A.; Mishra, A. K.; Young, R. M.; Brown, K. E.; Wasielewski, M. R.; Lewis, F. D.: Direct Observation of the Hole Carriers in DNA Photoinduced Charge Transport. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 5491-5494.

Young, R. M.; Singh, A. P. N.; K. Thazhathveetil, A.; Cho, V. Y.; Zhang, Y.; Renaud, N.; Grozema, F. C.; Beratan, D. N.; Ratner, M. A.; Schatz, G. C.; Berlin, Y. A.; Lewis, F. D.; Wasielewski, M. R.: Charge Transport across DNA-Based Three-Way Junctions. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 5113-5122.

Gorczak, N.; Fujii, T.; Mishra, A. K.; Houtepen, A. J.; Grozema, F. C.; Lewis, F. D.: Mechanism and Dynamics of Electron Injection and Charge Recombination in DNA. Dependence on Neighboring Pyrimidines. J. Phys. Chem. B 2015, 119, 7673-7680

Selected Honors/Awards

  • Porter Medal, Asian, European, and Inter-American Photochemical Societies, 2016
  • Josef Michl Award in Photochemistry, American Chemical Society, 2016
  • Fellow, American Chemical Society, 2011
  • Arthur C. Cope Senior Scholar Award, American Chemical Society, 2005
  • I-APS Award in Photochemistry, Inter-American Photochemical Society, 2003
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2001
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