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Frederick D. Lewis

Professor Emeritus

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

Research Statement

Our research is directed toward understanding the relationship between the unique structure of DNA and its interaction with light. The foundation for these studies is the design, synthesis, and characterization of short stable DNA base pair domains. Incorporation of organic chromophores either at the ends or within the interior of synthetic DNA hairpins and dumbbells permits study of the dynamics and efficiency of photoinduced electron transfer, energy transfer, and exciton coupling – all of which are mediated by the helical, π-stacked base pair domain. We collaborate with structural chemists, spectroscopists, and theoreticians both at Northwestern and at other universities in the U.S. and Europe. Professor Lewis is no longer accepting new undergraduate or graduate students or postdoctoral research associates in his research group; however, he continues to be actively involved in the intellectual life of his research field, writing, editing, and reviewing manuscripts

Selected Publications

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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