2019 Bourke Award Winner

Professor David Beratan

Professor David Bertan

Duke University


Awarded for developing tunneling pathway and flickering resonance theories of biological electron transfer.



About the Winner

David completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology (1985), following a B.S. in Chemistry at Duke University (1980).  He was a  National Research Council Resident Research Associate and then Member of the Technical Staff at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory prior to moving to the University of Pittsburgh as a faculty member in 1992.  David returned to Duke in 2001 as the R.J. Reynolds Professor of Chemistry; he is also a Professor of Biochemistry and of Physics at Duke.  David is a Fellow of ACS, APS, RSC, and AAAS.  Notable awards include the Murray S. Goodman Memorial Prize of the ACS (2018), the Florida Award of the ACS (2017), the C.H. Herty Medal of the ACS (2015), and a J.S. Guggenheim Fellowship (1999).  David has held visiting fellowships at All Souls College (University of Oxford), the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago. His theoretical investigations focus on foundational issues surrounding complex structure-function relationships in molecules. Past contributions include the development of predictive theories of electron transfer kinetics and mechanisms in biological macromolecules, predictive models to describe chiroptical phenomena in complex assemblies, and practical inverse design and library design schemes to accelerate the discovery of useful molecular structures.  His current research interests focus on electron bifurcation in biology, ratcheting phenomena, Dexter energy transfer, vibrationally perturbed electron transport, DNA damage and repair, host-guest binding, and solar-energy harvesting.

Related Links

Link icon David Beratan's Webpage
Duke University

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