Michael J. Therien

Fellow: Awarded 2020

Field of Study: Chemistry

Competition: US & Canada

Website: http://chem.duke.edu/faculty/michael-j-therien

Michael J. Therien is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor at Duke University. His laboratory designs and characterizes supermolecular structures, bioinspired assemblies, and nanoscale materials that possess exceptional optical, electronic, and excited-state dynamical properties. His laboratory pioneered new approaches to engineer electro-optic function important for light harvesting, long-wavelength emission, imaging, frequency doubling, and photon upconversion. Other accomplishments include: defining molecular wires that enable expansive charge delocalization; developing carbon nanotube superstructures that facilitate energy conversion; and illuminating biologically important mechanistic insights critical for generating high-energy photoproducts. Prof. Therien received his undergraduate education at UCLA and St. Andrews University. He earned his doctoral degree at UCSD under the research direction of William Trogler. Following a postdoctoral fellowship with Harry Gray at Caltech, he took a faculty appointment at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Alan G. MacDiarmid Professor. In 2008, his laboratory moved to Duke. Earlier honors include Dreyfus and Sloan Foundation Fellowships, and young investigator awards from the Beckman Foundation, the Searle Scholars Program, the Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines, and the NSF. He has been recognized with the ACS Philadelphia Section Award, elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and awarded the Francqui Chair in the Exact Sciences (Belgium). Photo Credit: Penny Noell