University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

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Renee Frontiera joins Department of Chemistry faculty

Renee Frontiera, Ph.D., is joining the Department of Chemistry as an assistant professor. Since 2010, Frontiera has been a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University, working with Professor Richard P. Van Duyne. She earned her doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley under the tutelage of Professor Richard Mathies. She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry and Chinese at Carleton College in Northfield, MN.

As a graduate student with Mathies, Frontiera examined chemical structural changes on the femtosecond timescale in systems including dye-sensitized solar cells and proteins such as green fluorescent protein and phytochrome, using an ultrafast spectroscopic technique known as Femtosecond Stimulated Raman Spectroscopy. As a postdoctoral scholar with Van Duyne, she developed methods to couple surface enhancement and ultrafast spectroscopy, in order to follow chemical reactions near plasmonic surfaces as well as to follow single molecule dynamics on the femtosecond timescale.

At the University of Minnesota, Frontiera is interested in determining the effect of local environments on chemical reaction dynamics, from cellular membranes to proteins to plasmonic materials. Her research involves the development of new imaging and spectroscopic techniques to examine reaction dynamics on the nanometer length scale with femtosecond time resolution. In particular, she is interested in label-free super-resolution imaging, the role of vibrations in driving electron transfer reactions, and the use of plasmons to drive chemical reactions.