Ultrafast Spectroscopy, Analytical Chemistry, Biophysical Chemistry, Energy, Photochemistry, Physical Chemistry, Chemical Dynamics and Kinetics, Computational Chemistry, Time-Resolved Electronic Spectroscopy, Photodynamic Therapy, Photomedicines
- BS, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan Campus, 1995
- PhD, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan Campus, 2002
- NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, The Ohio State University (2002-05)
- Research Associate of Chemistry, The Ohio State University (2005-06)
- Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University (2007-2014)
- Co-director of the Center for Chemical Dynamics, Case Western Reserve University (2008-2018)
- Associate Professor of Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University (2014-2019)
- Professor of Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University (2019-present)
Selected Honors and Awards
- 2018 Morton L. Mandel Award for Outstanding Chemistry Faculty, Case Western Reserve University (2018)
- NSF Faculty CAREER Award (2013-2018).
- Nominated for the 2018 John S. Diekhoff Award for Distinguished Graduate Student Teaching, Case Western Reserve University
- Elected Member of Council of the American Society for Photobiology (2016-2020).
- 2016 John S. Diekhoff Award for Distinguished Graduate Student Teaching, Case Western Reserve University.
- Guest Editor for a Special Issue on “Experimental and Computational Photochemistry of Bioorganic Molecules” published in the journal Molecules as part of its 20th Anniversary (2016-2017).
- Chair of the American Chemical Society Canvassing Committee for the Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science and Technology (2016-2018).
- Member of the American Chemical Society Canvassing Committee for the Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science and Technology (2014-2015).
- Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority Fellowship for oral presentation. 2013 Gordon Research Conference on Photochemistry.
- Frank Hovorka Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University (2012 – 2015).
- Selected in the 40-40 Club (2010). Recognizes young Hispanic leaders in the Cleveland community.
The Crespo research group focuses on probing and understanding light-induced phenomena in molecules and polymers in solution with primary applications in photodynamic therapy and photomedicines. There are three major areas of ongoing research: (1) excited-state dynamics and photochemistry of DNA/RNA nucleobases and nucleobase derivatives; (2) design and study of modified sensitizers for photodynamic applications; and (3) excited-state dynamics and photophysics of environmental pollutants, heteroatomic polycyclic aromatic compounds, and bioorganic molecules, including B vitamin complexes and pterin derivatives. Our group use analytical instrumentation and time-resolved spectroscopic techniques to produce specific knowledge of the factors controlling these photo-processes. Students involved in these scientific activities acquire expertise in a wide variety of analytical techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography, circular dichroism, infrared and ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometric techniques, and time-resolved instrumentation on time scales ranging from femtoseconds to microseconds. The experimental work is complemented with ground- and excited-state computational methods.
- Brister, M. M.; Crespo-Hernández, C. E., “Excited-State Dynamics in the RNA Nucleotide Uridine 5′-Monophosphate Investigated using Femtosecond Broadband Transient Absorption Spectroscopy”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2019, 10, 2156-2161. Access article
- Ashwood, B.; Pollum, M.; Crespo-Hernández, C. E., “Photochemical and Photodynamical Properties of Sulfur-Substituted Nucleic Acid Bases”, Photochem. Photobiol. 2019, 95, 33-58. Invited Review; submitted as part of the Special Issue honoring the 55th Anniversary of Photochemistry and Photobiology. Access article
- Farrell, K. M.; Brister, M. M.; Pittelkow, M.; Sølling, T. I.; Crespo-Hernández, C. E., “Heavy-Atom Substituted Nucleobases in Photodynamic Applications: Substitution of Sulfur with Selenium in 6-Thioguanine Induces a Remarkable Increase in the Rate of Triplet Decay in 6-Selenoguanine”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 11214-11218. Access article
- Pollum, M.; Minh, L.; Jockusch, S.; Crespo-Hernández, C. E., “Dithionated Nucleobases as Effective Photodynamic Agent Against Human Epidermoid Carcinoma Cells”, ChemMedChem 2018, 13, 1044-1050. Access article
- Ashwood, B.; Jockusch, S.; Crespo-Hernández, C. E., “Photochemical Reactivity of dTPT3: A Crucial Nucleobase Derivative in the Development of Semi-Synthetic Organisms”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2017, 8, 2387−2392. Access article
- Martínez-Fernández, L.; Granucci, G.; Pollum, M.; Crespo-Hernández, C. E.; Persico, M.; Corral, I. “Decoding the Molecular Basis for the Population Mechanism of the Triplet Phototoxic Precursors in UVA Light-Activated Pyrimidine Anticancer Drugs”, Chem. Eur. J. 2017, in press. Access article
- Mai, S.; Pollum, M.; Martínez-Fernández, L.; Dunn, N.; Marquetand, P.; Corral, I.; Crespo-Hernández, C. E.; González, L. “The Origin of Efficient Triplet State Population in Sulfur-Substituted Nucleobases”, Nature Commun. 2016, 7, 13077 (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13077). Access article
- Pollum, M.; Ashwood, B.; Jockusch, S.; Lam, M; Crespo-Hernández, C. E. “Unintended Consequences of Expanding the Genetic Alphabet”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 11457-11460. Access article
- Ashwood, B.; Pollum, M.; Crespo-Hernández, C. E. “Can a Six-Letter Alphabet Increase the Likelihood of Photochemical Assault to the Genetic Code?”, Chem. Eur. J. 2016, 22, 16648-16656. Access article
- Crespo-Hernández, C. E.; Martínez-Fernández, L.; Rauer, C.; Reichardt, C.; Mai, S.; Pollum, M.; Marquetand, P.; González, L.; Corral, I. “Electronic and Structural Elements that Regulate the Excited-State Dynamics in Purine Nucleobase Derivatives”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 4368-4381. Access article
- Pollum, M.; Martínez-Fernández, L.; Crespo-Hernández, C. E.; “Photochemistry of Nucleic Acid Bases and their Thio- and Aza-Analogues in Solution”, Top. Curr. Chem. 2015, 355, 245-327. Invited Review Chapter. Access article
- Pollum, M.; Jockusch, S.; Crespo-Hernández, C. E.; “2,4-Dithiothymine as a Potent UVA Chemotherapeutic Agent”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 17930-17933. Access article
- C. T. Middleton; K. de La Harpe; C. Su; Y. K. Law; C. E. Crespo-Hernández; B. Kohler. “DNA Excited-State Dynamics: From Single Bases to the Double Helix”, Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 2009, 60, 217-239. Access article
- C. E. Crespo-Hernández; K. de La Harpe; B. Kohler. “Ground-State Recovery Following UV Excitation is Much Slower in G•C-DNA Duplexes and Hairpins Than in Mononucleotides”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 10844-10845. Access article
- T. Takaya; C. Su; K. de La Harpe; C. E. Crespo-Hernández; B. Kohler. “UV Excitation of DNA and RNA Strands Produces High yields of exciplex states between two stacked bases”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2008, 105, 10285-10290. Access article
- W. J. Schreier; T. E. Schrader; F. O. Koller; P. Gilch; C. E. Crespo-Hernández; V. N. Swaminathan; T. Carell; W. Zinth; B. Kohler. “Thymine Dimerization in DNA is an Ultrafast Photoreaction”. Science, 2007, 315: 625-629. Access article
- P. M. Hare; C. E. Crespo-Hernández; B. Kohler. “Internal Conversion to the Electronic Ground State Occurs via Two Distinct Pathways for Pyrimidine Bases in Aqueous Solution”. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2007, 104: 435-440. Access article
- C. E. Crespo-Hernández; B. Cohen; B. Kohler, “Molecular spectroscopy: Complexity of Excited-State Dynamics in DNA (Reply)”, Nature 2006, 441, E7-E8. Access article
- C. E. Crespo-Hernández; B. Cohen; B. Kohler. “Base Stacking Controls Excited-State Dynamics in A·T-containing DNA”. Nature, 2005, 436: 1141-1144. Access article