David Beratan (Secondary)

R.J. Reynolds Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Physics
The Energy Initiative Faculty Network Member
Beratan Lab, Secondary Faculty
Research Interests: 

Computational Biology, Enzyme Mechanisms, Physical Biochemistry

Lab Location
French Family Science Center
Office Location

French Family Science Center, Room 5311, Durham NC 27708

(919) 660-1526

Dr. Beratan is developing theoretical approaches to understand the function of complex molecular and macromolecular systems, including: the molecular underpinnings of energy harvesting and charge transport in biology; the mechanism of solar energy capture and conversion in man-made structures; the nature of charge conductivity in naturally occurring nucleic acids and in synthetic constructs, including the photochemical repair of damaged DNA in extremophiles; CH bond activation by copper oxygenase enzymes; the flow of charge in bacterial appendages on the micrometer length scale; the theoretical foundations for inverse molecular design - the property driven discovery of chemical structures with optimal properties; the exploitation of molecular diversity in the mapping of molecular and materials "space"; the use of infra-red excitation to manipulate electron transport through molecules; the optical signatures of molecular chirality and the influence of chirality on charge transport. Prof. Beratan is affiliated with the Departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, as well as Duke's programs in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Structural Biology and Biophysics, Nanosciences, and Phononics.


​PhD California Institute of Technology, 1985
​BS Duke University, 1985

  1. Zhang, Y, Liu, C, Balaeff, A, Skourtis, SS, and Beratan, DN. "Biological charge transfer via flickering resonance." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111, no. 28 (July 2014): 10049-10054.  Full Text
  2. Kuznetsov, AE, and Beratan, DN. "Structural and Electronic Properties of Bare and Capped Cd 33 Se 33 and Cd 33 Te 33 Quantum Dots." The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 118, no. 13 (April 3, 2014): 7094-7109.  Full Text
  3. Migliore, A, Polizzi, NF, Therien, MJ, and Beratan, DN. "Biochemistry and theory of proton-coupled electron transfer." Chemical reviews 114, no. 7 (April 2014): 3381-3465. (Review)  Full Text
  4. Yue, Y, Grusenmeyer, T, Ma, Z, Zhang, P, Pham, TT, Mague, JT, Donahue, JP, Schmehl, RH, Beratan, DN, and Rubtsov, IV. "Evaluating the extent of intramolecular charge transfer in the excited states of rhenium(I) donor-acceptor complexes with time-resolved vibrational spectroscopy." J Phys Chem B 117, no. 49 (December 12, 2013): 15903-15916.  Full Text Link to Item
  5. Wang, Y, King, JR, Wu, P, Pelzman, DL, Beratan, DN, and Toone, EJ. "Correction to "Enthalpic Signature of Methonium Desolvation Revealed in a Synthetic Host-Guest System Based on Cucurbit[7]uril"." J Am Chem Soc 135, no. 46 (November 20, 2013): 17650-.  Full Text  Link to Item