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Graham Fleming

Chemist Senior Faculty Scientist

Former Deputy Laboratory Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Former Director, Physical Biosciences Division
Former Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Sciences, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Vice Chancellor for Research, UC Berkeley
Melvin Calvin Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, UC Berkeley

Physical Biosciences

Contact info:

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
One Cyclotron Road, MS
201 Hildebrand
Berkeley, CA 94720 USA

Hildebrand 221

Primary Phone: 510-643-2735
Fax: 510-642-6340


The Fleming Group

Research Emphasis:

Ultrafast spectroscopy of chemical and biological systems.
Fleming's work has three general areas: chemical dynamics in liquids and solutions, the dynamics of elementary biological processes, and the development of new types of spectroscopies to reveal molecular dynamics in greater detail. He combined computer simulation and femtosecond fluorescence spectroscopy in a way that led to a deep understanding of the molecular mechanism by which solutes, including dyes and natural pigments such as chlorophylls and carotenoids, interact with their environments (which could be polar liquids such as water and alcohols, non-polar liquids such as benzene and hexane, polymer glasses, or proteins). To explore these phenomena, new types of spectroscopies have been developed by the Fleming Group, including phase control of optical pulses and several photon echo techniques, along with theories describing ultrafast spectroscopies. Current research topics include non-polar solvation, protein-pigment interactions, photosynthetic systems, and multi-dimensional optical spectroscopy.


Graham Fleming currently serves as UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor for Research, a position which he assumed in April 2009. Fleming served as the Deputy Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from 2005 through 2007.  Through joint appointments as Melvin Calvin Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley, and Founding Director of both the Berkeley Lab's Physical Biosciences Division and UC Berkeley’s California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), he has re-shaped the intersection of physical and biological sciences, while maintaining his own investigations into ultrafast chemical and biological processes, in particular, the primary steps of photosynthesis. Throughout his administrative career, Fleming has remained a highly active scientific researcher.  He has authored or co-authored more than 400 publications, and is widely considered to be one of the world's foremost authorities on ultrafast processes.  In addition to his many other activities, Fleming has given numerous talks around the world on the inter-relation and inter-complexity of energy, climate and photosynthesis.  In 2007, Fleming led the effort (with co-chair Mark Ratner) to define Grand Challenges in Basic Energy Science for DOE/BES, resulting in “Directing Matter and Energy: Five Challenges for Science and the Imagination.”