Spectroscopy Magazine's Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award

The Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award recognizes the achievements and aspirations of a talented young molecular spectroscopist who has made strides early in his or her career toward the advancement of molecular spectroscopy techniques and applications. 

2023 Recipient

Dmitry Kurouski

Dmitry Kurouski is an assistant professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University. He earned his MS in Biochemistry from the Belarusian State University, in Belarus, and his PhD (Distinguished Dissertation) in Analytical Chemistry from SUNY Albany, NY, USA. After serving as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Professor Richard P. Van Duyne at Northwestern University, Kurouski joined Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, where he worked as a senior research scientist. In 2017, Kurouski joined the Biochemistry and Biophysics Department of Texas A&M University as an assistant professor.

Kurouski’s research interests are focused on nanoscale characterization of biological and photocatalytic systems using tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) and atomic-force miscrosopy–infrared spectroscopy (AFM-IR). Specifically, the Kurouski group uses both nanoscopy methods to investigate the structural organization of amyloid oligomers—protein aggregates that are responsible for the onset and spread of neurodegenerative diseases. Recently reported findings by the Kurouski group demonstrated that lipids could uniquely alter the secondary structure of protein aggregates, which drastically changes their toxicity to neurons. These results demonstrate that lipids could play an important role in neurodegeneration. 

The Kurouski group also investigates the mechanisms of plasmon-driven chemical reactions on mono- and bimetallic nanostructures. Their findings demonstrate that TERS can be used for a quantitative assessment of both yield and rates of plasmon-catalyzed reactions on such nanostructures. Using TERS, the group was able to determine the role of catalytic metals, such as platinum and palladium, in plasmon-driven reactions.

Kurouski also develops innovative methods for non-invasive sensing of plant health. His group showed that Raman spectroscopy can be used to detect and identify biotic and abiotic stresses in plants, probe nutritional composition of fruits and vegetables, and predict plant resistance to specific pathogens. These findings demonstrate that Raman sensors could be used directly in the field to monitor plant health.

The Kurouski group also has been advancing the forensic analysis of hair. Their research findings demonstrated that surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) could be used to detect and identify mor than 30 individual colorants on hair. Thus, SERS-based analysis of hair colorants can be used to establish a connection between a suspect and a crime scene or demonstrate the absence of such connections.


Please check back for the 2022 nomination deadline, or visit the Spectroscopy magazine website for more information.

Past Recipients

2022       Lu Wei

2021       Bhavya Sharma

2020       Markita del Carpio Landry

2019       Ishan Barman

2018       Megan Thielges

2017       Russ Algar

2016       Matthew Baker

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