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.
2022 Lu Wei
2021 Bhavya Sharma
2020 Markita del Carpio Landry
2019 Ishan Barman
2018 Megan Thielges
2017 Russ Algar
2016 Matthew Baker