Skip to main content

Dennis A. Dougherty

California Institute of Technology

Dennis A. Dougherty received a PhD from Princeton with Kurt Mislow, followed by a year of postdoctoral study with Jerome Berson at Yale. In 1979 he joined the faculty at the California Institute of Technology, where he is now George Grant Hoag Professor of Chemistry. Dougherty’s extensive research interests have taken him to many fronts, but he is perhaps best known for development of the cation-π interaction, a novel but potent noncovalent binding interaction. More recently, he has addressed molecular neurobiology, developing the in vivo nonsense suppression method for unnatural amino acid incorporation into proteins expressed in living cells. This powerful new tool enables “physical organic chemistry on the brain” – chemical-scale studies of the molecules of memory, thought, and sensory perception and the targets of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, learning and attention deficits, and drug addiction. His group is now working on extensive experimental and computational studies of the bacterial mechanosensitive channels MscL and MscS, building off the crystal structures of these channels recently reported by the Rees group at Caltech.


Books by Dennis A. Dougherty

Modern Physical Organic Chemistry Student Solutions Manual to accompany Modern Physical Organic Chemistry
View all Authors