Arnaldo Serrano

Assistant Professor

430 Stepan Chemistry
Notre Dame, IN 46556
+1 574-631-0011


Research Areas

  • Physical/Analytical Chemistry

Research Specialties

  • Life Processes
  • Measurement

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Year Title
2017 - present Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame
2013 - 2017 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin, Madison
2013 Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania
2007 B.A. in Chemistry, Rutgers University

Selected Awards

2023   CAREER Award, National Science Foundation

2015   ACS PHYS Division Postdoctoral Research Award

2015   Hans Neurath Outstanding Promise Award

Research Interests

Our overall research interest is in developing and applying optical methods that will ultimately allow us to take “images” of biological systems that can inform us of underlying chemical effects such as hydration, hydrogen bond fluctuations, and molecular structure. Our research program has grown to include several areas of biophysical chemistry through the application of two-dimensional infrared (2DIR) spectroscopy and related ultrafast optical techniques. These areas include 1. effects of divalent cations on the chemical structure and properties of peptide groups, 2. the observation that liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) of biomolecules can drive peptide folding, and most recently, 3. that 2DIR can be used to detect and distinguish polymorphs of cross-α forming amyloid peptides, a recently discovered structural motif relevant to S. Aureus bacterial biofilms. We have also done work on 4. enhancing the spatial resolution of ultra-fast infrared imaging, and we are continuing this work in parallel with the fundamental biophysical work discussed above, with the ultimate goal of applying these imaging methods to study biomolecules in more complex and heterogeneous environments, such as tissues and cells.

Selected Publications

  • Cracchiolo, O. M.; Edun, D. N.; Betti, V. M.; Goldberg, J. M. and Serrano, A. L. "Cross-Alpha/Beta Polymorphism of PSM Alpha 3 Fibrils" 2022 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119 (5), e2114923119. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2114923119.
  • Edun, D. N.; Cracchiolo, O. M. and Serrano, A. L. "A Theoretical Analysis of Coherent Cross-Peaks in Polarization Selective 2DIR for Detection of Cross-Alpha Fibrils" 2022 Journal of Chemical Physics, 156 (3), 035102. DOI: 10.1063/5.0070553.
  • Drexler, C. I.; Cracchiolo, O. M.; Myers, R. L.; Okur, H. I.; Serrano, A. L.; Corcelli, S. A. and Cremer, P. S. "Local Electric Fields in Aqueous Electrolytes" 2021 Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 125 (30), pp.8484-8493. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.1c03257.
  • Edun, D. N.; Flanagan, M. R. and Serrano, A. L. "Does Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation Drive Peptide Folding?" 2021 Chemical Science, 12 (7), pp.2474-2479. DOI: 10.1039/d0sc04993j.
  • Cracchiolo, O. M.; Geremia, D. K.; Corcelli, S. A. and Serrano, A. L. "Hydrogen Bond Exchange and Ca2+ Binding of Aqueous N-Methylacetamide Revealed by 2DIR Spectroscopy" 2020 Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 124 (32), pp.6947-6954. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.0c02444.
  • Edun, D. N.; Nelmark, C. E. and Serrano, A. L. "Resolution Enhancement in Wide-Field IR Imaging and Time-Domain Spectroscopy using Dielectric Microspheres" 2020 Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 124 (27), pp.5534-5541. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.0c02418.