Todd Martinez

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Todd J. Martínez
Born March 22, 1968 (1968-03-22) (age 49)
New York City, U.S.
Residence Flag of the United States.svg U.S.
Nationality Flag of the United States.svg American
Fields physical chemistry
theoretical chemistry
Institutions Stanford University
University of Illinois
Alma mater Calvin College
Doctoral advisor Emily A. Carter
Known for ab initio multiple spawning technique for excited states dynamics; Hijacking videogame hardware for quantum chemistry
Notable awards MacArthur Fellow (2005)

Todd J. Martínez is a David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and a Professor of Photon Science at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.


He received his B.S. from Calvin College in 1989 and his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1994. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the Fritz Haber Institute for Molecular Dynamics at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel and a University of California Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA for two years prior to joining the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1996. He was named a Gutgsell Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois in 2006. He joined the Stanford faculty in 2009.

Professor Martínez is a theoretical chemist whose research focuses primarily on developing first-principles approaches to chemical reaction dynamics, starting from the fundamental equations of quantum mechanics. He is particularly interested in electronically excited states and the response of molecules to light. Reactions of electronically excited molecules often involve conical intersections, around which the potential energy surfaces have the shape of intersecting cones. He developed a method known as ab initio multiple spawning, or AIMS, which predicts the dynamic evolution of systems having conical intersections. He has created models for photoinduced isomerization in retinal, which represents the biophysical basis for vision. He has also shown how videogame hardware, especially graphical processing units (GPUs), can be used to accelerate quantum chemistry simulations.[2][3]

Martínez's research has been supported by an NSF Career Award, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship,[4][5] a Packard Foundation Fellowship, a Sloan Foundation Fellowship, a Beckman Young Investigators Award, a Research Innovation Award, a Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and grants from the NSF, DOE, NIH, Research Corporation, and the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP). He was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2011.[6]

Representative publications[edit]

  • Insights for Light-Driven Molecular Devices from Ab Initio Multiple Spawning Dynamics, T. J. Martinez, Acc. Chem. Res., 39, 119 (2006). doi:10.1021/ar040202q
  • Competitive Decay at Two and Three-State Conical Intersections in Excited State Intramolecular Proton Transfer, J. D. Coe and T. J. Martinez, J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 127, 4560 (2005). doi:10.1021/ja043093j
  • Conical Intersection Dynamics in Solution: The Chromophore of Green Fluorescent Protein, A. Toniolo, S. Olsen, L. Manohar, and T. J. Martínez, Faraday Disc., 127, 149 (2004). doi:10.1039/b401167h


  1. ^
  2. ^ Ufimtsev IS, Martinez TJ (2009). "Quantum Chemistry on Graphical Processing Units. 3. Analytical Energy Gradient and First Principles Molecular Dynamics". J. Chem. Theo. Comp. 5: 2619. doi:10.1021/ct9003004. 
  3. ^ "Videogame Technology or Science?". National Science Foundation. 
  4. ^ "Alumni Profile - Todd J. Martinez". Calvin College Spark. 
  5. ^ "MacArthur Foundation Profile". MacArthur Foundation. 
  6. ^ "American Academy of Arts and Sciences Announces 2011 Class of Members". 

Group Web Site[edit]