Smaranda Marinescu grew up in Romania and moved to the US for college.
She graduated from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2006.
During her undergraduate studies, she did research in organometallic chemistry with Prof. John E. Bercaw on the synthesis and reactivity of group 3 dialkyl complexes supported by tetradentate, monoanionic ligands.
After graduation, Smaranda continued one more year at Caltech, doing research in the group of Prof. Brian M. Stoltz, where she developed a homogeneous Pd-catalyzed enantioselective decarboxylative protonation.
In 2007, she started her Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under the tutelage of Prof. Richard R. Schrock, exploring molybdenum and tungsten alkylidene species for enantio-, Z
-, and E
-selective olefins metathesis reactions.
After graduation in 2011, she undertook a postdoctoral position in the laboratories of Prof. Harry B. Gray at Caltech, as an NSF CCI postdoctoral fellow.
Her research focused on mechanistic studies of the cobalt catalyzed hydrogen evolution, which shed new light on the previously speculative mechanisms of proton reduction.
In August 2013, she started her independent career as an assistant professor in chemistry at the University of Southern California.
She was promoted to Associate Professor of Chemistry in March 2020.
Honors and Awards
- • Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship
- • American Chemical Society (ACS) Harry Gray Award for Creative Work in Inorganic Chemistry by a Young Investigator
- • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry
- • Rising Stars Award, 43th International Conference on Coordination Chemistry, Japan
- • RSC Chemical Communications Emerging Investigator
- • NSF CAREER award
- • Zumberge Individual award, USC
- • Gabilan Assistant Professorship
- • NSF Center for Chemical Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowship
- 2011 — 2013
- • Morse Travel Grant, MIT
- • Bruker-MIT poster prize
- • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Caltech
- 2004 — 2005
- • Several prizes, Romanian National Chemistry Olympiad
- 1997 — 2001
- • Executive Committee member for the
Nanoporous Materials Genome Center phase II
- 2017 — 2021