Christopher J. Cramer
Get Christopher J. Cramer essential facts below. View Videos or join the Christopher J. Cramer discussion. Add Christopher J. Cramer to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Christopher J. Cramer
Christopher J. Cramer
Vice President for Research (UMN) Chris Cramer (cropped).jpg
Born (1961-09-23) September 23, 1961 (age 59)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Ph.D.)
Washington University in St. Louis (undergraduate)
OccupationVice President for Research, University of Minnesota (2018-present)
Years active1992-present
Notable work
Essentials of Computational Chemistry: Theories and Models (2013)
Katherine Dowd, Laura Gagliardi
AwardsFellow of the American Chemical Society, Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Scientific career
FieldsTheoretical chemistry, computational chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical physics, quantum chemistry
InstitutionsUniversity of Minnesota
Doctoral advisorScott E. Denmark
Military career
Service/branchU.S. Army
Years of service1988-1992
Served inGulf War

Christopher J. Cramer (born September 23, 1961) is a research chemist and, since 2018, Vice President for Research at the University of Minnesota.[2]


Cramer studied mathematics and chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,[3] working with doctoral advisor Scott E. Denmark.[4]

Military service

Cramer served for four years as an officer in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps from 1988 to 1992, including combat duty in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm.[5]

Academic career

In 1992, Cramer joined the faculty in the University of Minnesota's Department of Chemistry, where he has remained for his entire professional career. In addition to teaching and research, Cramer was director of both undergraduate and graduate studies in the chemistry department for three years each. He led the university's Faculty Consultative Committee in 2011-2012.[3] From 2013 to 2018, he was associate dean for academic affairs in the U of M's College of Sciences and Engineering.[2] He moved into the position of associate dean for research and planning in 2018, then became Vice President for Research later that year on the retirement of predecessor Allen Levine. Cramer oversees one of the largest public-research programs in the United States,[6] managing the administration, planning, and regulation of nearly $1 billion in research projects across the entire University of Minnesota system, including economic and technical development, and interdisciplinary efforts involving transportation and the environment.[3][7]

Cramer was editor-in-chief (and before that, associate editor) of the scientific journal Theoretical Chemistry Accounts from 1997 to 2014. He was associate editor for the Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry from 1997 to 2018.[3][1]

He is the author of the 2013 textbook Essentials of Computational Chemistry: Theories and Models.[8] Cramer also helped pioneer the university's e-learning programs by developing the online course Statistical Molecular Thermodynamics.[9][10]

His research work has covered a wide area, including advancements in solar energy (as head of the Center for the Study of Charge Transfer and Charge Transport in Photoactivated Systems),[11] and computer simulations of chemical weapons to assist in identification and cleanup.[12] He has also worked extensively with the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute.[9]

Cramer has received several awards for teaching and public service. He was named a Distinguished McKnight University Professor,[13] received the George W. Taylor Award of Distinguished Service in 2013,[9] and the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education in 2011.[14]

He has also worked to increase public awareness and appreciation of science, and has been quoted in news articles and television reports as an expert on popular chemistry-related topics such as tear gas and pepper spray,[15][16] slime,[17] road salt,[18] and the persistence of particular smells.[19]


Even after moving into administrative roles, Cramer has continued to be active in scientific research. Cramer has written or co-written more than 500 articles for scientific journals and other scholarly publications.[20][3] He has also written or edited several books, as follows:

As author

  • Essentials of Computational Chemistry: Theories and Models (2013)[8]
  • Statistical Molecular Thermodynamics (Coursera Massive Open Online Course)[10][21]

As editor

  • Structure and Reactivity in Aqueous Solution: Characterization of Chemical and Biological Systems (American Chemical Society Symposium Series, 1994)[22]
  • Theoretical Chemistry Accounts: New Century Issue (2000; a special reprint of Vol. 103, issues 3-4 of the journal)[23]
  • Perspectives on Theoretical Chemistry: Five Decades of Theoretical Chemistry Accounts and Theoretica Chimica Acta[24]

Awards and fellowships

Personal life

Cramer is married to University of Chicago chemistry professor Laura Gagliardi; the couple has three children from a prior marriage.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Vice President for Research Christopher J. Cramer". Office of the Vice President for Research. University of Minnesota. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b "Transitions: Naval Postgraduate School Selects New President, New Provost Named at Cabrini U." The Chronicle of Higher Education. 2018-10-19. Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b c d e f Coss, Kevin (2018-11-13). "Meet Christopher J. Cramer, New Vice President for Research". Inquiry: Exploring the Impact of University Research. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Artisanal Organic Chemistry: Chris Cramer Joins Real Scientists". Real Scientists. 2015-05-10. Retrieved .
  5. ^ Steven M. Bachrach (3 March 2014). Computational Organic Chemistry. Wiley. pp. 870-. ISBN 978-1-118-67122-1.
  6. ^ Macalus, Austen (2018-11-06). "New VP of research looks to future of research funding". Minnesota Daily. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Retrieved .
  7. ^ Griffith, Michelle (2018-10-10). "Kaler appoints new vice president for research". Minnesota Daily. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b Christopher J. Cramer (29 April 2013). Essentials of Computational Chemistry: Theories and Models. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-71227-6.
  9. ^ a b c "Cramer receives Taylor Award of Distinguished Service". Department of Chemistry News. University of Minnesota. 2013-04-02. Retrieved .
  10. ^ a b Cramer, Christopher J. "Statistical Molecular Thermodynamics". Coursera. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Energy Dept to Fund Minnesota Chemistry Computation Centers". Science and Enterprise. August 23, 2012. Retrieved .
  12. ^ Hargarten, Jeff (2011-12-12). "Department of Defense projects bring military touch to civilian research". Minnesota Daily. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Distinguished McKnight University Professors". University of Minnesota. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Professor Cramer receives Morse Alumni Award". Department of Chemistry News. University of Minnesota. 2011-03-30. Retrieved .
  15. ^ Stacey, Burling (2020-06-03). "Tear gas has been controlling crowds for a century. How does it work? Can it cause permanent harm?". Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia. Retrieved .
  16. ^ Block, Eliana (2020-06-20). "VERIFY: No, baking soda and water will not stop burning sensation from pepper spray". WUSA (TV). Washington, D.C. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "'Slime' is the latest hot toy, but how safe is it?". FOX 9. Minneapolis-St. Paul. March 9, 2017. Retrieved .
  18. ^ Brown, Heather (December 4, 2013). "Good Question: How Does Salt Melt Ice?". WCCO-TV. Minneapolis-St. Paul. Retrieved .
  19. ^ Weisberger, Mindy (June 9, 2019). "Why Are Some Smells So Hard to Get Rid Of?". Live Science. Retrieved .
  20. ^ "Publications". The Cramer Group. University of Minnesota. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Speakers: Professor & Associate Dean Christopher J. Cramer". KAUST Research Conference: New Challenges in Heterogeneous Catalysis. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. 2018. Retrieved .
  22. ^ Christopher J. Cramer, Donald G. Truhlar, ed. (1994). Structure and Reactivity in Aqueous Solution: Characterization of Chemical and Biological Systems. American Chemical Society Symposium Series. 568. American Chemical Society. ISBN 978-0-8412-2980-8.
  23. ^ Christopher Cramer, D.G. Truhlar, ed. (2000). Theoretical Chemistry Accounts: New Century Issue. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-3-662-10421-7.
  24. ^ Christopher Cramer, D.G. Truhlar, ed. (2012). Perspectives on Theoretical Chemistry: Five Decades of Theoretical Chemistry Accounts and Theoretica Chimica Acta. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-3-642-28444-1.
  25. ^ "ACS Fellows Program". American Chemical Society. Retrieved .
  26. ^ Wang, Linda (August 13, 2020). "ACS 2021 national award winners". Chemical and Engineering News. Vol. 98 no. 31. American Chemical Society. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "All Fellows: Christopher J. Cramer". John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Retrieved .
  28. ^ "Past Fellows". Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes