Dorit Shemesh

Dorit Shemesh joined IMBM in 2020. Dorit obtained a B.Sc. in Chemistry with distinction at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Ph.D.  in Theoretical Chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the supervision of Prof. Benny Gerber. In her Ph.D. she studied photoionization dynamics of biological molecules. In her PostDoc at the Technische Universität München working with Prof. Domcke she was introduced to photostability of biological molecules, until then only known to exist in nucleic acids. She contributed to this field, by showing for the first time that peptides exhibit a radiationless deactivation pathway that prevent them from undergoing structural damage. In the last decade she worked as a Research Associate at the Hebrew University focusing on photoabsorption and photodynamics of atmospherically relevant molecules, such as pesticides, aldehydes and organic acids. Currently she is involved in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Project.


  1. Shemesh, D., Luo, M.,  Grassian,V.H., Gerber, R.B. Absorption Spectra of Pyruvic Acid in Water: Insights from Calculations for Small Hydrates and Comparison to Experiment, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 22, 12658 – 12670, (2020)
  2. Luo, M., Shemesh, D., Sullivan, M., Alves, M., Song, M., Gerber, R.B., Grassian, V.H.  Impact of pH and NaCl and CaCl2 Salts on the Speciation and Photochemistry of Pyruvic Acid in the Aqueous Phase, J. Phys. Chem. A,  124, 5071–5080, (2020)
  3. Ezell, M.J., Wang, W.H.,  Shemesh, D., Ni, A., Gerber, R.B. Finlayson-Pitts, B.J. Experimental and Theoretical Studies of the Environmental Sensitivity of the Absorption Spectra and Photochemistry of Nitenpyram and Analogs, ACS Earth and Space Chemistry, 3, 2063-2075, (2019)
  4. Shemesh, D., Salomon,R., Kim,S.H.,Tyndall,G.S., Nizkorodov,S.A., Gerber, R.B. Adjacent Keto and Enol Groups in Photochemistry of a Cyclic Molecule: Products, Mechanisms and Dynamics, Chemical Physics, Wolfgang Domcke Festschrift, 155, 177-186, (2018)
  5. Shemesh,D., Gerber, R.B. Molecular Dynamics of Photoinduced Reactions of Acrylic Acid: Products, Mechanisms and Comparison with Experiment, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 9, 527–533, (2018)
  6. Naoum, J.N., Chandra1,K., Shemesh,D., Gerber,R.B., Gilon, C. and Hurevich, M. DMAP-assisted sulfonylation as an efficient step for the methylation of primary amine motifs on solid support, Beilstein Journal for Organic Chemistry, 13, 806-816, (2017)
  7. Aregahegn,K.F., Shemesh,D., Gerber, R.B., Finlayson-Pitts, B.J. Photochemistry of Thin Solid Films of the Neonicotinoid Imidacloprid on Surfaces, Environ. Sci. Technol., 51, 2660-2668, (2017), ACS Editors’ Choice, Cover Page
  8. Shemesh,D., Nizkorodov, S.A., Gerber, R.B. Photochemical Reactions of Cyclohexanone: Mechanisms and Dynamics, Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 120, 7112-7210, (2016) Virtual special issue “Mark Gordon Festschrift”
  9. Shemesh,D., Gerber, R.B. Dynamics of Photochemical Reactions of organic carbonyls and their clusters, Advances in Chemical Physics, Memorial Volume for Moshe Shapiro, Vol. 159, Chapter 1, p.1-22, (2016)
  10. Romonosky, D.E., Nguyen, L.Q., Shemesh, D., Nguyen, T.B., Epstein, S.A., Martin, D.B.C., Vanderwal, C.D., Gerber, R.B., Nizkorodov, S.A. Absorption Spectra and Aqueous Photochemistry of β-Hydroxyalkyl Nitrates of Atmospheric Interest, Molecular Physics, John Maier Festschrift, 113, 2179-2190 (2015)
  11. Gerber, R.B., Varner, M.E., Hammerich, A.D., Riikonen, S., Murdachaew, G., Shemesh, D., Finlayson-Pitts, B.J. Computational Studies of Atmospherically-Relevant Chemical Reactions in Water Clusters and on Liquid Water and Ice Surfaces, Accounts of Chemical Research, 48, 399–406, (2015)
  12. Shemesh, D.; Blair, S.L.; Nizkorodov, S.A.; Gerber, R.B. Photochemistry of aldehyde clusters: cross-molecular versus unimolecular reaction dynamics, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 16, 23861-23868, (2014)
  13. Gerber, R.B.; Shemesh, D.; Varner, M.E.; Kalinowski, J.; Hirshberg, B. Ab Initio and Semi-empirical Molecular Dynamics Simulations in Isolated Molecules and In Clusters, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Perspective Article for 15th Anniversary of the Journal, 16, 9760-9775, (2014)
  14. Lignell, H.; Epstein, S.A.; Marvin, M.R.; Shemesh, D.; Gerber R.B.; Nizkorodov, S.A. Experimental and Theoretical Study of Aqueous cis-Pinonic Acid Photolysis, Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 117, 12930-12945, (2013)
  15. Shemesh, D. ; Lan, Z.G., Gerber, R.B. Dynamics of Triplet-State Photochemistry of Pentanal: Mechanisms of Norrish I, Norrish II and H Abstraction Reactions, Journal of Physical Chemistry A, Curt Wittig Festschrift, 117, 11711-11724, (2013)
  16. Shemesh, D.; Gerber, R.B. Femtosecond Timescale Deactivation of Electronically-Excited Peroxides at Ice Surfaces, Molecular Physics, Bill Miller Festschrift, 110, 605-617, (2012)
  17. Epstein, S.A.; Shemesh, D.; Tran, V.; Nizkorodov, S.A.; Gerber, R.B.  Absorption spectra and photolysis of methyl peroxide in liquid and frozen water, Journal of Physical Chemistry A, A. R. Ravishankara Festschrift,  116, 6068-6077 (2012)
  18. Shemesh, D.; Domcke, W. Effect of the chirality of residues and γ-turns on the electronic excitation spectra, excited-state reaction paths and conical intersections in capped phenylalanine-alanine dipeptides, Special issue in honor of Prof. Kleinermanns 60th birthday, ChemPhysChem, 12, 1833-1840 (2011),
  19. Shemesh, D.; Sobolewski, A.L.; Domcke, W Phys Chem Chem Phys, Special issue on the “Molecular Mechanisms of the Photostability of Life”. Role of excited-state hydrogen detachment and hydrogen-transfer processes for the excited-state deactivation of an aromatic dipeptide: N-acetyl tryptophan methyl amide, 12, 4899-4905 (2010), Cover page
  20. Shemesh, D.; Hättig, C.; Domcke, W. Photophysics of the Trp-Gly Dipeptide: Role of Electron and Proton Transfer Processes for efficient excited state deactivation, Chemical Physics Letters, 482, 38-43 (2009)
  21. Shemesh, D.; Sobolewski, A.L.; Domcke, W. Efficient Excited-State Deactivation of the Gly-Phe-Ala Tripeptide via an Electron-Driven Proton-Transfer Process, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 1374-1375 (2009)
  22. Sobolewski, A.L.; Shemesh, D.; Domcke, W. Computational studies of the photophysics of neutral and zwitterionic amino acids in an aqueous environment: the tyrosine-(H2O)2 and tryptophan-(H2O)2 clusters, J.Phys.Chem. A, 113, 542-550 (2009)
  23. Shemesh, D.; Mullin, J.; Gordon, M.S.;Gerber, R.B. Vibrational Spectroscopy for Glycine adsorbed on Silicon Clusters: Harmonic and Anharmonic Calculations for Models of the Si(100)-2×1, Special issue in honor of Prof. Domckes 60th birthday. Chemical Physics, 347, 218-228 (2008)
  24. Shemesh, D.; Gerber, R.B. Dynamical Simulations of Photoionization of Small Biological Molecules, Principles of Mass Spectrometry applied to Biomolecules, John Wiley & Sons, 2006
  25. Shemesh, D.; Gerber, R.B. Classical Trajectory Simulations of Photoionization Dynamics of Tryptophan: Intramolecular Energy Flow, Hydrogen transfer Processes and Conformational Transitions, J. Phys. Chem. A, Memorial Issue for Prof. Chava Lifshitz, 110, 8401-8408 (2006)
  26. Shemesh, D.; Gerber, R.B. Different chemical dynamics for different conformers of biological molecules: Photoionization of Glycine, J. Chem. Phys. 122, 241104 (2005)
  27. Shemesh, D.; Baer, R.; Seideman, T.; Gerber, R.B. Photoionization Dynamics of Glycine absorbed on a silicon cluster: “On-the-Fly” Simulations, J. Chem. Phys. 122, 184704 (2005)
  28. Shemesh, D.; Chaban, G.M.; Gerber, R.B. Photoionization Dynamics of Glycine: The first ten picoseconds, J. Phys. Chem. A, 108, 11477 – 11484 (2004)