Francesco Paesani, Ph.D


  • Lead -  Laboratory for Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, UCSD


Francesco Paesani received his M.S. in Chemistry (1996) and Ph.D. in Theoretical Physical Chemistry (2000) from the University of Rome ‘‘La Sapienza’’ (Italy). During his graduate studies, he worked on the extension of density functional theory (DFT) to the treatment of van der Waals interactions and developed the DFT+DISP approach, which was later popularized as DFT-D, to study weakly interacting systems. After graduation, he joined the group of Prof. Whaley (University of California, Berkeley) as a postdoctoral fellow to study quantum fluids, with a specific focus on the emergence of superfluidity in He<sup>4</sup> and H<sub>2</sub> clusters. He then moved for a second postdoc to the group of Prof. Greg Voth (University of Utah) to work on the development of new methods to model quantum dynamics in condensed-phase systems. In 2009 he joined the Faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on the development, implementation, and application of new theoretical and computational methodologies at the intersection of chemistry, physics, and computer science for molecular simulations, with chemical and spectroscopic accuracy. He received the OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the American Chemical Society in 2014, the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2015, and the Early Career Award in Theoretical Chemistry from the American Chemical Society in 2016.


  • Theoretical chemistry
  • Computational chemistry
  • Physical chemistry

Current Projects