Jennifer Dionne is an associate professor of Materials Science and Engineering and of Radiology (by courtesy) at Stanford University. She is also the Senior Associate Vice Provost of Shared Facilities/Research Platforms, helping to oversee upgrades to shared research infrastructure spanning the lifesciences, sustainability, nanofabrication/characterization, and prototyping. She is an Associate Editor of Nano Letters, directs the DOE-funded Photonics at Thermodynamic Limits Energy Frontier Research Center, and is a senior Fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy and an affiliate faculty of BioX. Jen received her B.S. degrees in Physics and Systems Science and Mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis, her Ph. D. in Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology in 2009, advised by Harry Atwater and her postdoctoral training in Chemistry at Berkeley.
Jen's research develops nanophotonic methods to observe and control chemical and biological processes as they unfold with nanometer scale resolution, emphasizing critical challenges in global health and sustainability. Her research has led to demonstration of negative refraction at visible wavelengths, development of nanoscale optical diodes and modulators, new methods to sense and separate molecular enantiomers, demonstration of a metamaterial fluid, and high-efficiency, force-sensitive upconverting materials. Most recently, Jen has developed single-cell and culture-free methods to detect pathogens and their drug susceptibility.
Recently, Jen was awarded the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation, the NIH Director's New Innovator Award, and a Moore Inventors Fellowship. She has also received the Adolph Lomb Medal, a Sloan Fellowship, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She was featured on Oprah?s list of ?50 Things that will make you say ?Wow?!?, and was named one of Technology Review's TR35 - 35 international innovators under 35 tackling important problems in transformative ways. Jen's lab alum hold positions spanning academia (faculty at MIT, Northwestern, UIUC, UCSD, WashU, Purdue, NC State, and positions in Europe and Asia), industry, policy, and journalism. The Dionne group also holds multiple patents on nanophotonics for infectious disease detection, molecular detection, chiral resolution, upconversion, purification, tomography, modulation, display technologies, and quantum information. Some of this work was featured on PBS and in Michio Kaku's book 'Physics of the Impossible.'
Jen perceives outreach as a critical component of her role as an educator, and is active both in the scientific and general communities. She enjoys teaching three classes ('Waves and Diffraction', 'Optoelectronics, and 'Science of the Impossible') and has organized the Plasmonics/Nanophotonics Gordon Conference (elected Chair for 2022 and Vice Chair for 2018), the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Meeting (2015), and the Semiconducting Nanocrystals/Plasmonic Materials/Metamaterials symposia for the Materials Research Society meetings (2010, 2012, 2013, 2017). She is also recruiting the next generation of scientists and engineers through various public speaking engagements and science/ performing and visual art exhibits geared towards the general public and local elementary and high school students. Her teaching and outreach has earned her the Tau Beta Pi Outstanding Engineering teaching award.
When not in the lab, Jen enjoys long distance running, cycling the latest century, exploring new cities, cultures, and cuisines, and reliving her childhood with her two young sons.