Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff

Portrait of Susan Rempe


Dr. Susan Rempe is a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She also holds Adjunct and Research Professor positions in Biology and Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Her current work focuses on theoretical studies and molecular simulations of solutions, polymers, and biomolecules. In addition to expanding our basic science understanding, insights from those studies inform synthesis of new materials for water purification, energy storage, gas (CO2) separations, new molecules for cancer treatment, and antimicrobials.




Bachelor's Degrees:

  • Premedical Sciences (History and German Concentrations), Columbia University
  • Chemistry, University of Montana; Advisor: Dr. Richard J. Field

Awards: National Science Foundation Summer Undergraduate Research Grant, American Chemical Society Undergraduate Department Award, American Institute of Chemists Undergraduate Department Award

Master's Degree: Chemistry, University of Washington; Advisor: Dr. Robert O. Watts

Doctoral Degree: Chemistry, University of Washington; Advisor: Dr. Robert O. Watts

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Theoretical Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Advisors: Dr. Lawrence Pratt and Dr. Tony Redondo

As an undergraduate, Rempe studied the famous Belousov-Zhabotinsky oscillating chemical reaction in collaboration with Dr. Richard J. Field and funded by an undergraduate research grant from the NSF. She earned her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Washington working with Dr. Robert O. Watts on the theory of vibrational spectroscopy applied to force field development for molecular simulations.  As a graduate student, she helped develop the University of Washington's first computational chemistry course, which won an educational prize from the Department of Energy. In addition, she was a recipient of the Ringold Outstanding Graduate Student Fellowship, Association for Women in Science Graduate Fellowship, and Shell Graduate Research Fellowship. During her postdoctoral fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory, she worked with Dr. Lawrence Pratt and Dr. Tony Redondo on a new theoretical framework for studying liquid state properties.

Research Interests

Rempe's research interests include: biomolecular structure-dynamics-function relationships, membranes for selective transport, ion channels, enzyme-ligand binding and catalysis, solvation and transport theory, and ab initio simulations.


Graphic of Susan Rempe's research (ion selective channel, ion hydration, enzyme catalytic mechanism, carbonate solvents for batteried, hydrophobic interactions)


Articles available on Google scholar.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Book Chapters and Editorials

    Rogers, DM; Jiao, D; Pratt, LR; and SB Rempe. 2012. Structural models and molecular thermodynamics of hydration of ions and small molecules, in Ann. Rep. Comp. Chem. Vol. 8 (ed. R. Wheeler, Chapt. 4, p 71- 127, Elsevier, New York) (invited).

    Rempe, SB; and B Roux. 2006. Editorial for special issue on ions. Biophys. Chemistry 124:169-170.

    Jarvinen, GB; et al. 2000. Robust membrane systems for actinide separations, in Plutonium Futures - The Science (AIP Conf Proc 532:71-72).

    Pratt, LR and SB Rempe. 1999. Quasi-chemical theory and implicit solvent models for simulations, in Simulation and Theory of Electrostatic Interactions in Solution (AIP Conf Proc 492:172-201).

  • Relevant Prior Positions

    Research Professor, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering and Center for Micro-Engineered Materials, University of New Mexico (2015- Present)

    Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico (2014- Present)

    Wilsmore Fellow, School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne, Australia (2012)

  • Awards, Honors, and Memberships


    Innovation Award, Sandia (2017)

    Innovation Award, University of New Mexico (2016)

    International R&D 100 Gold Award Winner in Green Tech, “CO2 MemzymeTM,” R&D Magazine (2015)

    International R&D 100 Award Winner in Materials, “CO2 MemzymeTM,” R&D Magazine (2015)

    Time Magazine online “The 5 Best Ideas of Today” by the Aspen Institute (05/13, 2015)

    New Mexico Women of Influence & Overall Government Category Winner, Alb. Business First (2015)

    Notable Technology Development Award, Federal Labs Consortium (2012, 2014)

    Outstanding Women at Sandia (2012, 2014)

    Intellectual Property Achievement Award, Sandia (2012)

    International R&D 100 Award for “Biomimetic Water Purification Membranes,” R&D Magazine (2011)

    Employee Recognition Award for Individual Technical Excellence, Sandia (2011)

    Up and Coming Innovator Award, Sandia (2011)

    Outstanding Woman in Technology, New Mexico Technology Council (2011)

    Award for Excellence, Laboratory Directed Research & Development, Sandia (2010)

    Fellow of the American Academy of Nanomedicine (2006)

    Young Investigator Award, American Academy of Nanomedicine (2006)



    Member, Biophysical Society (BPS)

    Member, Permeation & Transport Subgroup of BPS

    Member, Membrane Biophysics Subgroup of BPS


    Member, American Physical Society (APS)

    Member, Four Corners Section of APS

    Member, Northwest Section of APS

    Member, Division of Biological Physics of APS

    Member, Division of Computational Physics of APS


    Member, American Chemical Society (ACS)

    Member, Physical Chemistry Division of ACS

    Member, Biological Chemistry Division of ACS

    Member, Computers in Chemistry Division of ACS

  • News


    New funding from DTRA

    Article accepted in RSC Adv. on a new ion-selective polyelectrolyte membrane

    Nat. Commun. article published with a News and Views (Ultra-thin enzymatic liquid membrane for CO2 separation and capture, Embedded enzymes catalyse capture)

    News Release on countering anti-microbial drug resistance in bacteria

    News Release on bio-inspired membranes for CO2 capture

    Article published in Chem. Sci. on interactions between a new class of antimicrobial compound and its lipid target in bacterial membranes

    Article published in PNAS on a bacterial drug efflux pump with Commentary

    Article published in Sci. Rep. on Li+ ion and the solid-electrolyte interphase of batteries

    Invited article published in J. Chem. Phys. on ion dynamics in common solvents for Special Topic Issue on Ions in Water

    Invited article published in J. Chem. Phys. on divalent ions and ion channels for Special Topic Issue on Ions in Water

    Article published in BBA: Biomembranes on insertion of Dengue virus envelope protein into lipid bilayers

    Invited article published in Mol. Simul. on predicting free energies of metal ion hydration

    Article published in JPCB on solute attractive forces in hydrophobic effects

    Invited review published in Top. Curr. Chem. for Special Issue on Modeling Electrochemical Energy Storage at the Atomic Scale

    Article on anthrax toxins published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

    Invited review of carbon nanotube-based supercapacitors published in ChemSusChem

    New grant awarded from DOE

    Dr. Rempe elected Vice Chair and Chair-Elect for Gordon Research Conference on Water and Aqueous Solutions

    Dr. Rempe elected Chair of the Permeation & Transport sub-group of the Biophysical Society

    Dr. Rempe joins the Board of Directors of the Telluride Science Research Center

    Congratulations to Monika VanGordon on her new position in industry!


    Dr. Rempe gives the Lawrence Seminar at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley)

    Article published in J. Chem. Phys. for Special Topic on From Quantum Mechanics to Force Fields

    Article published in J. Am. Chem. Soc.

    Dr. Rempe co-organizes the APS Four Corners Section meeting as a member-at large of the executive committee

    Dr. Rempe joins the Thesis Committee for a Chem. Eng. graduate student (Tulane U.)


    CO2 Memzyme™ on the front page of the ABQ Journal: "Environmental game-changer"

    News releases on CO2 Memzyme™: Sandia, Phys.org, ClimateNewsNetwork, Innovation Magazine

    Dr. Rempe chairs the biennial Telluride Science Research Center Workshop on "Ions in Solution: Energy, Biology, and Environment" with Drs. Lawrence Pratt and Tom Beck

    Dr. Rempe elected vice-chair of the Permeation and Transport sub-group of the Biophysical Society

    Invited mini-review of hydrophobic interactions ACS Editor's Choice (J. Phys. Chem. B)

    Invited articles to Bruce Garrett Festschrift published (J. Phys. Checm. B vol. 120)

    U.S. patent issued "Biomimetic membranes"

    U.S. patent issued "Enzymatically active high selectivity gas-permeable membranes"

    New funding received from DTRA

    Welcome to Prof. Lawrence Pratt on his sabbatical!

    Congratulations to Dr. Juan Vanegas on his new position at U. of Vermont

  • Patents and Videos


    'Enzymatically active high selectivity gas-permeable membranes' Jiang, Ying-Bing; Cecchi, Joseph L.; Rempe, Susan; Fu, Yaqin; Brinker, Jeffrey. US Patent no. 6,242,210 (January 2016)

    'Biomimetic membranes' Rempe, Susan; Brinker, Jeffrey; Rogers, David Michael; Jiang, Ying-Bing; Yang, Shaorong. US Patent no. 9,486,742 (November 2016)


    Nano-stabilized Enzymatic Membrane for CO2 Capture

    Biomimetic Membranes for Water Purification

    Statistical Analyses of Hydrophobic Interactions

  • Hosted Symposium Speakers

    Poul Petersen, Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell U., March 2017.

    Tom Davis, “Electrodialysis - its capabilities and ways it can be improved,” Dept. of Civil Engineering, UT El Paso, November 2016.

    Rob Coalson, “A Polymer Brush Model of the Nuclear Pore Complex (NPC),” Dept. of Chemistry, Pittsburgh University, November 2016.

    John Weeks, “Solvation, structure, and scaling in models for simple and complex mixtures,” Dept. of Chemistry, UMD College Park, November 2016.

    Jana Shen, "Mechanisms of pH-responsive biomaterials: from fatty acid, polysaccharide to enzyme and membrane transporter," Dept. of Pharma. Sciences, UMD School of Pharmacy, June 2016.

    Oliver Beckstein, "Structure and function of sodium/proton antiporter membrane proteins," Arizona State U, April 2016.

    Alex Wlodawer, "Structural studies of medically-interesting protease inhibitors and lectins," NIH, National Cancer Institute, March 2016.

    Jessica Seeliger, "The making of a pathogen: the what, where and how of mycobacterial membrane biogenesis," Stony Brook U, December 2015.

    Thomas Cheatham, "Molecular dynamics simulation of nucleic acids: Convergence, reproducibility, assessment/validation, and data dissemination enabled by XSEDE and Blue Waters," School of Pharm., University of Utah, May, 2014.

    Doug Tobias, "Ions at the air-water and membrane-water interfaces," University of California, Irvine, May, 2014.

    Luis Cuello, "A structurally driven kinetic cycle for potassium channels," December, Texas Tech U, Health Sciences Center, December 2013.

    Steve Lockless, "Creating robust selectivity during K+ ion transport," Department of Biology, Texas A&M U, October 2013.

    Mangesh Chaudhari, Tulane U, July 2013.

    Juan Vanegas, Spain, July 2013.

    Alan Soper, UK, September 2012.

    Ed Moczydlowski, "Mutations in functional KcsA channels." Chair, Dept of Biology, Clarkson U, December 2009.

    George Reiter, "Coherent proton motion in water confined in carbon nanotubes and on surfaces." Dept of Physics, U of Houston, August, 2009.

    James van Etten, "Unusual lifestyle of giant algal viruses." Dept of Plant Pathology, U of Nebraska, May 2009.

    Dian Jiao, "Ion modeling and ligand-protein simulation with polarizable force fields." Dept of Biomedical Engineering, UT Austin, May 2009.

    Arjun Narayanan, "Study of local and global conformational changes induced by phosphorylation using all-atom computation." CA Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, UCSF, May 2009.

    David Rogers, "Using Bayes' theorem for free energy calculations." Dept of Chemistry, U of Cincinnati, April 2009.

    Hakan Gunaydin, "Accurate computation of enzymatic rate enhancement." Dept of Chem and Biochem, UCLA, February 2009.

    Sergei Sukharev, "Mechanosensitive channels." Dept of Biology, U Maryland, January 2009.

    Sony Joseph, "Toward ion channel based nanofluidic devices: Simulations of water and electrolyte transport in nanotubes and channels." Dept of Comp Micro/Nanotech, UIUC, January 2009.

    Tianyi Yang, "Thermodynamic models of receptor-mediated cell-matrix adhesion." Dept of Physics, UT Austin, November 2008.

    Dirk Gillespie, "Mechanisms of calcium ion channel permeation and selectivity." Dept of Molecular Biophys and Physiology, Rush U Medical Center, October 2008.

    Lawrence Pratt, "From clusters to a molecular-field theory of liquids." Dept of Chem Eng, Tulane U, August 2008.

    Jon Abramson, "Drug-protein interactions mediated by reversible exchange of electrons." Dept. of Physics, Portland State U, January 2008.

    Chuan He, "Bacterial regulation of metal ions, virulence, and antibiotic resistance." Dept of Chemistry, The U of Chicago, December 2007.

    Bob Eisenberg, "Ion channels: Proteins with a hole." Chair, Dept of Molecular Biophys and Physiology, Rush U Medical Center, November, 2007.

    Dick Horn, "Plugging the pore: Hoodwinking ion channels with cationic blockers." Dept of Physiology, Thomas Jefferson Medical College, October 2007.

    Dan Minor, "Structural studies of ion channel function and regulation." Dept of Biochem and Biophys, Dept of Cellular and Molecular Pharm, UCSF, September 2007.