Primary research interest

Physical and Computational Chemistry; Organic Chemistry

About me

I undertook my PhD in the field of synthetic main-group chemistry at The Australian National University's Research School of Chemistry, where I worked with Professor Bruce Wild. After two years of postdoctoral research at the ANU I was awarded a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship and spent two years at the University of California, Los Angeles, working in the field of theoretical and computational chemistry with Professor Kendall Houk. I returned to Australia in 2009 as an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and moved to The University of Queensland in 2012 as an ARC Future Fellow. I currently hold a Senior Lectureship in the UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences and am a 2017 UQ Strategic Research Fellow. Most recently my research was featured in the inaugural Young Investigator issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Research focus and collaborations

My laboratory uses computer simulations to address a range of challenges associated with the invention of new chemical technologies. My laboratory's research utilises advanced molecular modelling techniques to uncover atomic-level insights into molecular behaviour, focussing in particular on the transition states and reactive intermediates that are crucial to the outcomes of chemical reactions but are often difficult to detect by experimental means. The fundamental information generated by these sophisticated simulations is being used to help design more efficient synthetic chemical reactions and to discover molecules with the potential to modulate the behaviour of biomolecular therapeutic targets. 

Current research activities include:

  • in silico explorations of the fundamental reaction mechanisms of newly-invented synthetic organic reactions
  • development of computer-based technologies for the design of new chiral catalysts for asymmetric synthesis
  • modelling and prediction of drug-biomolecule interactions and their roles in drug efficacy and toxicity
  • computational predictions of molecular spectroscopic properties for natural products structure determination and optoelectronic materials design.

Funded projects

  • ARC Discovery Project 2018
    Computational Tools for Organic Synthesis
  • Australia–India Strategic Research Fund 2017 (with E. Namdas, S.-C. Lo, and P. Burn)
    Large Area Opto-Electronics (LAOE) for Australia and India
  • UQ Strategic Research Fellowship 2017
    New Computational Technology to Drive Innovation in Molecular Science
  • ARC Discovery Project 2015 (with B. Flynn, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
    Chiral Catalysts by Rational Design
  • ARC Future Fellowship 2012
    Theoretical modelling and design of safe covalent anti-cancer drugs
  • ARC Discovery Project 2009 (APD Fellowship)
    Exploring new roles for phosphorus radicals in health, environment, and technology

Teaching interests

  • CHEM3011 Advanced Physical Chemistry
  • CHEM2050 Intermediate Chemistry 1
  • CHEM2056 Physical Chemistry for Engineering
  • SCIE1200 Introduction to Science Research

Achievements and awards

Featured publications

Researcher biography

Dr Elizabeth Krenske undertook her PhD in the field of synthetic main-group chemistry at The Australian National University's Research School of Chemistry, where she worked with Professor Bruce Wild. After two years of postdoctoral research at the ANU she was awarded a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship and spent two years at the University of California, Los Angeles, working in the field of theoretical and computational chemistry with Professor Kendall Houk. She returned to Australia in 2009 as an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and moved to The University of Queensland in 2012 as an ARC Future Fellow. She currently holds a Senior Lectureship in the UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences and is a 2017 UQ Strategic Research Fellow. Most recently her research has been featured in the inaugural Young Investigator issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.