Alexander Grenning joins Department of Chemistry faculty

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (9/8/2023) – The Department of Chemistry will welcome Alexander Grenning to the faculty as an Associate Professor in January 2024. Grenning is joining the University of Minnesota from the University of Florida (UF), where he has been a faculty member since 2014.

Grenning completed his PhD in Chemistry with Professor Jon Tunge at the University of Kansas in 2012, then moved to Boston University for a postdoctoral appointment with Professor John Porco. In 2014, he joined the University of Florida faculty as an Assistant Professor, receiving tenure in 2021. 

As an organic chemist, Grenning’s research is focused on chemical synthesis and drug discovery. “My goal is to advance the field of organic chemistry through research, education, and outreach. I have broad research interests in enantioselective strategy, physical organic principles as applied to synthetic method development, and synergizing natural products – and pharmaceutical – research in unique ways,” he says about his research. His group’s current projects are centered around identifying “hidden driving forces” for enantioselective sigmatropic rearrangements and axially chiral natural products. At UMN, Grenning is looking forward to creating an exciting and inclusive learning and research experience for all group members. He says “I’m excited to bring my enthusiasm and passion for organic chemistry research and education to the UMN community!” To learn more about Grenning Lab research and the group he’s formed at UF, please visit his research website

Prof. Grenning has been involved in conference organization with the mission of uniting diverse researchers, professionals and students alike, in the field of small molecule organic chemistry. He says he is looking forward to finding new avenues to contribute to the organic chemistry community through his new role at UMN.

Outside of the lab, Grenning says he loves spending time with family, camping and other outdoor activities, cooking, and listening, playing, and learning about music. “I am currently listening to a lot of Minnesota music in preparation for the big move! The Replacements and Paul Westerberg are all time favorites and are currently in constant rotation,” he says. When he thinks about his upcoming cross-country move, Grenning says “I am really looking forward to the new adventure as a whole! I am so excited to bring my approach to science and education to the department. I look forward to enjoying the many great things that Minneapolis and UMN will provide. I look forward to visiting my friends and family throughout the Midwest. From Minneapolis, to Chicago, to Lawrence, Kansas.”