Valérie C. Pierre

portrait of Professor Valérie Pierre

Valérie C. Pierre

Professor, Department of Chemistry


Smith Hall
Room 237
207 Pleasant Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


B.S. Engineer’s Diploma, Ecole Superieure de Chimie, Lyon, 2001
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 2005 (Kenneth N. Raymond)
Post Doctorate California Institute of Technology, 2005-2007 (Jacqueline K. Barton)

Research Interests

Inorganic & Organometallic Chemistry: bio-inorganic chemistry, MRI contrast agents
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry: sensor design, cellular and molecular imaging, MRI contrast agents
Chemical Biology: protein crystallography

Our group employs coordination and supramolecular chemistry to solve medical and environmental problems. We exploit siderophores, natural products synthesized by bacteria to chelate iron, as new diagnostic and theranostic tools for bacterial infections. We design and synthesize analogues of these natural products that can rapidly detect, quantify and identify bacteria in complex media. We also design new antimicrobial agents that function via novel mechanisms. As part of our environmental efforts, we are designing new complexes, supramolecular receptors and polymeric membranes that can catch pollutants from lakes and rivers. Our current goal is to design new tools that can economically remove phosphates and nitrates from surface water contaminated with agricultural run-offs.

Fighting bacterial infections with siderophores.
Fighting bacterial infections with siderophores.
Removing phosphates and nitrates from polluted water.
Removing phosphates and nitrates from polluted water.

Honors and Awards

Edward I. Stiefel award in Bioinorganic Chemistry, 2012

National Science Foundation CAREER, 2012

Earle C. Anthony Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 2002-2003

Rhône-Alpes Fellowship, France, 2000-2001

Leonardo Fellowship, European Union, 1999-2000


Professor Pierre is co-editor of a new practical reference guide for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Contrast Agents for MRI: Experimental Methods. Her co-editor was Professor Matthew J. Allen from Wayne State University. The e-book is available at, and a hard copy is available on Amazon. The book was published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Mailing Address

Valérie C. Pierre
University of Minnesota
Department of Chemistry
B-13, 139 Smith Hall, 207 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0431