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Fleming's team is known for developing and using techniques in advanced multidimensional, ultrafast spectroscopy to study complex condensed phase dynamics in systems including natural photosynthetic complexes and nanoscale systems including single-walled carbon nanotubes and organic photovoltaic systems.
These investigations and the findings of Fleming's team have indicated the key role of quantum electronic coherence in disordered biological environments. These findings have pointed towards the importance of examining the role of quantum dynamical processes in biological energy harvesting systems.
In 1979, Fleming began his independent research team with a faculty appointment at the University of Chicago. He was promoted to associate professor at the University of Chicago in 1983 and in 1985 was made a full professor. In 1987, Fleming was named the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Services Professor a position which he held for ten years. At the University of Chicago, Fleming served for three years as the Chair of the Chemistry Department. During his time at the University of Chicago, he worked with Keith Moffatt to found the University's first new research institute in 50 years, the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics.
Fleming transitioned his research team to the University of California, Berkeley in 1997 where he held joint appointments as Professor in Chemistry and the founding Director of the Physical Biosciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In 2002, Fleming received an appointment as the Melvin Calvin Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at UCB. Fleming was also Founding director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) based at UC Berkeley.
In the areas of service to the University, Fleming also served as the vice-chancellor for research at UCB from April 2009 to 2015.
Fleming has an extensive publication record. Listed below are some select publications from his independent research career at UC Berkeley:
Fleming, Graham R.; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Li, Xiao-Ping; Valkunas, Leonas; Zigmantas, Donatas; Holt, Nancy E. (21 January 2005). "Carotenoid Cation Formation and the Regulation of Photosynthetic Light Harvesting". Science. 307 (5708): 433-436. doi:10.1126/science.1105833. ISSN0036-8075. PMID15662017.
Fleming, Graham R.; Blankenship, Robert E.; Minhaeng Cho; Vaswani, Harsha M.; Stenger, Jens; Brixner, Tobias (2005). "Two-dimensional spectroscopy of electronic couplings in photosynthesis". Nature. 434 (7033): 625-628. doi:10.1038/nature03429. ISSN1476-4687.
Fleming, Graham R.; Blankenship, Robert E.; Cheng, Yuan-Chung; Tomá? Man?al; Ahn, Tae-Kyu; Read, Elizabeth L.; Calhoun, Tessa R.; Engel, Gregory S. (2007). "Evidence for wavelike energy transfer through quantum coherence in photosynthetic systems". Nature. 446 (7137): 782-786. doi:10.1038/nature05678. ISSN1476-4687. PMID17429397.
Petrich, Jacob W.; Longworth, James W.; Fleming, Graham R. (19 May 1987). "Internal motion and electron transfer in proteins: a picosecond fluorescence study of three homologous azurins". Biochemistry. 26 (10): 2711-2722. doi:10.1021/bi00384a010. ISSN0006-2960. PMID3111523.
Finally, these are some additional notable publications from before Fleming began his independent research group:
Synowiec, J. A.; Porter, G.; Fleming, G. R.; Beddard, G. S. (1 December 1978). "Picosecond Fluorescence Studies of Photosystem II". Biochemical Society Transactions. 6 (6): 1385-1388. doi:10.1042/bst0061385. ISSN0300-5127. PMID744434.
Beddard, G. S.; Fleming, G. R.; Porter, G.; Searle, G. F.; Synowiec, J. A. (11 January 1979). "The fluorescence decay kinetics of in vivo chlorophyll measured using low intensity excitation". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 545 (1): 165-174. doi:10.1016/0005-2728(79)90123-3. ISSN0006-3002. PMID758936.
^Ma, Ying-Zhong; Stenger, Jens; Zimmermann, Jörg; Bachilo, Sergei M.; Smalley, Richard E.; Weisman, R. Bruce; Fleming, Graham R. (15 February 2004). "Ultrafast carrier dynamics in single-walled carbon nanotubes probed by femtosecond spectroscopy". The Journal of Chemical Physics. 120 (7): 3368-3373. doi:10.1063/1.1640339. ISSN0021-9606. PMID15268491.
^Valkunas, Leonas; Ma, Ying-Zhong; Fleming, Graham R. (30 March 2006). "Exciton-exciton annihilation in single-walled carbon nanotubes". Physical Review B. 73 (11): 115432. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.73.115432.