David Cantu

Assistant Professor
David Cantu

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University, 2013
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico, 2008

Past positions

  • Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2017
  • Postdoctorate Research Associate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2013-2017

Research interests

  • Molecular simulation and computational chemistry
  • Lanthanides
  • Adsorption and interfaces
  • Biocatalysis, catalysis

Courses taught

  • CHE 245 Computer Applications in Chemical Engineering
  • CHE 485 Separation Processes

Selected and recent publication

  • A combined experimental and theoretical study on the activity and selectivity of the electrocatalytic hydrogenation of aldehydes
    DC Cantu, AB Padmaperuma, MT Nguyen, SA Akhade, Y Yoon, YG Wang, MS Lee, VA Glezakou, R Rousseau, MA Lilga
    ACS Catalysis, 2018, 8, 7645-7658.
  • Heterogeneous catalysis in complex, condensed reaction media
    DC Cantu, YG Wang, Y Yoon, VA Glezakou, R Rousseau, RS Weber
    Catalysis Today, 2017, 289, 231-236
  • CO Oxidation on Au/TiO2: condition-dependent active sites and mechanistic pathways
    YG Wang, DC Cantu, MS Lee, J Li, VA Glezakou, R Rousseau
    Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2016, 138, 10467-10476
  • Dynamic acid/base equilibrium in single component switchable ionic liquids and consequences on viscosity
    DC Cantu, J Lee, MS Lee, DJ Heldebrant, PK Koech, CJ Freeman, R Rousseau, VA Glezakou
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2016, 7, 1646-1652
  • Structure-property reduced order model for viscosity prediction in single-component CO2-binding organic liquids
    DC Cantu, D Malhotra, PK Koech, DJ Heldebrant, F Zheng, CJ Freeman, R Rousseau, VA Glezakou
    Green Chemistry, 2016, 18, 6004-6011
  • Molecular mechanism of a hotdog‐fold acyl‐CoA thioesterase
    DC Cantu, A Ardèvol, C Rovira, PJ Reilly
    Chemistry-A European Journal, 2014, 20, 9045-9051
  • Phylogenetic and experimental characterization of an acyl-ACP thioesterase family reveals significant diversity in enzymatic specificity and activity
    F Jing, DC Cantu, J Tvaruzkova, JP Chipman, BJ Nikolau, MD Yandeau-Nelson, PJ Reilly
    BMC Biochemistry, 2011, 12 (1), 44
  • ThYme: a database for thioester-active enzymes
    DC Cantu, Y Chen, ML Lemons, PJ Reilly
    Nucleic Acids Research, 2011, 39, D342-D346
  • Thioesterases: a new perspective based on their primary and tertiary structures
    DC Cantu, Y Chen, PJ Reilly
    Protein Science, 2010, 19, 1281-1295