Alexander Pines is the Glenn T. Seaborg Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and Principal Investigator in the Materials Sciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In 1972, he obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics at MIT and joined the faculty at Berkeley. Pines was awarded the Wolf Prize for chemistry in 1991. Among his numerous other honors, he has received the Langmuir Award of the American Chemical Society and the Farraday Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (London); he is Doctor Honoris Causa at the University of Paris and the University of Rome, and past President of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance. A renowned educator, Pines has been recognized by receiving the University of California Distinguished Teaching Award; and has been mentor to generations of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows worldwide, the self-dubbed "Pinenuts".
Pines is a pioneer in the development of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, particularly for solids. His innovations include contributions to multiple-pulse coherent averaging, time-reversal of dipolar couplings, cross- polarizations, multiple quantum coherence, multidimensional spectroscopy, and zero-field NMR.
Applications of his widely used techniques range from catalyst and polymers to liquid crystals and biomolecules. Recently, Pines has introduced a novel approach to high-resolution "ex-situ" spectroscopy and imaging; he has also further enhanced NMR and its offspring, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), using laser-polarized noble gases and superconducting (SQUID) detectors, with applications extending from chemistry and physics to materials science and biomedicine.