Physical, Theoretical, and Computational Chemistry

Angela Wilson

John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor

387 CEM

517-353-1111


Research webpage


Primary Research Area

Theoretical and Computational (Th)

Other Area(s) of Interest

Chemical Physics (CP)

Inorganic (In)

Physical (Ph)

Research

(Research Description PDF)

The research in our group focuses upon the development and understanding of computational methodologies, and studies in heavy element chemistry, catalysis, protein modeling, drug design/understanding of disease, metal organic frameworks, green chemistry, and many other areas. One of the great features of theoretical and computational chemistry is that they can be utilized to investigate a broad array of challenges, and our group is engaged in areas including quantum mechanical and quantum dynamical method development, spectroscopic and thermochemical studies of small molecules, protein modeling and drug design, catalysis design, environmental challenges (i.e., CO2, PFAS), heavy element and transition metal chemistry, and mechanical properties of materials of importance in areas such as aircraft design.


Development and understanding of methodologies. Much of our group’s efforts are focused upon the development of ab initio approaches that aim for accurate prediction of thermochemical properties across the periodic table. Included in our efforts has been the development of successful and versatile ab initio composite schemes, called correlation consistent Composite Approaches (ccCA), that provide reduced computational cost (in terms of computer time, memory, and disk space) means to achieve energetic predictions. The approaches are useful for ground-state, excited-state, and transition- state energies, and can be applied to situations where single-reference wavefunctions or where multireference wavefunctions (i.e., bond- breaking, diradicals) are necessary. Included in our work is the development of Gaussian basis sets, providing new additions to the correlation consistent basis set family, and rigorous evaluation of existing and new basis sets. Another area of interest is in gauging the performance of methodologies, such as density functional theory, particularly for situations where there may be few, if any, needed experiments for comparison. Efforts extend across the periodic table, with substantial focus upon the transition metals.

This paper focused upon design strategies for the prediction of pKa of transition metal species. (From J. Comp. Chem. 2020, 41, 171, cover article.)
This paper focused upon design strategies for the prediction of pKa of transition metal species. (From J. Comp. Chem. 2020, 41, 171, cover article.)


Heavy element chemistry. The complexity of the heavy elements results in their great utility in applications from cell phones to stealth technology. We are developing a better under- standing of the fundamental properties of heavy element species, as well as the methodologies needed to describe their energetic and spectroscopic properties, and utilizing this knowledge in areas such as separation science and the development of new methodologies for heavy elements.
Quantum dynamics. A part of our group’s efforts focus on time-dependent quantum mechanical approaches across the periodic table. Of particular interest in addition to our development of methodologies is the study of light-driven phenomena.

The spin  density difference and the participating orbitals in a light-induced spin flip in FeCO determined using a newly developed time-dependent spin-orbit coupling configuration approach from our group, designed to describe quantum dynamical phenomena. (From Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys.  2019, 21, 7265; back cover article.)
The spin  density difference and the participating orbitals in a light-induced spin flip in FeCO determined using a newly developed time-dependent spin-orbit coupling configuration approach from our group, designed to describe quantum dynamical phenomena. (From Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys.  2019, 21, 7265; back cover article.)


Catalysis. Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis are of interest, and we investigate a broad range of catalytic reactions, including water-gas shift reactions and reactions of importance in the breakdown of lignin. We also have interest in novel electrocatalysts.


Drug design /understanding disease and biological function. In partnerships including one with a pharmaceutical company, we are considering small molecule binding cavities, utilizing docking techniques and other approaches for the design and understanding at the molecular level of potential pharmaceuticals that could be important in a number of diseases. We also are investigating structure activity relationships, the role of signal transduction cascades in disease, and approaches to modulate biological functions.

Probing the impact of the glycan chain and core peptide on biological functions, in partnership with Prof. Huang's group (Chem. Sci. 2020, 11, 6393, back cover article).
Probing the impact of the glycan chain and core peptide on biological functions, in partnership with Prof. Huang’s group (Chem. Sci. 2020, 11, 6393, back cover article).


Environmental and sustainable chemistry. The strategies that are used in drug-design are also important in understanding the interaction of potential environmental contaminants. Classical, quantum mechanical, statistical mechanical, and machine learning approaches, including materials modeling approaches, are used to study potential contaminants such as CO2 and PFAS compounds and routes for possible mitigation, and works with the MSU Power Plant, and other partners.

Selected Publications

Coupled Electron and Nuclear Motion in Strong Laser Fields, L.E. Aebersold, I.S. Ulusoy, and A.K. Wilson, Phys. Rev. A 2019, 100, 023406.

Correlation Consistent Basis Sets Designed for Density Functional Theory: Second-Row (Al-Ar), A. Mahler, J.J. Determan, and A.K. Wilson, J. Chem. Phys. 2019, 151, 064110.

Prediction of pKa of Late Transition Metal Hydrides via a QM/QM Approach, P. Patel, J. Wang, and A.K. Wilson, J. Comp. Chem. 2020, 41, 171.

Spin Trapping and Flipping in FeCO through Relativistic Electron Dynamics, I. Ulusoy and A.K. Wilson, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2019, 21, 7265.

Theoretical Studies of Two Key Low-Lying Carbenes of C5H2 Missing in the Laboratory, V. Thimmakondu, I. Ulusoy, A.K. Wilson, and A. Karton, J. Phys. Chem. A 2019, 123, 6618.

Domain-Based Local Pair Natural Orbital Methods within the correlation consistent Composite Approach, P. Patel and A.K. Wilson, Journal of Comp. Chem. 2020, 41, 800-831.

A Novel Series of Cysteine Dependent, Allosteric Inverse Agonists of the Nuclear Receptor RORgt, M. Visnick, X. Jiang; I. Dulubova; S.A Reisman; M. Hotema; C.-Y.I. Lee; L. Liu; L. McCauley; I. Trevino; D.A Ferguson; Y. Eken; A.K. Wilson; W.C Wigley, Bioorg. & Med. Chem. Lett. 2020, 30, 126967.

SAMPL6 LogP Challenge: Machine Learning and Quantum Mechanical Approaches, P. Patel, D.M. Kuntz, M.R. Jones, B. Brooks, and A.K. Wilson, J. Comp.-Aided Mol. Des. 2020, 34, 495-510.

Is a High Photoluminescence Quantum Yield Good Enough for OLEDs? Can Luminescence Rigidochromism Be Manifest in the Solid State? An Optoelectronic Device Screening Case Study for Diphosphine/Pyrazolate Copper(I) Complexes, M.A. Omary, J.J. Determan, C.S. Palehepitiya Gamage, P. Sinha, V.A. Nesterov, A.K. Wilson, and H.V. Rasika Dias, Comments on Inorg. Chem. 2020, 40:1, 1-24.

CV

B.S., 1990, Eastern Washington University

Ph.D., 1995, University of Minnesota

DOE/AWU Postdoctoral Fellow, 1995-97, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Research Scientist/Research Assistant Professor, 1998-2000, University of Oklahoma

Adjunct Professor, 1998-1999; Assistant Professor, 1999-2000, Oklahoma Baptist University

Assistant Professor, 2000-05; Associate Professor, 2005-09; Professor, 2009-2011; Regents Professor, 2011-2016, University of North Texas

Director, Center for Advanced Scientific Computing and Modeling, 2005-2016, University of North Texas

Associate Vice Provost for Faculty, 2015-2016, University of North Texas

Division Director (Head), Division of ​Chemistry, National Science Foundation, 2016-2018

Awards/Honors

2018 Michigan Women's Hall of Fame Michigan Women Forward
2015 Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal American Chemical Society
2014 Wilfred T. Doherty Award Dallas-Ft. Worth Section of the American Chemical Society
2013 Distinguished Woman in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry)
2013 Fellow American Physical Society
2012 Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science
2010 Quantum Systems in Chemistry and Physics Promising Scientist Award Centre de Mécanique Ondulatoire Appliquée
2010 Fellow American Chemical Society
2007 National Associate National Academies
2003 Young Investigator Award Wiley International Journal of Quantum Chemistry
2003 CAREER Award National Science Foundation