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James Mazzuca


Associate Professor of Chemistry



Contact Info

(989) 463-7131

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Dr. Mazzuca joined the Chemistry Department at Alma College in 2014. His area of expertise is physical chemistry, which is the study of chemical phenomena using the tools of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics. Dr. Mazzuca’s research involves using computational models to gain a detailed understanding of chemical processes such as those that affect mutations in our DNA, industrial chemical processes, charge transport in enzymes, the efficacy of cancer treatment drug candidates and physical properties of nanomaterials. The tools of a physical chemist have broad applications to other areas of chemistry, and research students are always encouraged to pursue projects that interest them. Dr. Mazzuca especially enjoys teaching the first-year chemistry course CHM-115 Chemical Analysis, as well as the upper-level physical chemistry courses CHM-331 Chemical Thermodynamics and CHM-332 Quantum Chemistry.

Educational Background:

  • B.A., Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (2009)
  • Ph.D., University of South Carolina (2014)

Signature Courses:
Chemical Analysis; Chemical Thermodynamics; Quantum Chemistry.

Recent Work and Accomplishments

Mazzuca, J. W., Reilly, K. S., Weber, B. P., Spaulding, B. T., & Gottschalk, G. M. (2023). Intermediate-Catalyzed Mechanism for the Bromination of Alkenes. Comput. Theor. Chem., 1228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comptc.2023.114285

Mazzuca, J.W., Hanna, M. C., Loftus, C. L., & Seymour, S. R. (2021). Theoretical Investigation of the Preferential Hydrolytic Deamination of Cytosine over Adenine. Comput. Theor. Chem. 1203. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comptc.2021.113354.

Mazzuca, J. W., Downing, A. R., & Potter, C. (2019). Empirically Corrected Electronic Structure Calculations Applied to the Enthalpy of Combustion Physical Chemistry Laboratory. J. Chem. Educ. 96, 1165-1170 https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.9b00019

Mazzuca, J. W., & Haut, N. K. (2018). Theoretical description of quantum mechanical permeation of graphene membranes by charged hydrogen isotopes. J. Chem. Phys. 148. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5027821

Mazzuca, J. W., & Schultz, C. P. (2017). Quantum Mechanical Enhancement of Rate Constants and Kinetic Isotope Effects for Water-Mediated Proton Transfer in a Model Biological System. J. Phys. Chem. A. 121, 819-826. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpca.6b10337