Biophysical Chemistry, Quantum Biology

Contact Information

Office: 255
Lab:  Rooms 244, 252
Phone Office: (406) 994 -1782
Phone Lab: (406) 994 - 1781
Chemistry and Biochemistry Building
P.O. Box 173400
Bozeman, MT 59717

Education and Experience

  • Concordia College, B.A. Chemistry, (1995-1999)
  • Montana State University, Ph.D. Chemistry (1999-2005)
  • University of Denver, Postdoctoral (2006-2008)
  • University of Colorado Health Science Center, Postdoctoral (2006-2008)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology, Postdoctoral (2008-2010)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology, Senior Scientist (2010-2014)
  • University of Colorado – Boulder, Research Faculty (2010-2014)

Awards and Professional Activities

  • Ough Family Scholarship in Mathematics, Concordia College, (1998)
  • Chemistry Honors, Concordia College, (1999)
  • NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Fellow, (2000-2005)
  • Student Travel Award, 27th International EPR Symposium, Denver, CO
  • National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, NIST – Boulder (2008-2010)
  • American Heart Association Scientific Development Grant (2015-2019).

Selected Publications

Spin Biochemistry Modulates Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) Production by Radio Frequency Magnetic Fields, Robert J. Usselman, Iain Hill, David Singel, and Carlos Martino, PLoS ONE 9(3), e93065 (2014).

Gadolinium-Loaded Viral Capsids as Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agents, Robert J. Usselman, Shefah Qazi, Priyanka Aggarwal, Sandra Eaton, Gareth Eaton, Trevor Douglas, and Stephen Russek, Applied Magnetic Resonance 46 (3), 349-355 (2015).  doi.10.1007/s00723-014-0639-y

Temperature Dependence of Electron Magnetic Resonance Spectra of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Mineralized in Listeria Innocua Protein Cages, Robert J. Usselman, Stephen E. Russek, Michael Klem, Mark Allen, Trevor Douglas, Mark Young, Yves Idzerda, and David Singel, Journal of Applied Physics 112, 084701 (2012).

Monitoring Structural Transitions in Icosahedral Virus Protein Cages by Site-Directed Spin Labeling, Robert J. Usselman, Eric D. Walter, Debbie Willits, Trevor Douglas, Mark Young, and David J. Singel, Journal of American Chemical Society, 133 (12), 4156-4159 (2011). doi.10.1021/ja107650c 

Impact of Mutations on Redox Potentials, g-Values, and Spin-Lattice Relaxation Rates of the [4Fe-4S]2+,1+ Cluster in ETF-QO, Robert J. Usselman, Alistair Fielding, Frank E. Frerman, Nick Watmough, Gareth R. Eaton, and Sandra S. Eaton, Biochemistry. 47 (1), 92-100 (2008).  doi.10.1021/bi701859s

Research Summary

The overarching theme of the Usselman research program is to use advance magnetic resonance and optical techniques to address bio-physical chemistry problems in the areas of chemical biology, biomaterials, and redox biochemistry.  We aim to develop novel methodologies and instrumentation that address the fundamental gap in knowledge between physical measurements and theoretical models for bio-engineered systems operating at the quantum/classical interface.  We seek to understand how quantum properties play governing roles in biological function and apply theory-driven predictions of quantum biology for multi-scale integration of cellular function.