James Patterson. Assistant Professor
Chemistry Building 256
(205) 975-9146

Research and Teaching Interests: Inorganic Chemistry, Biophysical Chemistry, Quantum Mechanics, Molecular Mechanics, Molecular Dynamics

Office Hours: By appointment

  • BA, Carleton College
  • PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, University of Alabama at Birmingham

I have lived most of my life in the Midwest and the South. I have always been most interested in science, math, and computing. In graduate school, I did computational research in the group of Dr. Peter Ford whose research is primarily inorganic photochemistry. It was there that I witnessed how computational research could complement bench-top results to enhance our understanding of chemical structures and reactions.

After graduate school I did a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Jere Segrest in the department of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at UAB. I learned the fundamentals of molecular dynamics from Dr. Segrest’s long-time colleague Dr. Stephen Harvey, and I performed molecular dynamics simulations on lipid-bound apolipoproteins to gain a better understanding of their dynamic structures and interactions.

After my postdoctoral fellowship I joined the Chemistry Department at UAB. My research primarily focuses on using computational methods to understand the mechanisms that give rise to the misfolding and aggregation of proteins that are implicated in neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. My teaching responsibilities include the first-year general chemistry courses for undergraduate science majors. I have also taught group theory and molecular orbital theory as part of our department’s foundations courses for graduate students.

My research is focused on using quantum mechanics and molecular dynamics to study proteins implicated in neurological disorders. My students and I perform quantum mechanics calculations to obtain accurate data which we use in our dynamics simulations. We use molecular dynamics simulations to study protein interactions with metal ions, small molecules, and biomolecules affect protein misfolding and aggregation. We have primarily studied proteins that are implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. We also use these computational methods to study the dynamic structures and behavior of some proteins and peptides that help prevent atherosclerosis.
  • Introductory Chemistry
  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry II
  • Foundations of Organic & Inorganic Chemistry (co-taught)
  • Pan, L.; Patterson, J. C. Molecular dynamics study of Zn(Aβ) and Zn(Aβ)2. PLoS One. 2013, 8, e70681.
  • Catte, A.; Patterson, J. C.; Jones, M. K.; Jerome, W. G.; Bashtovyy, D.; Su, Z.; Gu, F.; Chen, J.; Aliste, M. P.; Harvey, S. C.; Li, L.; Weinstein, G.; Segrest, J. P.  Biophys. J. 2006, 90, 4345-4360.
  • Catte, A.; Patterson, J. C.; Bashtovyy, D.; Jones, M. K.; Gu, F.; Li, L.; Rampioni, A.; Sengupta, D.; Vuorela, T.; Niemelä, P.; Karttunen, M.; Marrink, S. J.; Vattulainen, I.; Segrest, J. P. Biophys. J. 2008, 94, 2306-2309.
  • Gu, F.; Jones, M. K.; Chen, J.; Patterson, J. C.; Catte, A.; Jerome, W. G.; Li, L.; Segrest, J. P. J. Biol. Chem. 2010, 285, 4652-4665.
  • Jones, M. K.; Catte, A.; Patterson, J. C.; Gu, F.; Chen, J.; Li, L.; Segrest, J. P. Biophys. J. 2009, 96, 354-371.
  • Segrest, J. P.; Jones, M. K.; Catte, A.; Manchekar, M.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, R.; Li, L.; Patterson, J. C.; Palgunachari, M. N.; Oram, J. F.; Ren, G.  Structure 2015, 23, 1214-1226.
  • Jackson, P. L.; Noerager, B. D.; Jablonsky, M. J.; Hardison, M. T.; Cox, B. D.; Patterson, J. C.; Dhanapal, B.; Blalock, J. E.; Muccio, D. D.  Eur. J. Pharmacol. 2011, 668, 435-442.
  • Kurtikyan, T. S.; Hovhannisyan, A. A.; Hakobyan, M. E.; Patterson, J. C.; Iretskii, A.; Ford, P. C.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 3576-3586.
  • Patterson, J. C.; Lorković, I. M.; Ford, P. C. Inorg. Chem. 2003, 42, 4902-4908.