Timothy A. Jackson

Timothy Jackson
  • Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Department Phone:
3112 ISB (CDS1)
1567 Irving Hill Rd
Lawrence, KS 66045


Nature uses metalloenzymes containing Mn, Fe, or Cu and oxidants such as molecular oxygen and hydrogen peroxide to carry out remarkable oxidative transformations that are both vital for life and fascinating from a fundamental perspective. The study of such transformations lies at the heart of bioinorganic chemistry. Our research focuses on unraveling the reactivity of manganese-dependent enzymes that catalyze oxidative degradation reactions using molecular oxygen or hydrogen peroxide as oxidants. These reactions also provide the inspiration for our synthetic projects, which include the design of small molecule bleaching catalysts for use in fabric and/or textile applications. Our laboratory uses a combination of i) reactivity studies of metal ion complexes and enzymes, ii) detailed spectroscopic characterization of transition metal species, particularly unstable intermediates that cannot be characterized using X-ray crystallographic methods, and iii) computational chemistry (see scheme). Spectroscopic methods used in our research include electronic absorption (UV-vis), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), and magnetic circular dichroism (MCD) spectroscopies. These tools are particularly powerful when used in conjunction with computational methods, as they permit the characterization of the geometric and electronic structures of fleeting intermediates too unstable to be characterized using standard crystallographic methods. By applying this three-pronged approach to both metalloenzymes and transition metal complexes, we will gain detailed insight into how nature uses molecular oxygen and manganese to oxidize substrates and develop transition metal complexes that can perform "green" oxidation reactions.

Research interests:

  • Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • Biomimetic Chemistry
  • Biophysical Chemistry

Selected Publications

Leto, Domenick F, Allyssa A Massie, Derek B Rice, and Timothy A Jackson. “Spectroscopic and Computational Investigations of a Mononuclear Manganese(IV)-Oxo Complex Reveal Electronic Structure Contributions to Reactivity.” Journal Articles. Journal of the American Chemical Society 138 (October 1, 2016): 15413–15424.
Rice, Derek B, Gayan B Wijeratne, Andrew D Burr, Joshua D Parham, Victor W Day, and Timothy A Jackson. “Steric and Electronic Influence on Proton-Coupled Electron-Transfer Reactivity of a Mononuclear Mn(III)-Hydroxo Complex.” Journal Articles. Inorganic Chemistry 55 (July 4, 2016): 8110–20.
Leto, Domenick F, Allyssa A Massie, Hannah E Colmer, and Timothy A Jackson. “X-Band Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Comparison of Mononuclear MnIV-Oxo and MnIV-Hydroxo Complexes and Quantum Chemical Investigation of MnIV Zero-Field Splitting.” Journal Articles. Inorganic Chemistry 55 (March 22, 2016): 3272–82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.5b02309.
Colmer, Hannah E, Anthony W Howcroft, and Timothy A Jackson. “Formation, Characterization, and O-O Bond Activation of a Peroxomanganese(III) Complex Supported by a Cross-Clamped Cyclam Ligand.” Journal Articles. Inorganic Chemistry 55 (February 23, 2016): 2055–69. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.5b02398.
Wijeratne, Gayan B, Eva M Zolnhofer, Skye Fortier, Lauren N Grant, Patrick J Carroll, Chun-Hsing Chen, Karsten Meyer, et al. “Electronic Structure and Reactivity of a Well-​Defined Mononuclear Complex of Ti(II).” Journal Articles. Inorganic Chemistry 54 (September 9, 2015): 10380–97.

Awards & Honors

Sutton Family Research Impact Award Recipient


Silver Anniversary Teaching Award, University of Kansas




ACS Young Investigator Award – Division of Inorganic Chemistry


Inorganic Chemistry Research Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison