Dr. Jeremy Kua
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Office: SCST 381
Phone: (619) 260-7970
e-mail Address:

Academic Background
B.A., Reed College
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology

Where to find me: I am away on sabbatical for the AY19-20 academic year. The best way to reach me is via e-mail (responses may be slower).

Courses Taught in Spring 2019
CHEM152H   General Chemistry II Lecture (Honors)
CHEM312    Physical Chemistry II (Statistical Thermodynamics and Kinetics)

Sample Course Web Pages from Previous Years

Research Interests: Computational Chemistry
Main interest: Self-assembly and Self-organizing systems, Origin of Life Chemistry
Other interests:
   Organometallic catalysis; methane activation.
   Reactions of small molecules on metal surfaces; heterogeneous catalysis; fuel cells.
   Enzyme catalysis; ligand-receptor interactions in proteins.

What is computational chemistry? Look at some of the Introduction links in my Resources for Computational Chemistry page.

What is self-assembly? Here's what Wikipedia says. See some nice pictures and descriptions of self-assembly in the kitchen and more.

Current/potential projects for 2018-19
Interested in working on a research project in computational chemistry? Come by my office and talk to me. [Potential credit for Chem 496 during the semester; funding available during the summer.]

At present, the predominant activity of the Kua research group is the construction of Free Energy Maps for prebiotic chemistry.
In particular, we are:
1. Generating baseline maps for the co-oligomerization and reactions of small mlecules involved in prebiotic chemistry.
2. Studying how environmental changes (pH, concentration, temperature, presence of ions in solution) away from standard conditions perturb the free energies.
3. Developing a Group Addivity scheme for free energies of polar organics in aqueous solution.
Two other areas of interest that are getting started:
4. Developing a quantitative measure of molecular complexity.
5. Analyzing the sustainability of proto-metabolic systems.

Kua Research Lab Members Only Login here

External Research funding:
Camille & Henry Dreyfus Faculty Start-up Award (2004-2010)
Research Corporation CCSA (2005-2007)
ACS-Petroleum Research Fund (2007-2010)
Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2011-2017)


Computational Research Experience (i.e., projects I've worked on throughout my career)

A Few Interesting Science Links

Snail Mail Address
Dr. Jeremy Kua
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110

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