Jessica M Swanson portrait
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department Of Biochemistry
  • Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Research Summary

In the Swanson Group we use multiscale simulations to understand biological processes. We are especially excited about biological methane capture and conversion to help address near-term warming. We use and develop a range of methods, from MD simulations to Multiscale Kinetic Modeling (MKM), to access the relevant time and length scales needed for mechanistic insight. Put simply, we aim to explain how important biomolecular systems work in order to enable societal advances.


  • BS, Biochemistry, University of California at Davis. Project: “In silico characterization of cytochrome c oxidase, a redox-driven proton pump”
  • PhD, Physical Chemistry, University of California at San Diego. Project: “Characterizing Biomolecular Recognition and Solvation…”


Dr. Jessica Swanson is a theoretical biophysical chemist in the Henry Eyring Center for Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Utah. She started as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry in July 2019 and thereafter became a member of the Biological Chemistry Program and the Center for Cell and Genome Science. She obtained her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at the University of California, San Diego in 2006, under the direction of Professor Andrew McCammon. She then received an NIH NRSA Ruth Kirschtein Postdoctoral Fellowship to work under the supervision of Jack Simons at the University of Utah from 2006 to 2009. Following this, she worked at Argonne National Lab and the University of Chicago from 2010 to 2019. Her research blends multiscale modeling and simulation methods to probe biological and condensed phase systems at the molecular level to probe medically- and environmentally-relevant processes. She has expertise in multiscale simulations (reactive and molecular dynamics), enhanced free energy sampling methods, biomembrane simulations, and multiscale kinetic modelling.