The Jackson Lab is a theoretical materials chemistry research group that integrates quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and machine learning to characterize the multiscale structure and function of soft materials.

Research in the group is highly interdisciplinary. Students will learn a variety of theoretical and computational chemistry tools, including quantum chemical and model hamiltonian electronic structure calculations, classical molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo, coarse-graining, machine learning, and network analysis. The group maintains multiple experimental collaborations that are facilitated by strong affiliations with the Beckman Institute and Molecular Maker Lab Institute. Through these diverse efforts, students are prepared for a broad set of career opportunities, such as those in specialty chemicals/materials, biotech/pharmaceuticals, scientific software, data science, software engineering, consulting, government, national labs, and academia.

We benefit from the plentiful computational resources on campus. Primarily, we use the group cluster, “scruggs”, and the community cluster, “lop”, run out of the School of Chemical Sciences. If further resources are required, we utilize NCSA clusters Delta and Hal or resources nearby at Argonne National Laboratory. 

Graduate Research Opportunities

We are looking for motivated and talented graduate students interested in molecular modeling. We welcome students from Chemistry, Physics, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering. Graduate students who have been admitted to a Ph.D. program at UIUC are encouraged to contact Prof. Jackson (jacksonn@illinois.edu) directly at any time. Previous experience in computer programming and molecular simulation is desirable but not required. A strong background and interest in mathematics and the physical sciences is required.

Prospective chemistry graduate students interested in the group should apply to the UIUC Chemistry Ph.D. program: https://chemistry.illinois.edu/admissions/graduate-admissions.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Highly motivated undergraduates from all departments are welcome to inquire about research opportunities available in the laboratory. Interested undergraduates should contact Prof. Jackson directly at jacksonn@illinois.edu and should enclose a current (unofficial) transcript and CV. Undergraduates with existing programming experience are particularly welcome. A GPA above 3.3 in chemistry, physics, and mathematics courses will be required to join the research group.

Thomas Remec and Susan Morisato Scholarship in Chemical Data Science

Summer research funding for research at the interface of data science and chemistry. If you are an undergraduate interested in applying for this opportunity please contact Prof. Jackson and provide a (unofficial) transcript and CV.