Heather J. Kulik

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Transition-metal centers are the active sites for a broad variety of biological and inorganic chemical reactions. Notwithstanding this central importance, density-functional theory calculations based on generalized-gradient approximations often fail to describe energetics, multiplet structures, reaction barriers, and geometries around the active sites. We(More)
Enzymatic methyl transfer, catalyzed by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), is investigated using binding isotope effects (BIEs), time-resolved fluorescence lifetimes, Stokes shifts, and extended graphics processing unit (GPU)-based quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approaches. The WT enzyme is compared with mutants at Tyr68, a conserved(More)
Both first-principles molecular dynamics and theoretical X-ray absorption spectroscopy have been used to investigate the aqueous solvation of cations in 0.5 M MgCl(2), CaCl(2), and NaCl solutions. We focus here on the species-specific effects that Mg(2+), Ca(2+), and Na(+) have on the X-ray absorption spectrum of the respective solutions. For the divalent(More)
Biological systems rely on recyclable materials resources such as amino acids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids. When biomaterials are damaged as a result of aging or stress, tissues undergo repair by a depolymerization-repolymerization sequence of remodelling. Integration of this concept into synthetic materials systems may lead to devices with extended(More)
Structural properties of over 55 small proteins have been determined using both density-based and wave-function-based electronic structure methods in order to assess the ability of ab initio "force fields" to retain the properties described by experimental structures measured with crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance. The efficiency of the(More)
We present a detailed analysis of the addition-elimination reaction pathways for the gas-phase conversion of molecular hydrogen and methane on FeO(+) to water and methanol, respectively, using first-principles calculations. These two reactions represent paradigmatic, challenging test cases for electronic structure approaches to transition-metal catalysis.(More)
We present a systematic first-principles study of the equilibrium bond lengths, harmonic frequencies, dissociation energies, ground state symmetries, and spin state splittings of 22 diatomic molecules comprised of a first-row 3d transition-metal and a main-group element (H, C, N, O, or F). Diatomic molecules are building blocks of the key molecular bonding(More)
We estimate the prediction sensitivity with respect to Hartree-Fock exchange in approximate density functionals for representative Fe(II) and Fe(III) octahedral complexes. Based on the observation that the range of parameters spanned by the most widely employed functionals is relatively narrow, we compute electronic structure property and spin-state(More)
Piecewise linearity of the energy with respect to fractional electron removal or addition is a requirement of an electronic structure method that necessitates the presence of a derivative discontinuity at integer electron occupation. Semi-local exchange-correlation (xc) approximations within density functional theory (DFT) fail to reproduce this behavior,(More)
Many people in the materials science and solid-state community are familiar with the acronym "DFT+U." For those less familiar, this technique uses ideas from model Hamiltonians that permit the description of both metals and insulators to address problems of electron over-delocalization in practical implementations of density functional theory (DFT).(More)