Description: Description: Description: JC and Governer Kaine


Welcome to the Poutsma Group
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J. C. Poutsma

Garrett-Robb-Guy Professor of Chemistry

Air Force Summer Faculty Fellow 2005,2019

Garrett-Robb-Guy Chair 2017-2022

English-Stonehouse Faculty Fellow 2013-2015

2011 Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence

2008 Professeur Invitee, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie
2006 Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar
2004 NSF CAREER Award

B.S., Furman University 1991 
Ph.D., Purdue University 1997
Research Associate, Stanford University 1997-99

(757)-221-2548; e-mail:

Courses        Research Interests    Current Students  
  Current Funding     Mass Spectrometry Links



Chem. 103 General Chemistry

Chem. 302, Second Semester Physical Chemistry

Chem. 303 Integrated physical/analytical lab I

Chem. 304 Integrated physical/analytical lab II

Chem. 309, Principles of Instrumental Analysis (Fall 2021)

Chem. 404, Advanced Analytical Chemistry

Chem. 408 Computational Methods in Chemistry

Chem. 456 Mass Spectrometry (Spring 2022)

Research Interests


We use mass spectrometry and high-level theoretical calculations to study the intrinsic properties of gas-phase biomolecules.  We are especially interested in the chemistry of so called “non-protein amino acids”, which are naturally-occurring compounds that are not coded by RNA. These species serve as model systems for us to understand the subtle interplay between structure and function in biological molecules.


Current projects in the lab include:


1)  Gas-phase thermochemistry of protein and non-protein amino acid using the extended kinetic method.

2)  Peptide fragmentation mechanisms

3)  Hydrogen-deuterium exchange of biomolecules

4)  Infrared multiphoton dissociation spectroscopy

5)  Studies of entropy effects in the kinetic method

6)  Proteomics studies of bacteriophages and mycobacteria


We have a variety of instrumentation in our lab, including:

Image result for Thermo LTQ xl with ETD

Image result for Thermo TSQ quantum ultra

Shimadzu UPLC – Thermo LTQ-XL with ETD

TSQ quantum classic triple quadrupole

2 LCQ DECA ion traps










Current Students

Research Group (Poutsma's Army)
Fall 2021

Image may contain: 1 person, sunglasses and closeup

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

Hao Qian

 Henry Cardwell

Sophie Messenger

Daria Moody

B.S. 2018 Univ. Liverpool, MS candidate

Class of 2022

Class of 2022

Class of 2022

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor

Anna Grace Towler

Nihal Patel

Class of 2022

Class of 2024


Former Students (Rogue's Gallery)


Group Photos

Summer 2014

Twins Game 2013

ASMS 2013

ASMS 2013 (w/ Fred McLafferty)

ASMS 2013



W&M UG symposium 2011

ASMS 2010

ASMS 2002

Students in timeout box

Charlotte under timeout table

more students in timeout box

safety first when in the box

safety first when working at the hood

Rita and Corbin working hard

LN2 ice cream (bacon flavor)

The Red Iguana in Salt Lake City

moose guarding the gate valves

group at King’s Dominion

Current Funding

National Science Foundation CSDM-B  CHE-1800137 (2018-2021)



William and Mary Students are Underlined

46.       Toward a Quantitative Analysis of the Temperature Dependence of Electron Attachment of SF6 Poutsma, J. C.; Shuman, N. S.; Miller, T.; Troe,* J.; Viggiano, A.A. J. Chem. Phys., 2020, 152, 124302.

45.       Hydrogen-Bonded Tetramers of Carbamazepine” Silski, A.; Petersen, J.; Liu, J.; Turner, G.A.; Poutsma, J. C.; Kandel*, S. A. J. Phys. Chem. C, 2020 124, 5213.

44.       Catalytic Oxidation of CO by N2O Enabled by Al2O2/3+: Temperature-Dependent Kinetics and Statistical Modelling” Sweeny, B. C.; McDonald III, D. C.; Poutsma, J. L.; Poutsma, J. C.; Shuman, N.S.; Ard, S. G.; Viggiano, A. A. J. Phys. Chem. A, 2020 124, 1705.

43.       “Redefining the Mechanism of O2 Etching of Aln Super Atoms: An Early Barrier Controls Reactivity, Analogous to Surface Oxidation” Sweeny, B. C; McDonald III, D. C.; Poutsma, J. C.; Ard, S. G; Viggiano, A. A.; Shuman, N. S. J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2020, 11, 217.

42        Effect of 172 nm UV Irradiation on Polyimide and its Application in Surface Modification by Grafting”, Das, L. Poutsma, J. C., Kelly*, M. J., High Performance Polym., 2020, 32 761.

41.       How Oxygen Availability Affects the Antimicrobial Efficacy of Host Defense Peptides: Lessons Learned from Studying the Copper-binding Peptides Piscidins 1 and 3”Oludiran, A.; Courson, D. S.; Stewart, M. D.; Radwan, A.; Poutsma, J. C.; Cotton, M. L*, Purcell, E. B.* Int. J. Mol. Sci., 2019, 20, 5289.

40.       “Spectroscopic Evidence of Lactam Formation in Terminal Ornithine b2+ and b3+ Fragment Ions” Smith, Z.M.; Wang, X.; Scheerer, J. R.; Martens, J.; Berden, G.; Oomens, J.; Steinmetz, V.; Somogyi, A.; Wysocki, V.; Poutsma*, J. C. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 2019, 30, 1565.

39        “Infrared Multiple Photon Dissociation Spectroscopy of Cationized Canavanine: Side-Chain Substitution Influences Gas-Phase Zwitterion Formation.Smith, Z. M.; Steinmetz, V.; Martens, J.; Oomens, J.; Poutsma*, J. C. Int. J. Mass Spectrom., 2018, 429, 158.

38.       Metal Substitution and Solvomorphism in Alkylthiolate-Bridged Zn3 and HgZn2 Metal Clusters.” Hallinger, M. R.; Gerhard, A. C.; Ritz, M. D.; Sacks, J. S.; Poutsma, J. C.; Pike, R. D.; Wojtas, L.; Bebout*, D. C. ACS Omega 2017, 2, 6391.

37.       C–HO Hydrogen Bonding in Pentamers of Isatin.Silski, A. M.; Brown, R. D.; Petersen, J. P.; Coman, J. M.; Turner, D. A.; Smith, Z. M.; Corcelli, S. A.; Poutsma, J. C.; Kandel*, S. A. J. Phys. Chem. C. 2017,  121, 21520.

36.       “Infrared Multiple-photon Dissociation Action Spectroscopy of the b2+ ion from PPG: Evidence of third residue affecting b2+ fragment structure.” Poutsma*, J.C.; Martens, J.; Oomens J.; Maitre, P.; Steinmetz, V.; Bernier, M.; Jia, M.; Wysocki*, V. H. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 2017, 28, 1482-1488.

35.       “Infrared Spectroscopic Confirmation of α-Lactone Formation in the Dissociation of a Gaseous Amino Acid”, Wenthold*, P. G.;  Koirala,D.; Somogyi, A.; Poutsma, J. C. J. Phys. Org. Chem., 2017, 30, e3606.

34.        Investigation of Proton Affinities, Dimer Equilibria, and Gas Phase Vibrational Spectra of Protonated Nucleosides, Deoxynucleosides, and Their Analogues” Ung, H. U.; Arias, E.; Huynh, K. T.; Poutsma, J. C.; Oomens, J.; Berden, G.; Morton, T. H. Int. J. Mass Spectrom., 2015, 378, 294.

33.        Gas-Phase Acid-Base Properties of 1-Aminocycloalkane-1-Carboxylic Acids from the     Extended Kinetic Method.Muetterties, C; Drissi Touzani, A.; Hardee, I.; Huynh, K. T.; and Poutsma, J. C. Int. J. Mass Spectrom., 2015, 378, 59.

32.        “Investigations of the Mechanism of the "Proline Effect" in Mass Spectrometry Peptide Fragmentation Experiments: the “Pipecolic Acid Effect.” Raulfs, M. M.; Breci, L.; Bernier, M., Hamdy, O.; Janiga, A.;Wysocki., V.; Poutsma, J. C.  J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 2014, 25, 1705.

31.        Gas-Phase Acid-Base Properties of Homocysteine, Homoserine, 5-Mercaptonorvaline, and 5-Hydroxynorvaline from the Extended Kinetic Method.” Muetterties, C.; Janiga, A.;  Huynh, K. T.; Pisano, M. G.; Tripp, V. T.; Young, D. D.; and Poutsma, J. C. Int. J. Mass Spectrom., 2014, 369, 71.

30.        “Macrocyclic (CdS)6 Bis-carbonato Complex Self-Assembly” Lai, W.; Berry, S.; Tran, A.; Kaplin, W.; Hain, M.; Poutsma, J.; Butcher, R.; Pike, R.; Bebout*, D. Inorg. Chem., 2013, 52, 2286.

29.        “Gas-Phase Hydrogen Deuterium Exchange of Lysine Homologs” Arrington, J. V; Straus, R.;  Reynolds, P. F.; Poutsma, J. L.; Marzluff, E. M.; Poutsma, J. C., Int. J. Mass Spectrom., 2012, 330-332, 200.

28.        "Gas-Phase Acidities of Lysine Homologues and Proline Analogs from the Extended Kinetic Method" Webb, I.; Muetterties, C.; Platner, C. B.; Poutsma, J. C Int. J. Mass Spectrom. 2012 316-318, 126.

27.        “A Synthetic Model of Hg(II) Sequestration” Viehweg, J. A.; Stamps, S. M.; Dertinger, J. J.; Green, R. L.; Harris, K. E.; Butcher, R. J.; Andriole, E. J.; Poutsma, J. C.; Berry, S. M.; Bebout*, D. C. J. Chem. Soc. Dalton Trans 201039, 3174.

26.        “The Curtin-Hammett Principle in Mass Spectrometry  Haupert, L.; Poutsma*, J. C.; Wenthold*, P. G. Acc. Chem. Res., 2009, 42, 1480.

25.        “IRMPD Spectroscopy Shows That AGG Forms an Oxazolone b2+ Ion” Yoon, S.H; Chamot-Rooke, J; Perkins, B. R.; Hilderbrand, A.; Poutsma, J. C.; Wysocki*, V. H.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 17644.

24.        “Gas Phase Acidities of the 20 Protein Amino Acids” Jones, C. M.; Bernier, M.; Colyer, K. E;  Carson, E.; Metz, R. Pawlow, A; Webb, I. K.; Wischow, E. D.; Andriole, E. J.; Poutsma, J. C.  Int. J. Mass Spectrom, 2007, 267, 54.

23.        “Are Carboxyl Groups the Most Acidic Sites in Amino Acids?  Gas Phase Acidity, H/D Exchange Experiments, and Computations on Cysteine and It’s Conjugate Base” Tian, Z.; Pawlow, A.; Poutsma*, J. C.;   Kass*, Steven R. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 5403.



Mass Spectrometry Links

NIST Webbook

Personal stuff

Some silly music

Versailles pictures

Siena Pictures
pictures from Governor Kaine's visit to my lab