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Maria C. Nagan, Professor of Practice

Associate Dean for Curriculum, College of Arts and Sciences



B.S. 1997, Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA)
Ph.D. 2001, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

435 Chemistry, 631-632-5793




The Nagan lab employs computational methods to understand how chemical functional groups affect RNA  structure and recognition.  Dr. Nagan's lab made entirely of undergraduate and high school students.

Visit The Nagan Group Website


Dr. Nagan is the director for two undergraduate research programs:

Chemistry REU Site - supported by NSF CHE-2050541

Velay Program - supported by the Panaphil Foundation


ACS COMP Co-chair Programming, Amber Software Executive Committee, Mercury Executive Committee


Godfrey Excellence in Teaching Award, Fellow of the American Chemical Society, McNair Mentor Hall of Fame, Walker and Doris Allen Fellowship for Faculty Excellence


1. Anderson, K., Arradondo, S., Ball, K.A., Bruce, C., Gomez, M.A., He, K., Hendrickson, H., Madison, L., Ringer McDonald, A., Nagan, M.C., Scott, C.E., Soto, P., Tomlinson, A., Varner, M. and Parish, C. “The Impacts of the Molecular Education and Research Consortium in Undergraduate Computational Chemistry on the Careers of Women in Computational Chemistry” J. Chem. Inf. Model, 2022,62(24), 6316-6322.
2. Maddula, V., Rotenberg, S. A. and Nagan, M.C. “Computational Studies of the α/ß-Tubulin Heterodimeric Interface in Microtubules: The Impact of Phosphorylation of Ser165 in α-Tubulin” Biochemistry, 2022, 61(14), 1508-1516. Supplemental Cover. 
3. Nagan, M.C. “Using a Lab Wiki for Longevity and Knowledge Transfer in Undergraduate Research” International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, 2020,120 (20), e26262.
4. Palermo, G.; Armacost, K.A. and Nagan, M.C. “Women Make COMP: Mentoring the Next Generation of Women in Computational Chemistry” J. Chem. Inf. Model, 2019, 59, 4061-4062.
5. Witts, R.N.;Hopson, E.C.; Koballa, D.E.; Van Boening, T.A.; Hopkins, N.H.; Patterson, E.V. and Nagan, M.C. “Backbone-Base Interactions Critical to Quantum Stabilization of Transfer RNA Anticodon Structure” J. Phys. Chem. B, 2013, 117, 7489-7497.
6. Michael, L.A.; Chenault, J.A.; Miller III, B.R.; Knolhoff, A.M. and Nagan, M.C. “Water, Shape-Recognition, Salt Bridges and Pi-Cation Interactions Differentiate Peptide Recognition of the HIV Rev-Responsive Element” J. Mol. Biol.  2009, 392, 774-786.
7. McCrate, N.E.; Varner, M.E.; Kim, K.I. and Nagan, M.C. “Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Human tRNALys,3UUU: The Role of Modified Bases in mRNA Recognition” Nucleic Acids Res.2006, 34, 5361-5368.