Michael Fuson

Michael Fuson

Associate Professor Emeritus
Position Type
B.A., Haverford College; M.S., Ph.D., Yale University


Uses NMR spin relaxation and molecular dynamics simulations to study the internal motions of flexible polymers and peptides in solution.

I am interested in internal motion in macromolecules, ranging from synthetic polymers to lipids and peptides. This interest began with my doctoral studies which used NMR spin relaxation to study molecular motion in model biomembranes. Such motions are involved in many of the functional properties of the membranes, such as permeation of small molecules and the interactions of the different membrane components. During my post-doctoral work I began studying the local motions of synthetic polymers in solution. Local motions in polymers are as fast as the motions of small molecules, which is interesting given the huge size of polymer molecules. My own work has focused on characterizing the anisotropy of that motion, with the hope of shedding light on the 3-D details of the motion. Most recently, I have been using both spin relaxation and molecular dynamics simulation to study the internal motion of a small unstructured peptide, leucine enkephalin and to study motion in sterically crowded polymers such as polyisobutylene. It has been exciting to see how experimental and theoretical tools can complement each other in helping to understand molecular motions.




  • M. M. Fuson, “Anisotropic Rotational Diffusion Studied by Nuclear Spin Relaxation and Molecular Dynamics Simulation: An Undergraduate Physical Chemistry Laboratory,” Journal of Chemical Education, 94, 521-525 (2017)
  • J. L. Fantini, M. M. Fuson, and T. A. Evans, “Popping Popcorn Kernels: Expanding Relevance with Linear Thinking,” Journal of Chemical Education, 83, 414-416 (2006).
  • M. M. Fuson, K. H. Hanser, and M. D. Ediger, “Local Dynamics of Poly(ethylene oxide) in Solution: 2. Vector Autocorrelation Functions and Motional Anisotropy,” Macromolecules, 30, 5714-5720 (1997).
  • M. M. Fuson and M. D. Ediger, “Local Dynamics of Poly(ethylene oxide) in Solution: 1. Localization of Chain Motion,” Macromolecules, 30, 5704-5713 (1997).
  • M. M. Fuson, “Coupled Spin Relaxation in Polymers,” in Encyclopedia of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, D. M. Grant and R. K. Harris, ed., (John Wiley & Sons: Chichester, 1996) vol. 4, 1466-1472.
  • M. M. Fuson. 2014. “Spin Relaxation and Molecular Dynamics Simulation to Study Molecular Motion in the Undergraduate Laboratory,” 54th Experimental NMR Conference, Boston, MA.
  • M. M. Fuson. 2010. “Spin Relaxation Studies of the Dynamics of Leu5-Enkephalin in Aqueous Solution and in the Presence of Model Membrane Surfaces,” 51st Experimental NMR Conference, Daytona Beach, FL.
  • M. M. Fuson. 2008. “Comparison of Spin Relaxation and Molecular Dynamics Simulation Studies of the Dynamics of Leu5-Enkephalin,” 49rd Experimental NMR Conference, Asilomar, CA.
  • M. M. Fuson. 2004. “Anisotropic Motion in Leu-Enkephalin Studied Using Cross-Correlation Effects in Spin Relaxation,” 45rd Experimental NMR Conference, Asilomar, CA.
  • M. M. Fuson. 2003. “Dynamics Of Rubberlike Polymers In Solution Studied By Coupled Spin Relaxation And Molecular Dynamics Simulations,” 44rd Experimental NMR Conference, Savannah, GA.


Student Collaborations

Recent Student Presentations

  • Ryan Gingo* and M. M. Fuson. 2006. An Investigation of the Motions of Enkephalins Using NMR Spin Relaxation. 232nd American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition . San Francisco CA
  • Emily F. Trunkely* and M. M. Fuson. 2004. NMR Spin Relaxation Studies of the Motional Dynamics of Leu-Enkephalin. 227th American Chemical Society National Meeting. San Francisco CA

(* signifies undergraduate co-author)

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