Professor Jim McCusker was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1965. A graduate of Bucknell University, he enrolled in the doctoral program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987 and carried out research in physical-inorganic chemistry under the guidance of Professor David N. Hendrickson. Professor McCusker was awarded a two-year post-doctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health in 1992 to work with Professor Thomas J. Meyer at the University of North Carolina, then began his independent academic career at the University of California at Berkeley as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the fall of 1994.
Professor McCusker moved his research group to Michigan State University in 2001 where he is currently MSU Foundation Professor of Chemistry. The central themes of his research group revolve around the light-induced properties of transition metal-containing molecules – in particular as it impacts the development of solar energy conversion strategies – as well as the interplay between magnetism and the excited-state dynamics of molecular systems. He has been recognised at Michigan State with the 2014 Junior Faculty Mentoring Award, the 2016 College of Natural Science Outstanding Faculty Award, and the 2018 William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award by the President of Michigan State University.
Named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2016, Professor McCusker has published nearly 100 articles in journals including Science, Nature, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and has given in excess of 300 invited seminars at universities and conferences in more than 20 countries around the world. He currently serves as President of the Inter-American Photochemical Society and is Associate Editor for Physical-Inorganic Chemistry at Chemical Science, the flagship journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.