2019 Metals in Biology GRC: Discovery, Dissection, Exploitation and Mimicry of Nature's Inorganic Chemistry to Secure the Future and 2019 Bioinorganic Chemistry GRS

  • Bollinger, Joseph Martin J.M. (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This application seeks funds to support the Metals in Biology Gordon Research Conference (MIB GRC) and the associated Graduate Research Seminar in Bioinorganic Chemistry (BIC GRS), to be held January 27 – Feb 1, 2019. Gordon Research Conferences are widely recognized within the scientific community as being the most effective meetings for exchange of cutting-edge ideas and formulation of new research directions. The Metals in Biology Gordon Research Conference (MIB GRC) is a regularly oversubscribed, annual meeting held in Ventura, CA at the end of January. It is one of the most successfulof GRC's hundreds of meetings. In 1996, the MIB GRC community founded the first Graduate Research Seminar (the Bioinorganic Gordon Research Seminar or BIC GRS), to allow the large block of developing young scientists who were annually turned away from the MIB GRC to profit from the experience of the field's premier meeting. The BIC GRS is unique among GRSs in overlapping with its parent GRC (MIB) in a joint Thursday evening session. The networking opportunities that this schedule creates for young scientists are unparalleled. Although the MIB GRC and BIC GRS are both annual, each edition of each is a unique event: even the most prominent members of the field are rarely asked to speak more frequently than every third year, and session topics are always rotated, as each chair strives for a unique synthesis of the most important concepts in the field. The 2019 MIB GRC will have four broad themes – earth's element and energy economies, biosynthesis of nature's vast repertoire of bioactive natural products and their most interesting functional groups, metal trafficking and cofactor assembly, and human use of abiological metals in chemical and biological applications. Featured speakers of interest to DOE BES will present (1) the discovery of methane production by iron-only nitrogenase (Caroline Harwood), (2) the identification of a primordial, membrane-imbedded hydrogen-respiring enzyme in a hyperthermophilic archaeon (Michael Adams' group), (3) the development of nickel-utilizing CO2 reduction catalysts in simple protein architectures (Hannah Shafaat), (4,5) the structural characterization of new intermediates in catalysis by vanadium-iron nitrogenase (Oliver Einsle) and assembly of the iron cofactor of hydrogenase (R. David Britt), and (6) the biosynthesis of a copper-acquiring molecule (the 'chalcophore' methanobactin) in aerobic methanotrophic bacteria (Amy Rosenzweig). Themes of the BIC GRS will include metals in materials, cellular metal homoeostasis, role of metals in evolution of biochemical pathways, and spectroscopic methods to study metalloenzyme structure and function. Support from DOE BES is sought for this exciting pair of events, and if awarded, will be used to provide grants to student and postdoctoral scholars who might not otherwise be able to attend. Aided by this support, we will thus ensure the broadest possible participation and highest quality programs.

Effective start/end date9/1/188/31/19


  • Basic Energy Sciences: $10,000.00


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