Conference: 4th Penn State Bioinorganic Workshop and the 4th 'Frontiers in Metallobiochemistry' Symposium to be held at Penn State University; June 2 - June 10, 2016

Project: Research project

Project Details


Enzymes containing transition metal ions in their active sites catalyze some of the most important and difficult chemical reactions in biology, including the reduction of nitrogen to ammonia, the oxidation of water to oxygen in photosynthesis, and the stereospecific functionalization of unactivated carbon-hydrogen bonds. The area of bioinorganic chemistry aims to understand the role that metal ions play in bio-catalytic processes and use this understanding to enable the design of new bio-inspired catalysts. The efforts are important to society, because they may facilitate, for example, the generation of renewable energy (e.g. solar energy conversion and bioproduction of renewable fuels) to power the planet. It may also facilitate the production of cheaper fertilizers for agriculture. The field of bioinorganic chemistry is diverse and includes a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, bioinformatics, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry. Many different experimental techniques and theoretical methods are combined to study the formation, function and regulation of the metal cofactors, as well as the mechanism of these metal-containing enzymes. For these reasons, research in this area is generally highly collaborative. This workshop will train students, postdoctoral scholars and faculty members from primarily undergraduate institutions in the area of bioinorganic chemistry, setting the stage for future discoveries in this exciting field.

With this award, the Molecular Biophysics Program in the Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Division and the Chemistry of Life Processes Program in the Chemistry Division is co-funding a biennial training workshop, which is led by Prof. Carsten Krebs and colleagues at the Department of Chemistry at The Pennsylvania State University. The 2016 workshop provides training for approximately 150 participants and encompasses (i) 17 lectures by faculty experts in the field in their area of specialty, (ii) hands-on training in 21 different methods offered to small groups of up to 6 participants in 2-hour time-blocks (repeated up to 12 times) and taught by 70 student/postdoc/faculty experts in bioinorganic methods and (iii) research presentations in the form of posters and 12 talks by selected students and postdoctoral scholars. This workshop will uniquely train the next generation of researchers in the field of bioinorganic chemistry.

Effective start/end date6/1/165/31/17


  • National Science Foundation: $10,000.00


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