Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Metals in Biology
Gordon Research Conference

Understanding and Harnessing the Power of Metalloregulators and Metalloenzymes for Applications in Energy, Environment and Medicine


January 21-26, 2018


Four Points Sheraton / Holiday Inn Express
Ventura, CA Site Information


Yi Lu

Vice Chair:
Joseph Martin Bollinger

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by December 24, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description

Metal ions play vital roles in regulation and catalytic transformation in numerous biological processes, including photosynthesis, respiration, global nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon cycles, biosynthesis of natural products such as antibiotics, genetic control, and neurotransmission. At the same time, many biological systems are exposed to toxic metal ions in the environment. Understanding both beneficial and detrimental effects of these metal ions in biology will allow us to harness the power of many metalloregulators and metalloenzymes and to design artificial proteins or synthetic models for many applications, such small molecular activation and transformation in sustainable energies and pharmaceuticals, environmental monitoring, bioremediations, and metal-based drugs. To achieve the goals, we need multiple disciplinary approaches to develop new methods to characterize the structures of metal-binding sites in proteins and nucleic acids and their regulation or reaction mechanisms, and then apply insights gained from the study to harness power of the native systems or design artificial systems.

The Metals in Biology GRC is the annual premier conference that brings scientists from diverse backgrounds and expertise in chemistry, physics, biochemistry, molecular biology, cellular biology and medicinal science to discuss recent progress in this field. To stimulate new directions of research and foster new collaborations among participants with complementary interests and skills, the conference has scheduled ample time after each lecture and during poster sessions to facilitate discussions in an open atmosphere.

The Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) in Bioinorganic Chemistry is closely associated with the MIB GRC. This meeting typically draws graduate and postdoctoral students from a variety of laboratories studying metals in biology. The GRS overlaps with the MIB GRC meeting for one evening session on Thursday, including a poster session that allows students to meet and interact with established scientists. We specifically encourage graduate students and postdocs to take advantage of these unique educational opportunities and to participate in either the MIB GRC conference or the Bioinorganic Chemistry GRS or both.

Related Meeting

This GRC will be held in conjunction with the "Bioinorganic Chemistry" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.


Gordon Research Conferences

Sessler Family Charitable Trust

Preliminary Program

The topics and speakers for the conference sessions are displayed below (italics denote discussion leaders). The Conference Chair is currently developing their detailed program, which will include the complete meeting schedule, as well as the talk titles for all speakers. The detailed program will be available by September 21, 2017. Please check back for updates.

  • Keynote Session: Metalloenzymes in Solar Fuels
    (Junko Yano / Jian-Ren Shen / Wolfgang Lubitz)
  • Metalloenzymes and Their Models in Global Nitrogen, Hydrogen and Sulfur Cycles
    (Joseph Martin Bollinger / Marcetta Darensbourg / Sharon Hammes-Schiffer / Yilin Hu / Alison Fout)
  • Roles of Metal Ions and Metal Clusters in Nucleic Acids-Based Catalysis and Detection
    (Victoria DeRose / Jacqueline Barton / Roland Sigel / Tracey Rouault)
  • Metalloenzymes and Their Models in Biological Electron Transfer and Catalysis
    (James Kincaid / Kara Bren / Yong Zhang)
  • Design and Engineering of Metalloenzymes
    (Vincent Pecoraro / Thomas Ward / Jiangyun Wang)
  • Metalloenzymes and Their Models in Global Carbon Cycles and Chemical Transformations
    (Lawrence Que / Seigo Shima / Rachel Austin / Kenichi Yokoyama)
  • Metal Ions in Astrobiology, Evolution Biology, Marine Biochemistry and the Environment
    (Joan Valentine / Ariel Anbar / Paul Falkowski / Can Xie)
  • Metal Ion Homeostasis, Imaging and Therapeutics
    (Amy Barrios / Jonathan Sessler / Katherine Franz / Emily Que / Thomas Meade)
  • Keynote Session: Metals, Water, Light, O2, Camera and Action!
    (Harry Gray / Gary Brudvig)
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