Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Bioinorganic Chemistry (GRS)
Gordon Research Seminar

Biological Roles of Metals and Harnessing Their Chemical Power


January 26-29, 2017


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


Lauren J. Rajakovich

Vice Chair:
Jack Nicoludis

Application Deadline

The application deadline for this meeting was December 29, 2016. You may still submit an application, which may be considered by the conference chair if there is still room available.

Meeting Description

Metals serve in fundamental biological roles that are essential to all life, requiring precise mechanisms for metal acquisition and balance. Nature utilizes metals to achieve chemical conversions that plague synthetic chemists, such as C-H bond activation, hydrogen production and nitrogen fixation. This Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) will explore current knowledge of these natural biological roles and strategies to apply these insights to solve problems in the environment and human health. The session topics will be as follows:

  • Metals in Pathogenesis, Human Health and Medicine
  • Biogenesis and Chemistry of Enzyme Metallocofactors
  • Structural and Spectroscopic Characterization of Metalloproteins
  • Artificial Protein and Molecular Design
  • Biological Electron Transfer and Renewable Energy Applications

The Bioinorganic Chemistry GRS, established in 1996, serves as an extension of the oversubscribed Metals in Biology Gordon Research Conference (GRC) to provide a forum for young scientists to present their work, network, and engage in this vibrant scientific community. The overlapping evening lecture and poster session with the Metals in Biology GRC provides the invaluable opportunity for GRS participants to discuss their research with leaders in the field.

This GRS has been consistently oversubscribed; we expect an equal amount of enthusiasm for this year's meeting and thus, recommend applying early. Oral presentations will be selected from submitted abstracts - if you would like to be considered, please submit your application by October 28, 2016. We encourage scientists in any sub-discipline of biological inorganic chemistry, at career stages similar to that of graduate student or post-doc, to apply.

Related Meeting

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


Meeting Program

4:00 pm - 8:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmKeynote Session: Oxygen, Life in Balance
Discussion Leader: Kara Bren (University of Rochester, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmJennifer Kan (California Institute of Technology, USA)
"Directed Evolution of Cytochrome c for Carbon-Silicon Bond Formation: Bringing Silicon to Life"
7:40 pm - 7:45 pmDiscussion
7:45 pm - 7:55 pmKyle Lancaster (Cornell University, USA)
"Cytochrome P460: A 'New' Leak in the Biogeochemical Nitrogen Cycle"
7:55 pm - 8:00 pmDiscussion
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmHannah Shafaat (The Ohio State University, USA)
"Unraveling the Mn/Fe Lipid-Binding Oxidases: An Investigation of Metal Specificity and Cofactor Assembly in R2lox"
8:10 pm - 8:15 pmDiscussion
8:15 pm - 9:15 pmHarry Gray (California Institute of Technology, USA)
"Living with Oxygen"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
9:30 pmJoint Poster Session with Metals in Biology GRC
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmMetals in Pathogenesis, Disease and Medicine
Discussion Leader: Celia Goulding (University of California, Irvine, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amOpening Remarks
9:10 am - 9:20 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:20 am - 9:40 amToshiki Nakashige (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
"Metal Sequestration of the Host-Defense Protein Human Calprotectin "
9:40 am - 9:50 amDiscussion
9:50 am - 10:10 amDaisy Wong (Western University, Canada)
"Mass Spectrometric Studies of Human Metallothionein and Glutathione Binding to the Anti-Tumour Complex, Dirhodium Tetraacetate"
10:10 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:35 amPatricia Feliciano (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
"Fe-S Cluster-Containing Fumarate Hydratase Enzyme as a Drug Target Against Neglected Tropical Diseases"
10:35 am - 10:40 amDiscussion
10:40 am - 11:05 amCoffee Break
11:05 am - 11:25 amJulia Martin (Indiana University Bloomington, USA)
"Perturbation of Manganese Metabolism Disrupts Cell Division in Streptococcus pneumoniae"
11:25 am - 11:35 amDiscussion
11:35 am - 11:55 amSarah Harris (University of Minnesota, USA)
"Altering the Selectivity of Luminescent Terbium Probes for Copper over Zinc via the Number of Sensitizing Phenanthridine Moieties"
11:55 am - 12:05 pmDiscussion
12:05 pm - 12:25 pmEdmund Chun Ming Tse (California Institute of Technology, USA)
"Tracking DNA Damage via a Key Electron Transfer Mechanism Involving Iron-Sulfur Cluster Proteins"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmMetallocofactor Assembly and Enzyme Mechanisms
Discussion Leader: Markus Ribbe (University of California, Irvine, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:40 pm - 8:00 pmAmanda Byer (Montana State University, USA)
"[FeFe]-Hydrogenase Maturase HydF"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:20 pmSoo Ro (Northwestern University, USA)
"Understanding Particulate Methane Monooxygenase in a Native-Like Environment"
8:20 pm - 8:25 pmDiscussion
8:25 pm - 8:45 pmNoah Dunham (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
"Mechanistic Insight into Desaturation Reactions by Two Fe(II)/2-(Oxo)glutarate-Dependent Oxygenases"
8:45 pm - 8:55 pmDiscussion
8:55 pm - 9:05 pmDerek Gagnon (University of California, Davis, USA)
"An Intermediate in the Radical Addition of S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine to S-VOBA in MqnE"
9:05 pm - 9:10 pmDiscussion
9:10 pm - 9:25 pmElizabeth Blaesi (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
"Insights into the Mechanism of PhnZ, a Peculiar, Mixed-Valent Oxygenase"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmArtificial Protein and Molecular Design
Discussion Leader: Jared Lewis (University of Chicago, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:30 amGozde Ulas (University of California, San Francisco, USA)
"Designed Metalloproteins to Control Radicals"
9:30 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 10:00 amAnastasia Manesis (Ohio State University, USA)
"Developing Nickel-Substituted Azurin as a Model for Acetyl CoA Synthase"
10:00 am - 10:05 amDiscussion
10:05 am - 10:15 amAriel Schuelke (University of Vermont, USA)
"Spectroscopy-Guided Design of Synthetic Selective Nickel Chelatases from CbiXS"
10:15 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:50 amCoffee Break
10:50 am - 11:10 amJan Paulo Zaragoza (Johns Hopkins University, USA)
"Direct Observation of Oxygen Rebound in a Synthetic Iron(Hydroxo) Complex"
11:10 am - 11:20 amDiscussion
11:20 am - 11:40 amVictoria Oswald (University of California, Irvine, USA)
"Ligand Design to Support High Valent Metal Oxido/Hydroxido Complexes"
11:40 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:00 pmRuixi Fan (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
"Characterization of a Novel Fe(V)=O Species Using Mossbauer Spectroscopy"
12:00 pm - 12:05 pmDiscussion
12:05 pm - 12:25 pmKazuki Tanifuji (University of California, Irvine, USA)
"Synthesis, Characterization, and Reactivity of an Asymmetric Synthetic Mimic of the Nitrogenase M-Cluster"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the Next Vice Chair; Fill in Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss Future Site and Scheduling Preferences; Election of the Next Vice Chair
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmBiological Electron Transfer and Applications in Renewable Energy
Discussion Leader: James Mayer (Yale University, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:40 pm - 8:00 pmChang Cui (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)
"A Designed Metalloenzyme Achieving the Catalytic Rate of a Native Enzyme"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:30 pmS. Garrett Williams (Arizona State University, USA)
"Electrochemical Comparison of the [FeFe]-Hydrogenases from Clostridium pasteurianum"
8:30 pm - 8:35 pmDiscussion
8:35 pm - 8:55 pmSuzanne Adam (Johns Hopkins University, USA)
"Reactions of o-Catechols with a Heme-Peroxo-Cu Complex Occur via a pKa-Dependent Mechanism: Insights into the Nature of PCET in O2 Reduction"
8:55 pm - 9:05 pmDiscussion
9:05 pm - 9:25 pmMioy Huynh (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)
"Bioinspired [NiFe]- and [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Models for Hydrogen Production"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmFunctional Insights from Structure and Spectroscopy
Discussion Leader: Petra Fromme (Arizona State University, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:30 amFranklin Fuller (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA)
"High Throughput Transient X-Ray Crystallography and Emission Spectroscopy on the Metalloenzymes at an X-Ray Free Electron Laser"
9:30 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 10:00 amRuchira Chatterjee (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA)
"Room Temperature Femtosecond X-Ray Crystallography of Photosystem II"
10:00 am - 10:10 amDiscussion
10:10 am - 10:30 amAdam Offenbacher (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
"Active Site Architecture of Lipoxygenase-Substrate Complexes from ENDOR Spectroscopy"
10:30 am - 10:35 amDiscussion
10:35 am - 11:05 amCoffee Break
11:05 am - 11:25 amRebeca Gomez Castillo (Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Germany)
"XAS Investigation of the Q Intermediate of sMMO"
11:25 am - 11:35 amDiscussion
11:35 am - 11:55 amElizabeth Onderko (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
"Effect of the Axial Ligand on Cytochrome P450 Catalysis"
11:55 am - 12:05 pmDiscussion
12:05 pm - 12:25 pmCindy Pham (University of California, Davis, USA)
"Terminal Hydride Species in Wild-Type and Variant FeFe Hydrogenases Characterized by Nuclear Resonance Vibrational Spectroscopy"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pmDeparture

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences under award number DE-SC0016880. This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.
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