Metallobiochemistry (CHMI 5226 E)

Course Description:

Metallobiochemistry (Bioinorganic Chemistry) is a highly multidisciplinary research field, which deals with the role of metals in biological systems. This graduate course will discuss the widely varied roles metal (and in particular transition metal) ions play in living systems. Special attention will be directed towards the relationship of the function of a particular metal in a biological system and its (inorganic) properties. The role of model compounds in the elucidation of structure and mechanism will also be addressed. Physical techniques frequently used in the field of Bioinorganic Chemistry will also be discussed. Topics include: general principles of metallobiochemistry (at the interface of inorganic chemistry and biochemistry), transport and storage of dioxygen, heme proteins, iron-sulfur clusters, transport and storage of iron, cobalamins, metals involved in photosynthesis, copper proteins in electron transfer and redox processes, nitrogen fixation, zinc proteins in Lewis acid/base catalysis and gene regulation, calcium as a second messenger and ubiquitous regulator, functions of alkali metals, biomineralization, biochemistry of toxic elements, metals in medicine, evolution from uni- to multi-cellular organisms. Please note that the topics listed above are tentative and depend on student interest and background. (lec 3) cr 3.


A textbook is not required for this course. However, there are a few books which give an excellent overview of the field of Bioinorganic Chemistry. If you would like to obtain a textbook for this course, you may want to choose one of the books listed in the syllabus (see below).

Class Hours (Winter 2020): Mondays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. in room S-217.

Lecture handouts and other relevant material can be downloaded here.

The complete syllabus of this course can be downloaded as a pdf-file.