The control of both endogenous and exogenous labile metal ions in biological systems has important implications in the field of medicine. In this presentation, we will discuss our efforts to harness labile ions in order to control their downstream biological effects. The first part of this presentation will describe small molecules that can modulate mitochondrial calcium uptake. By controlling mitochondrial calcium uptake, these compounds can preserve viability under conditions of cellular stress.
Abstract: My group studies the coordination chemistry and reactivity of novel Mn, Fe, and Ru complexes with the goal of designing sustainable catalysts for chemically reversible transformations involving molecular hydrogen. For example, we studied the photochemical production of dihydrogen from water using a tetrameric Mn(I) complex and made some interesting discoveries along the way. In addition, a significant effort in my group is ligand design and synthesis where our main goal is to bring out the unique properties of various transition metals (such as Mn, Fe, and Ru).
Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase (LPMO) metalloenzymes activate strong C─H bonds (~100 kcal/mol) of polysaccharides such as cellulose. Nature has evolved the ability to perform these thermodynamically difficult processes within LPMO using an active site composed of a single copper ion coordinated to the protein in a T-shaped geometry referred to as the histidine brace. Inspiration from LPMOs has led to the development of synthetic systems to perform multi-electron chemistry using copper complexes.