Laboratory of Bioinorganic Chemistry
Head: Prof. Stefano Ciurli
The research carried out is basic science applied to the chemical processes occurring
in the environmental and human biosphere. The systems under study are comprised within
the natural cycles of nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus. The metal-containing biomolecules
are obtained from natural sources or using a molecular biology approach, and they are
characterized at the molecular level. The main goal is the determination of the molecular
structure of the metal-containing biomolecule, mainly proteins and enzymes, the elucidation
of the structure-function relationships, the reciprocal influence of the metal ions and
the protein matrix, and the interaction modes of the metallo-protein with substrates,
inhibitors, and other biological substrates such as proteins and DNA. These goals are
pursued using a structural biology approach, applying high resolution NMR spectroscopy,
biocrystallography, and other techniques such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy, circular
dichroism, fluorescence spectroscopy, bioelectrochemistry, light-scattering, and calorimetry.
A significant branch of the research is dedicated to the application of computational methods and biomolecular structural modelling to the elucidation of structures and reaction mechanisms.