Daniel Suess - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Iron-sulfur (Fe-S) clusters are found in the active sites of hundreds of thousands of enzymes and carry out some of the most kinetically demanding reactions in the biosphere. In this talk, I will discuss my group’s efforts to understand how the remarkable biological functions of Fe-S clusters derive from their unique electronic structures. Our approach requires the rational, chemical manipulation of the clusters—the ability to incorporate spectroscopically useful isotopes in specific sites, to alter the clusters’ elemental compositions, to tune the primary and secondary coordination sphere, and to generate substrate-bound states—and I will describe the development of such methods in both biological clusters and synthetic clusters. Applications of this methodology will be a primary focus of the seminar.