Research in Bioinorganic and Biomimectic chemistry at TIFR focuses on understanding the fundamental mechanisms underlying the role of metal ion cofactors in enzymes and developing metallo-enzyme inspired chemistry for applications in catalysis and sensing.
Studies in Bioinorganic Chemistry delineate the effects of active site amino acids on the structure, stability, electronic properties, and functions of metal ions in metalloproteins and metalloenzymes. Molecular modeling and docking analyses are used to rationally design novel mutant proteins with new functions of the metal center in a metalloenzyme. The designs are experimentally validated using various spectroscopic and kinetic techniques including circular dichroism, mass spectrometry, direct electrochemistry, and stopped-flow kinetics along with EPR and NMR techniques. In a Biomimetic approach towards the development of catalysts and sensors we carefully scrutinize coordination geometries of metal ions in metallo-enzymes and metallo-regulatory protein, to design selective ligands for metal ion complexation.
Students in the Bioinorganic program learn a confluence of techniques ranging from bio-engineering and synthesis, to spectroscopy, and develop a fundamental understanding on the crucial role of metal ions in biology.