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Bioinorganic Chemistry Workshop

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In the recent past, the bioinorganic group at Penn State has hosted several meetings. We plan to offer those events on a regular basis.

Event Date:

08 December 2011 from 11:40 AM to 11:40 AM


Penn State University, University Park

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Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Post Doctoral Scholars, Research Personnel, Faculty

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Every four years, we will be hosting a symposium to gather many bioinorganic researchers from all over the world.   Every two years, we will host a training workshop for graduate students and post-docs to learn the numerous techniques available to carry out research within this field.

Bioinorganic chemistry is a vibrant field that encompasses a wide variety of scientific areas (e.g. genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and analytical and physical chemistry) and an even wider assortment of methods to interrogate given questions (e.g. reaction kinetics, spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, and computation). Among its aims is to understand the formation, function, and regulation of the many metallo-cofactors found in Nature as well as to identify novel metallo-cofactors. Because these areas are so diverse and require in-depth expertise, research in bioinorganic chemistry is most often carried out collaboratively. In fact, research in bioinorganic chemistry has been highly collaborative since the 1960s, long before “interdisciplinary research” became a fashionable term in the 1990s. In order to provide training to students and postdocs working in such a broad area, workshops in bioinorganic chemistry were offered from ~1985 to ~2003 at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (organized by Bob Crichton and colleagues) and from ~1990 to ~2000 at the University of Georgia (organized by Michael Johnson and colleagues). These workshops were offered during the summer to ~60-80 students and postdoctoral associates and were divided into three separate parts: (i) ~20-25 tutorials given by experts in the field on a subject pertaining to bioinorganic chemistry, (ii) three one-day practical sessions, during which workshop participants carried out experiments on three of five different topics, and (iii) case studies, presented by experts in that particular field, illustrating the interdisciplinary approach in bioinorganic chemistry. Both workshops were very popular with students and faculty, as they provided an unparalleled training opportunity. The workshop in Louvain-la-Neuve was offered again in 2009 and will also be offered in 2011 (see Chemistry of Metals in Biological Systems for the program). No equivalent workshop is presently offered in the US.

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