Frühlingsfest & Vortrag Prof. Sabine Becker, Gastprofessur Fakultät für Chemie: Multifaceted Bioinorganic Chemistry - From small molecule activation to zinc imaging in live cells

When: Mon, 9.5.2022, 16:00

Where: Auer von Welsbach Hörsaal (HS1) & live streaming


This Faculty Colloquium talk will be hold in the context of the Faculty's "Frühlingsfest". If you want to participate on-site, please register here:

Multifaceted Bioinorganic Chemistry

From small molecule activation to zinc imaging in live cells

Sabine Becker

Inorganic species and especially metal ions play fundamental roles in biological processes such as signaling, catalysis, electron transfer and oxygen transport. The research areas deriving from these roles are as multifaceted as bioinorganic chemistry itself. One research field deals with the development of bioinspired catalysts. Concepts used by nature such as the coupling of metal ions to catalyze complex redox reactions can be implemented into the catalyst design. Furthermore, the development of homogeneous catalysts can strongly benefit from a thorough understanding of the mechanism of nature’s role models, the enzymes. Here, one approach is to synthesize and investigate model complexes of active centers. The hereby learned facts can inspire the development of new catalysts.

Another research field focuses on metal ions that are not found in the active center of proteins but form pools of loosely bound ions, which are crucial in signaling. A prominent example are zinc ions that play a fundamental role in sensory perception, learning, and memory function. This in turn causes a connection between a dysfunctional zinc homeostasis and the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, MS, stroke and many more. To understand the function of zinc in these processes, elaborated tools such as fluorescent sensors and chelators that can be applied in live cells are needed. Here, concepts of complex chemistry are used to prepare and use these tools.

The talk will highlight several aspects of these research fields: redox catalysis with multinuclear copper compounds and elaborated sensors and chelators for zinc imaging in live cells.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Becker - TU Kaiserslautern (

Streaming is available via:

Mandatory participation list for students only, pls. fill in your name:

Sabine Becker (© TU Kaiserslautern)