Grenoble Innovation for Advanced New Technologies

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Metals in biology


Research at the biology-chemistry interface

At the crossroads between chemistry, biology, physics and mathematical modeling, research on metals in biology in the GIANT project interacts closely with research in structural biology and integrated-systems biology. In the years to come, this unique environment will produce new insights in fundamental knowledge and encourage the development of more technology-driven research in the fields of energy, the environment and health care.

In biology, metals are paradoxical in that they are essential, but can become toxic. Certain metals are vital for cells because they participate directly in the biological processes, but the natural toxicity of metals makes them dangerous for the environment at certain levels of concentration. In both cases, controlled metal homeostasis is essential for the survival of living organisms. These topics are the basis of research carried out onsite by the members of GIANT, who are looking at the structure and reactivity of biological metal sites (for the design of new catalysts and biocatalysts) and, simultaneously, at metal detoxification and homeostasis.

In the coming years, GIANT will provide a collaborative framework to foster a new understanding of fundamental knowledge and will encourage its transfer to technological innovation processes in health and energy and environmental studies.


Copyright Gérard Cottet / CEA LETI