Biochemistry Seminar: Alexey Silakov, "Spectroscopic investigation of structure-function relationships in transition-metal containing enzymes"

Wed, Sep 28, 2022 - 12:00 PM — Wed, Sep 28, 2022 - 01:00 PM
Admission Fee
Free. Coffee & tea will be available in the ASRC Cafe at 11:30 AM
Event Address
The speaker will be in-person:
ASRC Main Auditorium
85 Saint Nicholas Terrace
Current CUNY Cleared4 Pass is required for entrance; masks are optional.
Phone Number
Event Location
The seminar can also be viewed via Zoom.
Zoom link:
Event Details

Alexey Silakov, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University, will give a talk on "Spectroscopic investigation of structure-function relationships in transition-metal containing enzymes."


The Silakov laboratory seeks to uncover principles underpinning biology's control over the reactivity of metal complexes in enzymes. Millions of years of natural selection in harsh, nutrient-limiting environments evolved organisms into effective and extremely selective metabolic systems. Nature is replete with enzymes that facilitate reactions with high efficacy using nothing but abundant 3rd-row transition metal ions. In our work, we aim to understand how similar metal-containing catalytic centers can vary their reactivity depending on the protein environment. The ultimate goal of our fundamental research is to inform the development of new biotechnologies to allow environmentally friendly biosynthetic production of much-needed molecules such as drugs and renewable energy resources. To uncover how specific metalloenzymes function,  we employ advanced experimental methods such as Electron Paramagnetic Resonance and Infrared spectroscopies, electrochemistry, and protein film voltammetry. As some knowledge gaps about the function of enzymes stem from the absence of suitable experimental techniques, we also have a strong interest in developing novel biophysical approaches that allow addressing such gaps. This talk will present two case studies performed by the Silakov laboratory: a superfamily of Fe/2OG oxygenases involved in the biosynthesis of natural products, and [FeFe] hydrogenases which are highly effective hydrogen-producing enzymes

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