Inorganic Seminar- Prof. Akif Tezcan (University of California- San Diego)

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1315 Seminar Hall
@ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Prof. Akif Tezcan

Title: Inorganic Chemical Design of Functional Protein Materials


Proteins represent the most versatile building blocks available to living organisms or the laboratory scientist for constructing functional materials and molecular devices. Underlying this versatility is an immense structural and chemical heterogeneity that renders the programmable self-assembly of proteins an extremely challenging design task. To circumvent the challenge of designing extensive non-covalent interfaces for controlling protein self-assembly, our group has endeavored to use chemical bonding strategies based on fundamental principles of inorganic chemistry and molecular symmetry. These strategies (combined with some supramolecular and polymer chemistry) have resulted in discrete or infinite, 0-, 1-, 2- and 3D protein architectures that display high structural order over large length scales, yet are dynamic, adaptive and possess new emergent chemical/physical properties. In this talk, I will present some of these functional “bioinorganic materials” constructed in our laboratory.


Akif Tezcan is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and a member of the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Program and the Institute of Materials Discovery and Design at UCSD. He was educated at the German High School in Istanbul, Macalester College in St. Paul, MN (BS in Chemistry and Biology) and Caltech in Pasadena, CA, USA (PhD in Bioinorganic Chemistry with Harry Gray), followed by postdoctoral research at Caltech as a Helen Hay Whitney fellow (with Doug Rees). His research program at UCSD, started in 2005, focuses on developing new chemical tools and strategies to study biological nitrogen fixation, to design functional proteins and enzymes, and to create new protein-based materials. Akif and his group’s research program at UCSD has been recognized with an NSF CAREER Award, Sloan Fellowship, Beckman Young Investigator Award, Frasch Foundation Award, Moore Distinguished Scholarship (Caltech), Leslie Orgel Scholarship (UCSD), Saltman Lectureship at the GRC on Metals in Biology, Swift Lectureship (Caltech), Witten Lectureship (UNC), Schaeffer Lectureship (U. New Mexico), the Early Career Award from the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.


Keywords: Proteins, Metal Coordination, Self-Assembly, Soft-Materials, Dynamic Crystals


Faculty Host: Eszter Boros