[Expired] Post-doc at Northwestern: Characterization of Metalloenzymes and Bioinorganic Model Complexes by ENDOR Spectroscopy

 Join us in determining the mechanisms of catalysis by metalloenzymes through the development and implementation of electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectroscopy: The ENDOR and DFT characterization of key trapped catalytic and photogenerated intermediates  reveals mechanism, with synthetic biomimetic complexes providing key constraints!


Among the array of projects reflected in recent publications are ongoing studies of multiple central issues at the intersections of Inorganic Chemistry/Biochemistry/Biology. (i) Biological ‘nitrogen fixation’ – the reduction of N2 to two NH3 molecules by the enzyme nitrogenase – the source of ~50% of the N atoms in humans today; (ii) catalysis of H-atom transfer by enzymes of the vast radical SAM (S-adenosyl methionine) superfamily, comprising over 500,000 members, which initiate radical reactions by homolytic cleavage of SAM to form the highly reactive 5’-deoxyadenosyl radical (5’-dAdo•); (iii) Cu methane monooxygenase, which oxidizes methane to methanol and is central to mitigating emissions of methane, the potent greenhouse gas; (iv) in vivo speciation of Mn2+ as determined by EPR/ENDOR, for this cannot be achieved by cellular fractionation,  thereby identifying Mn2+ complexes with roles as primary defender against radiation, in controlling vertebrate fertilization, and as indicators of the likelihood of the persistence of viable lifeforms on Mars(!).

Parallel studies of synthetic, biomimetic complexes provide constraints that help identify intermediates trapped during catalysis, and that are moreover of intrinsic importance as Jahn-Teller active systems that exhibit novel dynamic properties.

Selected recent publication illustrating these projects and exemplifying our approach can be found at the Northwestern Chemistry Department core-faculty website


Northwestern University is located on the shore of Lake Michigan. It is the first suburb to the north of Chicago, whose attractions are easily reached by auto or rapid transit.


Valued backgrounds include: Magnetic Resonance (EPR/ENDOR/ESEEM, etc);  Biochemistry; Computational Chemistry.

Contacts welcomed () with Skype/Zoom conversations to follow

Web: https://chemistry.northwestern.edu/people/core-faculty/profiles/brian-hoffman.html