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May 28th, 2014
7:00-8:30 PM

Schlafly Bottleworks, Maplewood, MO

Inorganic Enzymology: the Role of Metals in Biology and Drug Discovery

Professor of Chemistry and Medicine

Moderated by: Cynthia Wichelman, M.D.

Holden Thorp, Ph.D.

Although biology tends to focus on the elements that are most prevalent in biomolecules (C, H, N, O, P, and S), numerous trace elements are required for the viability of living systems. The transition elements, particularly Fe, Cu, and Zn, are needed to fulfill structural roles in proteins and to produce the repertoire of chemical reactivity needed for metabolism. Because Fe, Cu and Zn must be obtained in the diet and because they are reactive in solution, there is an elaborate machinery for storing and transporting these elements. Once installed in enzymes, the reactivity and enzymology are distinct from that of proteins that do not contain metals. While there is a vibrant academic community practicing and studying the field of bioinorganic chemistry, this community has not pervaded medical schools and pharmaceutical companies in proportion to the prevalence of metalloenzymes in biology and drug discovery. Nearly 10% of all marketed drugs bind to metalloenzymes. This creates an unusual subfield of bioinorganic drug discovery that is ripe for the development of new therapies.

Science On Tap highlighted on St. Louis Public Radio and Voice of America!

Science On Tap is a place where, for the price of a beverage, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place outside a traditional academic context, in the Crown Room at Schlafly Bottleworks.

Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of the month during the academic year, usually from 7:00 - 8:30 PM. The standard format is as follows: about 45 minutes of presentation, followed by discussion until 8:30 PM. Seating is limited to the first 100 people.  No reservations accepted.

Crown Room at the Schlafly Bottleworks
7260 Southwest Ave.
Maplewood, MO 63143
(314) 241-2337

Register to receive e-mail announcements of future Science On Tap events.

Interested in learning about medicine? Check out Washington University's Mini-Medical School!

For more information: e-mail scienceontap@wustl.edu
or call (314) 935-9495

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