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Bioinspired Chemistry and Environment team

Published on 24 January 2019


Dr. Stéphane Ménage
CNRS research director
Laboratoire Chimie et Biologie des Métaux
17 avenue des Martyrs
38 054 Grenoble Cedex 09
Phone: (33) 4 38 78 91 03
Fax: (33) 4 38 78 91 24

Available post-doctoral position

Two-years Post doctoral position: New functional hybrid materials for asymmetric photocatalytic oxygenation (Beginning September-October 2016).
More informations.


Today, catalysis represents one of the major fields in modern chemistry. This field is in constant growth due to environmental reconsiderations and economic constraints. Our group is involved in the design of new catalysts inspired by Nature. This biomimetic or bioinorganic approach deals with knowledge at the frontier of two domains of science, biology and chemistry. This approach affords a large spectrum of tools from organic synthesis to molecular biology and physical chemistry. It also combines the expertise of biologists, physical chemists and synthetic chemists.
Inspired by biological processes, the reproduction of the active sites of enzymes may lead to the full requirements for an economically sustainable catalyst such as selectivity, specificity, high numbers of catalytic cycles and even enantioselectivity.
The choice of targeted enzymes depends on the function to mimic. Today, one major synthetic barrier remains the activation of C-H bonds using O
2 as the oxidant. Monooxygenases are capable of doing such a process (MMO, Cyt P450) and mimics are expected.

The research program of our team deals then with the design of selective bio-inspired catalysts for oxidation and reduction reactions. Our final goal is the design of enantioselective catalysts, respectful of natural resources. The aim is to develop new methodologies of chemistry for a greater control and a better understanding of chemical reactions. The need of new molecules is combined with new approaches for a chemistry based on sustainable development.

Several approaches are known to introduce the chirality on catalysts: either with chiral ligands or with chiral metal centers. The first one has widely been developed. In our laboratory, dinuclear iron catalysts have been studied on the homogeneous oxidation of alkene or sulfur containing compounds. The second one is less known and gave us some interesting results with catalysts based on a ruthenium center..


Our projects are based on four axes:
Ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases as enantioselective biocatalysts and their involvement in the bioremediation of polluted sites,
• design of artificial metalloenzymes,
• the study of the degradation of gaz N2O, 4th greenhouse gas emissions, in favor of oxidation catalysis,
• the development of photoactivatable catalysts in oxygenation with H
2O as the only source of oxygen.

Members of the team