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Physicochemistry of Metals in Biology team

Published on 13 September 2023
Team leader

Dr. Geneviève Blondin
CNRS research director

Laboratoire Chimie et Biologie des Métaux
17 avenue des Martyrs
38 054 Grenoble Cedex

Phone: 04 38 78 21 44
Fax: 04 38 78 54 65

About one third of proteins are known to harbor a metal site, which is essential for their function. The metal ion can play various roles such as structuring the protein, transferring electrons or catalyzing hydrolytic or redox reactions.

Our team takes its inspiration from the metal sites of proteins and makes use of the properties of transition metal ions to design molecular catalysts for various reactions that are otherwise difficult to achieve. In particular, we are interested in the development of molecular catalysts bio-inspired from the hydrogenases metalloenzymes capable of H2 evolution. These molecular catalysts are based on iron, an abundant and nontoxic metal, and are capable to perform dihydrogen auto-transfer reactions to access pharmaceutical active compounds in a sustainable manner.
Another research axis focuses on metallopeptides with two objectives: (i) to design and study models of zinc or iron sites of metalloproteins in order to understand their reactivity and (ii) to design probes for the detection of metal cations or biomolecules by luminescence or MRI. The research of the team relies on a strong expertise in various spectroscopies including electronic absorption, circular dichroism, luminescence and various magnetic spectroscopies (NMR, EPR, …). Moreover, the pmb team runs a Mössbauer platform dedicated to the study of iron-containing chemical and proteic systems.

Collaborations have been initiated with both French and international groups. The three research topics of the pmb team take benefit from external expertises, e.g. computational chemistry or cellular imaging and conversely several collaborations rely on our own expertise, for instance in Mössbauer spectroscopy.

Team members

Amélie Kochem
CNRS Researcher
Patrick Dubourdeaux
CEA Engineer
Gaëtan Quintil
PhD Student


Olivier Sénèque
CNRS Researcher
Baptiste Chartier
PhD Student
Adam Nhari
PhD Student
Tom Di Santo
PhD Student
Daouda Ndiaye


Geneviève Blondin
CNRS Researcher
Martin Clémancey
UGA Engineer
Ricardo Garcia-Serres
UGA Lecturer


Metallopeptides, Biological Imaging, Molecular Catalysts, Mössbauer, Spectroscopy​