Teaching

 

Directed Research, Thesis:

We offer directed research for outstanding students with background in the fields of homogeneous catalysis, biocatalysis, organometallc chemistry or molecular biology. Please inquire if you are interested.

 
Bioinorganic Chemistry (CBE 319, ChemS 319; spring term only):

Course material is available for registered students on Blackboard

Course Description:

Interdisciplinary research on the inorganic chemistry of life has developed into a major source of innovation for catalyst development, material chemistry and medicine. The course "Biological Inorganic Chemistry“ details the numerous functions of inorganic materials and ions in biology. It provides a general overview of the fundamental tasks performed by inorganic elements in living organisms as well as the related methods and theories with particular emphasis on enzymatic conversions, inorganic biomaterials and medical applications. Nature's strategies are elucidated based on model systems and basic concepts are illustrated by examples relevant to technological or medical applications. The course is designed for PhD students in chemistry, biochemistry and biotechnology, yet interested students on the M.Sc. level are welcome.

Prerequisite is a basic understanding of chemistry and inorganic Chemistry as it is provided by any undergraduate chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology or chemical engineering education. The more advanced chemical and biochemical aspects and methods are all developed during the course.

 

Course outline:

  1. Basics
    • How and why does nature select inorganic elements for certain tasks
    • Evolution and utilization of inorganic elements
    • Coordination chemistry of biological systems
    • Kinetic aspects of biological systems
    • Spectroscopic aspects of biological systems
    • Overview of tasks of inorganic elements in biological systems, examples
  2. Metal Centers without Redox Activity: d(0) / d(10) -systems
    • Transport of ions
    • Biomineralisation
    • Structural elements in biomolecules
    • Lewis acid / lewis base catalysis by enzymes
  3. Redox Active Metal Centers: d(n) systems
    • Transport of electrons and Marcus theory
    • Transport of oxygen in biological systems
    • Activation and conversion of oxygen by porphyrin-based enzymes
    • Oxidation catalysis by non-porphyrin systems
    • Generation and conversion of radicals in enzymatic centers
    • Bio-organometallic chemistry
    • Hydrogen conversion / formation and hydrogenases
    • Nitrogen fixation by nitrogeases
  4. Medical Aspects
    • Introduction to metals in medicine
    • Metabolism of trace elements
    • Environmental aspects of inorganic elements
    • Medication targeting DNA: cytostatica and cancer
    • Metal containing enzyme inhibitors
    • Contrast agents
    • Radio nuclides in therapy and diagnostics 


Biocatalysis (CBE 326, ChemS 326; fall term only):

Course material is available for registered students on Blackboard

Course Description:

Biocatalysis has a long tradition. Starting out from basic food-processing fermentations e.g. related to bread baking or cheese making, today the result emerging from this discipline influence all areas of modern daily life. Developments in pharmacology, medicine, nutrition, analytics, environmental technology, fine chemical synthesis and others are based on the progress in Biocatalysis research. Enzymes as nature’s catalysts set the benchmarks for artificial systems in terms of activity and selectivity. Correspondingly, Biocatalysis is regarded as a key competence in biotechnology and chemical industry.


This course “Biocatalysis” aims to provide an understanding of fundamental aspects of biocatalysis, while the general focus is set on current applications of biocatalytic systems. It is designed for students on the masters as well as PhD level in the following programs: (i) chemistry (CHEMS), (ii) biochemistry, biology or biotechnology/bio- engineering (CBE).


Prerequisite is a basic understanding of (i) basic biological and biochemical principles and (ii) General and Organic Chemistry as provided by any undergraduate chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology or chemical engineering program. The more advanced chemical and biochemical aspects and methods are all developed during the course.

Course outline:

  1. Basics
    • Introduction: What is biocatalysis? History and general terms
    • Biocatalysis fundamentals: Classification of Enzymes, Green Chemistry, White Biotechnology, Cofactors
    • Thermodynamics and kinetics of biocatalysis
  2. Enzyme Catalysis
    • Mechanism of enzymatic reactions, selected metallo-enzymes
    • Application of enzymes for organic synthesis, cofactor recycling
    • Enzyme engineering and design, directed evolution
    • Artificial enzymes, catalytic antibodies, DNA, RNA
    • Enzymes in special reaction media, enzyme immobilization
  3. Whole Cell Catalysis
    • Basic principles of whole cell catalysis, applications
    • Bioenergy and biofuels 3.Metabolic pathway engineering, use of databases
  4. Selected Applications
    • Microbial Fuel Cells, MFC, MEC, MSC
    • Bioelectronics: electron transport in proteins, electron transport chains
    • Sensors
    • Biorefining

Enrolled students can access course material through KAUST's Blackboard via http://portal.kaust.edu.sa