IBDG Awards

In 2006, the Inorganic Biochemistry Discussion Group inaugurated a Young Investigator Award designed to highlight and promote the next generation of outstanding UK-based inorganic biochemists. The award has been made every two years for outstanding contributions to any area of biological inorganic chemistry or inorganic biochemistry. A list of winners can be found below.

For 2024, the IBDG committee is seeking nominations for two awards that will recognise excellence in inorganic biochemistry at different career stages:

  1. IBDG Early Career Award
  2. IBDG Investigator Award

To be eligible for these 2024 awards nominees must be within 5 years of PhD for the Early Career award and 10 years of PhD for the Investigator award on the 1st January 2024, and be employed in the UK or Ireland. Allowances will be made for career breaks or other circumstances.

The award winners will receive a prize and present a lecture at an IBDG sponsored meeting.

Nominees for either award can self-nominate or be nominated. In either case a CV and a list of publications highlighting the most significant contributions to biological inorganic chemistry should be provided, along with two letters of support from appropriately qualified people (one of which must be the nominator) highlighting the principal achievements in biological inorganic chemistry or inorganic biochemistry.

Nominations must be made electronically either by the nominee or nominator to Jonathan Worrall (jworrall@essex.ac.uk).

Closing data for nominations for the 2024 IBDG awards will be 1st December 2023.

Winner 2022 IBDG Early Career Award – Dr. Patricia Rodriguez Macia (Oxford)

Dr Patricia Rodriguez Macia received the Early Career Award in recognition of her interdisciplinary approaches to study mechanism of metalloenzymes and in particular a focus on [FeFe] hydrogenases.

Winner 2022 IBDG Investigator Award – Dr. Hanna Kwon (Leicester)

Dr Hanna Kwon received the Investigator Award in recognition of her work on the structure and mechanism of heme enzymes and in particular her use of neutron crystallography to address protonation states of high-valent heme intermediates.

Winner 2020 IBDG Early Career Award – Dr. Amanda Chaplin (Cambridge)

Dr Amanda Chaplin received the Early Career Award in recognition of her achievements from her PhD research at the University of Essex, which encompassed structural and spectroscopic characterisation of copper and iron metalloenzymes. Amanda completed her PhD with Dr Jonathan Worrall at the University of Essex, before undertaking post-doctoral research at the University of Cambridge with Prof Sir Tom Blundell. In January 2022 Amanda started her own research group at the Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology, University of Leicester.

Winner 2020 IBDG Investigator Award – Dr. Rama Suntharalingham (Leicester)

Dr. Rama Suntharalingham received the Investigator Award in recognition of his work in the design and development of metal-containing small molecules to create new generations of metallopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer as well as other diseases. Rama completed his MSci and PhD at Imperial College London, followed by post-doctoral work at MIT and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research as a Misrock Fellow.

Winner of the IBDG Young Investigator’s Award 2018

Dr Richard Hopkinson has been awarded the 2018 IBDG Young Investigator’s Award for his work work on the bioinorganic chemistry of N-methyl lysine-residue demethylation, as catalysed by 2-oxoglutarate and Fe(II) dependent oxygenases. Richard graduated with an MChem from the University of Oxford, which was followed by a DPhil and postdoctoral research in the group of Professor C. J. Schofield  at the University of Oxford. He has recently taken up a position as Lecturer in Chemical Biology within the Leicester Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology at the University of Leicester where his research focuses on formaldehyde biochemistry and biology. More information about Richard’s research can be found here: https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/chemistry/people/academic-staff/dr-richard-hopkinson

Winner of the IBDG Young Investigator’s Award 2016

Dr Anna Peacock receives the 2016 IBDG Young Investigator’s Award for her work in bioinorganic chemistry and de novo peptide design. Anna qualified with a MChem (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of York in 2003. She performed her dissertation with Professor Robin N. Perutz and Dr Anne-Kathrin Duhme-Klair on the development of a metal-based lumophore tailored to sense biologically relevant oxometalates. She then went on to study for a PhD with Professor Peter J. Sadler FRS at the University of Edinburgh on the design of osmium(II) arene anticancer complexes. This work resulted in a patent application being filed by the University of Edinburgh. In 2007 Anna moved to a post-doctoral position at the University of Michigan with Professor Vincent L Pecoraro to work on the de novo design of metallopeptides. In 2009 Anna took up her first academic post as a Lecturer in the School of Chemistry here at the University of Birmingham. More information about her research can be found here: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/chemistry/peacock-anna.aspx

Winner of the IBDG Young Investigator’s Award 2014

Dr Erwin Reisner receives the 2014 IBDG Young Investigator.s Award for his work at the interface of Bioinorganic and Sustainable Chemistry. His cross-disciplinary laboratory focuses on the understanding of metalloproteins, development of metalloprotein-semiconductor hybrids and synthesis of bio-inspired synthetic analogues of these enzymes for utilisation in solar energy conversion. Erwin obtained his PhD degree under the supervision of Professor Bernhard K. Keppler in Vienna for his work on the elucidation of a possible in vivo electron-transfer activation pathway for investigational ruthenium(III) anticancer agents. He joined the laboratory of Professor Stephen J. Lippard at MIT as an Erwin Schrödinger postdoctoral fellow to work on synthetic biomimetic models of the diiron hydroxylase component of soluble methane monooxygenase, followed by postdoctoral research with Professor Fraser A. Armstrong at Oxford, where he developed a hybrid metalloenzyme-nanoparticle system capable of reducing protons to H2 during visible light irradiation. He is currently a University Lecturer, EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow and Head of the Christian Doppler Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. More information about his research can be found here: http://www-reisner.ch.cam.ac.uk/

Winner of the IBDG Young Investigator’s Award 2012rossanderson

Dr Ross Anderson has been awarded the 2012 IBDG Young Investigator’s Award for his impressive work on heme protein structure and mechanism, and the design of heme maquettes. Ross first became interested in this area during his first postdoctoral post with Prof. Steve Chapman at Edinburgh University in which he was fortunate to work in a diverse lab focused on the structural and biophysical characterization of natural metallo- and flavoenzymes such as the cytochromes P450 and dioxygenases. Ross then moved to a second postdoctoral post at the University of Pennsylvania with Prof. Les Dutton, FRS, to study the imprinting of biologically relevant function onto artificial proteins untouched by the complexity that evolution imparts on natural proteins. He was able to demonstrate how, for the first time, the sophisticated function of reversible oxygen binding could be incorporated into a heme-binding, artificial 4-helix bundle (maquette) in a tractable manner (image right).[1] Ross was then successful in obtaining a Royal Society University Research Fellowship which he holds in his current post at the University of Bristol.

1. Koder, R.L.; Anderson, J.L.R.; Solomon, L.A.; Reddy, K.S.; Moser, C.C.; Dutton, P.L. (2009) Nature, 458, 305-310.

Winner of the IBDG Young Investigator’s Award 2010

Dr Kirsty McLean was awarded the 2010 IBDG Young Investigator’s Award for her contributions to understanding the structural and functional properties of bacterial cytochrome P450 systems.

Winner of the IBDG Young Investigator’s Award 2008

  • Dr Jason Crack (University of East Anglia) for his studies of the iron-sulfur chemistry and biochemistry that underpins aspects of cellular redox signalling.

Winners of the IBDG Young Investigator’s Award 2006

  • Dr Judy Hirst (MRC Dunn Human Nutritional Unit) for her application of voltammetric methods to study redox active centres in proteins.
  • Dr Vasily Oganesyan (University of East Anglia) for his development of theory, analysis and computer simulation methods for advanced spectroscopic methods with application in the study of metal centres in metalloproteins.
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