Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry Newsletter

Below is the newsletter from the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry.

Dear SBIC members, colleagues and friends,

Welcome to the 2020.4 edition of our quarterly newsletter published by the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (SBIC), which aims to keep you up to date with important developments in our society, award deadlines and other opportunities we are supporting! These are difficult times for humanity with COVID-19 sweeping across the world and it is great to see that so many scientists all over the world are contributing to the fight against the SARS-CoV2. It is times like this where the public looks in our direction and appreciates our expertise. Nevertheless, we are aware that many of you will be in difficult positions personally and professionally, and hope that everyone gets safely through the pandemic. We still hope that you will find time to the read this newsletter, will find the information provided useful and will continue to support our society or join SBIC as a new member. We would also like to invite you to pass the newsletter on to your students and colleagues and if you have news to share, please get in touch. Stay safe!

Update on EuroBIC, LABIC and AsBIC

Ours is a vibrant research community that highly values the dissemination of science and the fostering of social relationships that are so important to collaborative research. In this vein, several meetings including ICBIC, EuroBIC, AsBIC and LABIC have grown into substantial platforms to serve these needs. All of these conferences are administered directly by an International Organizing Committee (IOC). Despite this organizational arrangement, SBIC has strongly interfaced with the IOCs and supported these gatherings both financially and in spirit. Nonetheless, selection of venue, organizers and the decision to delay/cancel meetings rest with the local organizer and the respective governing IOC.

We have been informed that Registration and Abstracts for EuroBIC (August 16-20) are suspended until 3 May when the organisers will review whether it can proceed. LABIC VII (September 22-25) and AsBIC (October 25-29) hope to proceed but will provide updates through their webpages. The GRCs for this summer have been cancelled. As SBIC learns of any modifications or cancellations of these meetings we will strive to inform our members. Most importantly, SBIC recommends all its members to stay safe and to heed appropriate local and national advice on whether conference travel is essential in these challenging times. Ultimately, the loss of valued colleagues and friends is too high a price to pay for the scientific stimulation we all hold so dear.

Call for Nominations/Applications for the 2020 AsBIC Awards

The AsBIC Steering committee is calling for nominations for their three categories of awards. Due to the unexpected situation, the deadlines for applications and nominations have been changed to May 15, 2020. Please follow the links below to get further information:

Graeme Hanson AsBIC Early Career Researcher Award: Members of the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (SBIC) from the Asia-Pacific region, who have been awarded a PhD degree not more than 8 years before the start of the next AsBIC conference, are eligible to apply for a Graeme Hanson AsBIC Early Career Researcher Award. Career interruptions will be taken into consideration.

James Hoeschele AsBIC Award: To be eligible for the award, the candidate must hold SBIC membership and be under 50 years old, or no more than 25 years post PhD at the deadline for nomination. Career interruptions will be taken into consideration.

AsBIC Outstanding Achievement Award: Candidates must be current members of the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (SBIC), must have been involved in research and established themselves as independent investigators for at least 10 years, and must demonstrate sustained outstanding productivity over several years, resulting in a significant contribution to the Biological Inorganic Chemistry field.


We are keen to profile the success of our SBIC members and highlight recent awards in this section of the newsletter. If you have received an award or know of someone who has received recognition for their work, please email the information to Christian Hartinger. It is great to see how many bioinorganic chemists are recognized for their hard work and achievements – congratulations everyone!

Associate Professor Kogularamanan (Rama) Suntharalingam (University of Leicester) is the recipient of the 2020 RSC Inorganic Biochemistry Discussion Group (IBDG) Young Investigator’s Award. Well done!

Katherine J. Franz (Duke) is the winner of the ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences. Congratulations Kathy!

Message from the JBIC Editor-in-Chief

While these are undoubtedly challenging times for many researchers worldwide, JBIC continues operation as close to normal as possible. The Editor-in-Chief wishes to highlight a few points that may be particularly helpful in the present situation:

  1. JBIC welcomes submissions not only of original articles, but also of mini-reviews. A mini-review should be a critical summary of the current literature in a topical, not-too-specialized field of some general interest. It is typically between 5 and 15 printed pages in length, and has 50 – 150 references. A mini-review is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather a concise summary of the most important developments in the field. Highlighting current trends and including a critical perspective from the authors’ point of view is welcome. Mini-reviews can be submitted at any time without prior invitation. They undergo the same rigorous peer review process as regular papers.
  2. For JBIC, it is acceptable to involve coworkers such as experienced PhD candidates or postdocs in reviewing assignments, provided the PI offers mentoring throughout the process, and ultimately assumes full responsibility for the submitted review. Of course, no conflict of interest must exist and anonymity must be observed as usual. It is advised to indicate the name of the coworker who helped with the review in the ‘Confidential Comments to the Editor’ field during review submission.
  3. We are very aware that many researchers will have difficulty in meeting the timelines associated with revisions and the peer review process during these times. Please do let me or your Associate Editor know if you need additional time. The Editorial System will continue to send reminders automatically, but we promise to be flexible and try to accommodate your needs as good as possible.

Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (JBIC) highlights

JBIC is the well-reputed journal of our society. Nils Metzler-Nolte is the Editor-in-Chief and in this role serves as a member of the SBIC Council. If you wish to support our society, Nils always welcomes manuscripts with high impact results for publication in our journal.

Here are some of the paper highlights recently published in JBIC and their full text is available free of charge for 2 months. These articles have been selected by the journal Editor-in-Chief for their exceptional interest to members of the biological inorganic chemistry scientific community.

Similarities and differences in d6 low-spin ruthenium, rhodium and iridium half-sandwich complexes: synthesis, structure, cytotoxicity and interaction with biological targets

Agnieszka Gilewska, Barbara Barszcz, Joanna Masternak, Katarzyna Kazimierczuk, Jerzy Sitkowski, Joanna Wietrzyk & Eliza Turlej

Amino acid-linked platinum(II) compounds: non-canonical nucleoside preferences and influence on glycosidic bond stabilities

Bett Kimutai, C. C. He, Andrew Roberts, Marcel L. Jones, Xun Bao, Jun Jiang, Zhihua Yang, M. T. Rodgers & Christine S. Chow

For your diary: Upcoming conferences – subject to the COVID-19 situation – supported by SBIC

EuroBIC 15, August 16-22, 2020 in Reykjavik, Iceland –

LABIC 7, September 22-25, 2020 in Montevideo, Uruquay –

AsBIC 10, October 25-29, 2020, in Guilin, China –

The following 2020 GRCs have been postponed to 2022:

2020 Gordon Research Conference– Metals in Biology (

2020 Gordon Research Conference–The Roles of Tetrapyrroles in Catalysis, Regulation, Metabolism and Disease (

Job openings in Bioinorganic Chemistry

In this section we provide an opportunity for SBIC members to advertise positions available in their institutions that are related to biological inorganic chemistry. If you wish to advertise your position here, please email a short job description to Christian Hartinger.

Research position in Bioinorganic chemistry at CEA at Grenoble – IRIG, SyMMES (UMR 5819 Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CEA, CNRS)

The new recruit within the CIBEST team – Chemistry Interface Biology for Environment, Health and Toxicology, will be involved in the design and synthesis, chemical characterization and biological validation of metal ligands or chelators as therapeutic tools. The candidate should be a chemist with strong skills in organic synthesis and an extensive knowledge of the chemistry-biology interface. He/she should have a PhD in chemistry and one or more post-doctoral research experiences typically 4 to 8 years after the PhD. International and supervision experience will be considered as additional assets.

Call for applications for conference support

SBIC financially supports international meetings on subjects related to Biological Inorganic Chemistry organized by members of our society. At many of these conferences, SBIC members will pay special, discounted registration fees and students and early career members may be eligible for travel awards.

In order to be eligible for conference support, the conference organizers need to be SBIC members. Applications need to be sent to the SBIC Treasurer Charles G. Riordan. Please include a detailed conference program. Diversity in gender, age, race, ethnicity, geography and research topics covering a broad range of biological inorganic chemistry is a prerequisite to obtain SBIC funding. Adequate representation from underrepresented groups, including women for Plenary and Keynote lectures in particular, and the program in general, must be demonstrated. A maximum of 2,000 US$ (conferences) or 3,000 US$ for student workshops will be granted to non-BIC conferences. All SBIC financial support is exclusively given out as SBIC travel bursaries to be awarded to young researchers (PhD students and postdocs), being SBIC members, and the financial support by SBIC must be acknowledged.

For ICBIC, AsBIC, EuroBIC and LaBIC, special funding rules apply. Please contact the SBIC Treasurer Charles G. Riordan or the SBIC secretary Christian Hartinger for details.

National meetings and those organized by national chemical societies are not eligible for SBIC support, including Pacifichem Symposia.

DEADLINES for applications: March 1 and October 1 each year.