Herein, we propose to design de novo (“from scratch”) the first upconverting metalloprotein. This will be achieved by exploiting a new class of lanthanide coiled coils (LCC), to generate bimetallic derivatives. These will, for the first time, combine the attractive photophysical properties of Ln complexes, with de novo designed coiled coil scaffolds capable of selectively binding different Ln ions at well-defined and tuneable distances. This programme of work will provide a new strategy for unlocking the full potential of science at the interface of biology and inorganic chemistry, by combining previously unexplored ligands with traditional inorganic complexes, for applications beyond those offered by biology, such as upconversion. The complementary expertise of Dr Borghesani (bioinorganic chemistry and spectroscopy) and the supervisor Dr Peacock (metallopeptide design) offer the unique combination to realise the full potential of multimetallic LCCs, and will, in conjunction with two planned short secondments, provide Dr Borghesani with new and cutting-edge research training.
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