Carl J. Carrano

Professor and Former Chair, Inorganic, Biochemistry

office: GMCS 213D
phone: 619-594-1617
Carrano photo

Research Interests

I have published extensively in the field of bioinorganic chemistry and have authored over 130 research publications. In addition, I am the North American Editor for the International Journal BioMetals. My group generally contains a mix of undergraduates, graduate students, as well as postdocs. Indeed, I consider the training of graduate students and postdocs for careers in academic teaching/research institutions to be an important duty. My students have been most successful in this regard with many now holding such positions. I also bring my extensive international experience, having spent (in total) several years in Europe working with my many foreign collaborators, which presents possibilities for my students to do work overseas if they wish.

Currently, I have funding from both the NSF and the Dreyfus Foundation and therefore am actively recruiting students to work in my laboratory. My research interests are wide ranging. In bioinorganic chemistry, these extend from models for zinc, molybdenum and non-heme iron metalloprotein active sites, to design of metal complexes as artificial restriction enzymes for molecular biology to the mechanisms of iron transport and storage in microorganisms to the design and synthesis of new metallodrugs to the study of isotopic fractionation of iron in microorganisms. A recent area of interest is in marine science and the relationship between harmful algal blooms (the so called red tides) and iron and boron metabolism in phytoplankton and bacteria symbiotic with them. This is a collaborative project between us and workers at UC Santa Barbara and at the Scottish Association for Marine Science. Finally, I am interested in materials science and the rational synthesis of solid state materials using a building block approach.

These projects expose students to a wide range of modern research techniques including X-ray crystallography, NMR, computational chemistry, natural-products isolation, HPLC, ESI-MS, ICP-MS, molecular biology, electron microscopy, etc. I bring particular strengths in X-ray crystallography and am in charge of our new CCD based diffractometer. My former students, previous postdocs, and I have solved over 500 structures, and there will be ample opportunity for any interested students to learn this important technique. This goes for both the graduate students and the undergraduates. In fact, I had one undergraduate student who solved more than 20 structures and had 13 papers with me when he finished!

I hope this brief outline of my background and interests is helpful. I look forward to hearing from you if you are interested.

Selected Publications

  1. Hartnett, Andrej; Boettger, Lars H.; Matzanke, Berthold F.; et al., A multidisciplinary study of iron transport and storage in the marine green alga Tetraselmis suecica J. Inorg. Biochem. 2012, 116 188-194.
  2. Hartnett, Andrej; Boettger, Lars H.; Matzanke, Berthold F.; et al., Iron transport and storage in the coccolithophore: Emiliania huxleyi Metallomics 2012, 4 1160-1166.
  3. Boettger, Lars H.; Miller, Eric P.; Andresen, Christian; et al., Atypical iron storage in marine brown algae: a multidisciplinary study of iron transport and storage in Ectocarpus siliculosus J. Experimental Botany 2012, 63 5763-5772.
  4. Amin, Shady A.; Green, David H.; Al Waheeb, Dhuha; et al., Iron transport in the genus Marinobacter Biometals 2012, 25 135-147.
  5. Amin, Shady A.; Green, David H.; Gaerdes, Astrid; et al., Siderophore-mediated iron uptake in two clades of Marinobacter spp. associated with phytoplankton: the role of light Biometals 2012, 25 181-192.
  6. Romano, Ariel A.; Hahn, Tobias; Davis, Nicole; et al., The Fe(III) and Ga(III) coordination chemistry of 3-(1-hydroxymethylidene) and 3-(1-hydroxydecylidene)-5-(2-hydroxyethyl)pyrrolidine-2,4-dione: Novel tetramic acid degradation products of homoserine lactone bacterial quorum sensing molecules J. Inorg. Biochem. 2012, 107 96-103.
  7. Cock, J. Mark; Sterck, Lieven; Rouze, Pierre; et al., The Ectocarpus genome and the independent evolution of multicellularity in brown algae Nature 2010, 465 617-621.
  8. Huang, Shih-Huang; Watson, William H.; Carrano, Carl J.; et al., Directed Synthesis of the Triangular Mixed-Metal Cluster H2RhRe2CP*(CO)(9): Ligand Fluxionality and Facile Cluster Fragmentation in the Presence of CO, Halogenated Solvents, and Thiols Organometallics 2010, 29 61-75.