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Redox reactions underpin innumerable chemical reactions and much of the chemistry of life. We investigate how oxidation-state changes govern respiration and photosynthesis and how nature has fine-tuned the redox properties of its many intricate molecular machines. Redox reactions often involve transition metal ions and in the group we examine the properties, structure and bonding of transition-metal centres in these complex enzymes.
Many redox reactions proceed via radical intermediates and these are, perhaps luckily, often located in mechanistically key locations. We use electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy as a powerful method for obtaining detailed information on the structure and bonding these ubiquitous spin centres. Electrochemistry on the other hand, in particular film electrochemistry, provides insight into the reactions carried out by these catalysts. We are developing a new method, film-electrochemical EPR, to study the evolution of radicals during a (catalytic) reaction and hence gain detailed mechanistic understanding.
Maxie completed her DPhil on EPR spectroscopic investigations of Fe-S cluster relays in enzymes at Oxford in 2012 under the supervision of Prof. Fraser Armstrong FRS, started her independent career at Queen Mary University of London in 2013 and moved to Imperial College in April 2019.
She leads an £2.3M EPSRC strategic equipment project, establishing a Centre of Pulse ESR spectroscopy (PEPR) at Imperial College, of which she is the Director. She is passionate about contributing to the EPR community internationally and is currently Vice President (for Europe) of the International ESR Society.
Maxie has two children, born in 2013 and 2018.
et al., 2021, Functional basis of electron transport within photosynthetic complex I, Nature Communications, Vol:12, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-8
et al., 2021, Functional group introduction and aromatic unit variation in a set of π‑conjugated macrocycles: revealing the central role of local and global aromaticity, Organic Chemistry Frontiers, Vol:8, ISSN:2052-4110, Pages:4730-4745
et al., 2021, Rotaxane Co-II complexes as field-induced single-ion magnets, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Vol:60, ISSN:1433-7851, Pages:16051-16058
Eisermann J, Seif-Eddine M, Roessler MM, 2021, Insights into metalloproteins and metallodrugs from electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, Vol:61, ISSN:1367-5931, Pages:114-122
et al., 2021, A conserved arginine residue is critical for stabilizing the N2 FeS cluster in mitochondrial complex I, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol:296, ISSN:0021-9258