2023 workshop on bidirectional catalysis, from molecular machines to enzymes

September 11th-12th, 2023, Marseille


This workshop focusses on the modelling and mechanistic questions related to bidirectional catalysis.

Whereas many catalysts work in the two directions of the reaction, bidirectional synthetic molecular redox catalysts are scarce. In enzymology, there has been much interest in trying to elucidate what makes a particular enzyme faster in one direction (a property sometimes called the “catalytic bias”). Related to this question is how much free energy is required to kick off catalysis and what makes the so-called “reversible catalysts” function at a fast rate even close to equilibrium, a property that is needed to design energy efficient devices. Examining experimentally the relations between catalytic rate and driving force is more difficult with a biological motor than with a molecular or a surface redox catalyst, but the same concepts apply. This workshop aims at bringing together people from different fields (surface catalysis, molecular catalysis, molecular machines) to clarify the overlaps, see how much knowledge can be transferred across disciplines, and describe recent advances in the use, design, benchmarking and kinetic modeling of bidirectional catalysts.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Synthetic homogeneous catalysts of redox reactions
  • Redox enzymes
    • Judy Hirst (in principle) (MRC MBU, University of Cambridge, UK)
    • Anne K. Jones (Arizona State University, USA)
    • Steffen Hardt (Technical University Munich, G)

Scientific committee:


Registration is free, but not open yet. Please let us know if you would like to attend by filling the form below.

Venue & Location

A bus (L91) connects Marseille airport to Marseille Gare Saint Charles. You can buy etickets online.

The workshop will take place at the IMéRA, the Institute for Advanced Study of Aix-Marseille University – AMU, near the “Palais Longchamp“, which is easily reached from Marseille main train station (Gare Saint Charles)

From Saint Charles train station, IMERA can be reached:

  • by foot, 15min; walk down towards “Réformés” (Eglise St Vincent de Paul, then nice walk along “Boulevard Longchamp”. There is a shorter path along the “Boulevard Camille Flamarion”.
  • metro 1 (blue line) heading towards “La Rose”, only two stops from “Saint Charles” to “Cinq Avenues Longchamp”, then walk north either accros the park or along “Boulevard Philippon”, then “Boulevard Montricher”.
  • bus 49 heading towards “Centre Bourse”, from bus stop “Voltaire Saint Charles” to “Place Leverrier”.

Location and transport