Fakultät für Chemie und Pharmazie

Awards: ERC Starting Grant for Prof. Lena Daumann

Six early-career researchers have won ERC Starting Grants in conjunction with LMU, including Prof. Lena Daumann from the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy.


Professor Lena Daumann is a Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry and Coordination Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at LMU. She is particularly interested in the roles of rare earth elements in biological systems, more specifically those of the lanthanides.

Lanthanides (Ln) have become technologically indispensable raw materials in recent decades, and there is great demand for efficient and sustainable strategies for the recycling of these metals. Her ERC project on “Innovative Bioinspired Strategies Towards Selective Lanthanide Complexation and Separation: From Bacterial Chelators to Applications” (acronym: LANTHANOPHOR) was inspired by the discovery that certain bacteria are capable of efficiently mobilizing lanthanides. The molecular mechanisms that enable these bacteria to accumulate lanthanides are as yet largely unexplored. However, it was recently shown that they possess specialized multidentate ligands – lanthanophores – that bind specifically to lanthanides. Daumann’s goal is to characterize these compounds, and utilize the insights obtained to develop rapid, sustainable and environmentally benign technologies for the selective recovery and recycling of lanthanides.

Lena Daumann studied Chemistry at Heidelberg University, graduating in 2009. She did her doctoral research at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, obtaining her PhD in Bioinorganic Chemistry in 2013. Following subsequent postdoctoral stints at the University of California in Berkeley and at the University of Heidelberg, she was appointed to her present position in the Faculty of Chemistry und Pharmacy at LMU in 2016.

Source: LMU News