Sekretareva Group

protein on electrode

We aim to enhance the understanding of electron transfer processes within (bio)electrocatalysts and on the electrode/catalyst interface at the molecular level, and to design new (bio)electrocatalytic devices based on this new understanding. Our research bridge the disciplines of electrochemistry and (bio)inorganic chemistry and utilizes a range of electrochemical, spectroscopic and theoretical techniques, including single entity electrochemistry, protein film electrochemistry, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and quantum mechanical calculations, to address fundamental question of relevance to electrocatalysis.

Follow the link to find out more about our current projects.

Join us

If you are interested in joining our group, don’t hesitate to contact us. Applications from interested students (PhD, Master, etc.) and PostDocs are always welcome!

OPEN scholarship postdoc position

We have a 1+1 year scholarship postdoc position on protein film electrochemistry of multicopper oxidases. 

Project description

Multicopper oxidases (MCOs) comprise a family of enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of various substrates concomitant with the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). This reaction in all MCOs is catalyzed by a minimum of four copper ions, which form the active site of the enzyme. Substrates are oxidized at the solvent-accessible mononuclear type 1 Cu site (T1), and the electrons are then transferred through the protein via intramolecular electron transfer to a trinuclear Cu cluster (TNC), where the ORR occurs. One of the key characteristics of the MCOs is the standard redox potential of their T1 Cu, which varies widely from as low as ∼300 mV to as high as ∼800 mV vs normal hydrogen electrode (NHE) for different MCOs, and this determines the overpotential of the ORR. The overpotential required for the ORR is remarkably small in the high-potential MCOs, leading to their importance as heterogeneous catalysts for constructing efficient biocathodes in fuel cells and as a blueprint for design of biomimetic ORR catalysts.

The mechanism of homogeneous catalysis in MCOs, including high-potential MCOs, has been well-defined through spectroscopic and computational studies. However, the mechanism of heterogeneous ORR catalyzed by MCOs is still not well known. In this project, we will further investigate the mechanism of heterogeneous ORR catalyzed by MCOs using protein film voltammetry coupled with surface-enhanced resonance Raman spectroscopy, in combination with mathematical modeling.

Further reading:

  • Singha, A.; Sekretareva, A.; Tao, L.; Lim, H.; Ha, Y.; Braun, A.; Jones, S. M.; Hedman, B.; Hodgson, K. O.; Britt, R. D.; Kosman, D. J.; Solomon, E. I. Tuning the Type 1 Reduction Potential of Multicopper Oxidases: Uncoupling the Effects of Electrostatics and H-Bonding to Histidine Ligands. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2023, 145 (24), 13284–13301.

  • Sekretareva, A.; Tian, S.; Gounel, S.; Mano, N.; Solomon, E. I. Electron Transfer to the Trinuclear Copper Cluster in Electrocatalysis by the Multicopper Oxidases. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143 (41), 17236–17249.

  • Sekretaryova, A.; Jones, S. M.; Solomon, E. I. O2 Reduction to Water by High Potential Multicopper Oxidases: Contributions of the T1 Copper Site Potential and the Local Environment of the Trinuclear Copper Cluster. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141 (28), 11304–11314. 


The applicant must hold a Ph.D. degree or an international equivalent within the field of Biochemistry, Electrochemistry, Physical Chemistry, or a related field, or must have submitted their doctoral thesis for assessment in a relevant field prior to the application deadline. Documented experience in bioelectrochemistry, preferably in protein film electrochemistry, is required.

The assessment of applications is based primarily on the applicant's ability to conduct independent research based on scientific skills. Greater importance is attached to the quality of individual scientific work, than to the number of publications. The applicant must be sufficiently fluent in English to understand, discuss and communicate science on a high level.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive, creativity, and independence, how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the group.

Further information about the position can be obtained from the project leader, Alina Sekretareva,

Please submit your application via email to before the deadline. Please include the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation as an account of the applicant’s research interests and motivation for applying for the position (max 1 page)
  • CV
  • Publication list
  • Copy of your Ph.D. degree certificate*
  • The names and contact information of three referees.

If you have not got a Ph.D. degree, please submit a certificate or relevant document stating your Ph.D. finishing time from your University or your main supervisor. 

Our research is financed by

Last modified: 2024-01-11