Photosynthesis transforms light, carbon dioxide and water into chemical energy in plants and some bacteria. The wavelike characteristic of this energy transfer process can explain its extreme efficiency, in that vast areas of phase space can be sampled effectively to find the most efficient path for energy transfer.
PARC will explore basic science research aimed at understanding the principles of the harvesting of light and funneling of energy as applied to natural photosynthetic, biohybrid and bio-inspired antenna systems, which gather light and carry it to an organism's reaction center where the chemistry that creates energy takes place.
PARC brings together 17 diverse scientists, including five from Washington University, five from Oak Ridge, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. In addition, six other academic scientists from universities in the United States and the United Kingdom and one from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Richard Sayre, Ph.D., who also heads the Danforth Plant Science Center team that has received the $15 million DOE grant.
PARC will make significant educational and outreach efforts at the K-12, undergraduate and graduate levels. And there are plans for a yearly meeting of all participants at WUSTL to discuss research progress and collaborations.
As an EFRC, the Danforth Plant Science Center will receive $15 million over a five-year period to establish a Center for Advanced Biofuels Systems (CABS) that will be led by Sayre, who will serve as director. Sayre is also the director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at the Danforth Center.
The team of principal investigators from the Danforth Center include Jan Jaworski, Ph.D., Sam Wang, Ph.D., Toni Kutchan, Ph.D., Oliver Yu, Ph.D., Leslie Hicks, Ph.D., as well as Ed Cahoon, Ph.D., of the University of Nebraska, David Gang, Ph.D., of the Universit
|Contact: Tony Fitzpatrick|
Washington University in St. Louis