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LightWorks Inaugural Lecture Series: Dr. Robert E. Blankenship, Lucille P. Markey Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences at Washington University at St. Louis, Missouri

February 21, 2013

Join us for up to 2 opportunities to interact with Dr. Robert Bankenship, Lucille P. Markey Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences at Washington University at St. Louis, Missouri and Director of the Washington University Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center (PARC). ASU students, faculty and researchers can participate in one or more sessions including a seminar and a panel discussion where Dr. Blankenship will be addressing the first step in biological solar conversion and the future of bioenergy.

We ask that you RSVP in advance. However, walk-ins are welcome.

Download flyer here.

SPEAKER BIO

Dr. Robert E. Blankenship graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1970 with a BS degree in Chemistry. He earned a PhD in Chemistry from University of California at Berkley in 1975 and was a postdoctoral fellow from 1976 to 1979 at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was a faculty member at Amherst College in Massachusetts from 1979-85 and moved to Arizona State University, where he was a faculty member for 21 years. In 2006, he moved to Washington University in St. Louis, where he is joint Professor in the Departments of Biology and Chemistry and the Lucille P. Markey Distinguished Professor in Arts and Sciences. He is the Director of the Washington University Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center (PARC), one of the Department of Energy’s Energy Frontier Research Centers. He is Co-organizer of the 16th International Congress on Photosynthetic Research, which will be held in St. Louis in August 2013. Dr. Blankenship has spent his entire scientific career researching the highly interdisciplinary subject of photosynthesis using a wide range of techniques. His research investigates energy transfer and electron transfer processes in photosynthetic antenna and reaction center complexes with the goal of discovering the essential or irreducible aspects of how light energy is stored.

OPPORTUNITY #1 (afternoon seminar; students and faculty)

Photosynthetic Antennas: The First Step to Biological Solar Energy Conversion

Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm, ASU Tempe Campus Biodesign Institute Auditorium

This seminar will discuss how all photosynthetic organisms contain a light-gathering antenna system, which functions to collect light and deliver energy to the photosynthetic reaction center, where electron transfer processes store chemical energy. There are a large number of different types of antenna complexes, which have almost certainly arisen multiple times during evolution to adapt organisms to particular photic environments. The antenna system that will be discussed in this talk is the chlorosome antenna and the associated FMO protein that is an intermediate in energy transfer between the chlorosome and the reaction center in green sulfur bacteria. This protein has been found to exhibit electronic quantum coherence effects, which may be important in its function. Advanced mass spectrometry methods have been used to determine the orientation of this protein in the intact photosystem, the cofactor composition of the native complex and how it interacts with the cholorosome and reaction center. The Washington University PARC and its mission to understand natural, biohybrid and bioinspired antenna systems will be described in the context of the long-term goal of producing biofuels.  

OPPORTUNITY #2 (evening panel discussion; for all audiences)

The Future of Bioenergy

Thursday, February 21, 2013 from 6 pm – 7:30 pm, ASU SkySong Convergence Room 150 (Reception to begin at 6 pm with panel following at 6:30 pm)

Join us for a panel discussion following Dr. Blankenship’s seminar on the first step in biological solar energy conversion. This panel will discuss the future of bioenergy, particularly in Arizona and the Southwest.

Moderator: Joan Koerber-Walker, President and CEO of Arizona BioIndustry Association

Panelists include:

  •   Dr. Robert E. Blankenship, Professor and Director of PARC at Washington University
  •   Dr. Gary Dirks, Director of ASU LightWorks
  •   Mr. Glen Galster, Chairman of Arizona BioIndustry Association

View flyer for full bios and event details here.

 We ask that you RSVP in advance. However, walk-ins are welcome.