Rob Burnap elected as Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM). He will travel to New Orleans to the annual meeting of the Society to receive the award on June 2.


Ph.D Awarded! Congratulations, Steven Holland is now Dr. Steven C Holland. Steven continued as a postdoc finishing experiments on the PSII water-oxidation complex, and has now taken a postdoctoral position at Arizona State University in the lab of Prof. Xuan Wang

International cooperation: Rob Burnap worked on sabbatical in Berlin, Germany. He performed experimental work (principally delayed fluorescence kinetic analysis of PSII mutants) and re-wrote the LabView code for our high-speed oxygen electrodes while in the lab of Prof. Holger Dau at Freie Universität. He also worked on bioinformatic modeling of cyanobacterial growth and bioenergetics with Dr. Ralf Steuer, Institute for Theoretical Biology of the Humboldt-Universität. Many thanks for the his hosts and their students for the efficient research environment and their warm hospitality. It would not have been possible without funds from the Trey Vennerberg endowment . Vielen Dank!

Scientific meeting organized: We were co-organizers of the the 12th Workshop on Cyanobacteria. This NSF and DOE-BES sponsored conference focused on providing young scientists with the opportunity to present and discuss their work. Keynote lectures, providing a broader overview, were given by Shota Atsumi, University of California – Davis; Devaki Bhaya, Carnegie Institution for Science; Cheryl Kerfeld, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory / Michigan State University; Jack Meeks, University of California – Davis; and Himadri Pakrasi, Washington University.


Research Experiences for Teachers (RET):High School teacher, Christopher Storm (Newkirk HS) and pre-service teacher and OSU Chemistry Major Ashley Cast performed research into the assemply of metal clusters in the photosynthetic mechanism as participants in a 5-week, National Science Foundation Supported Research Experiences for Teachers program.

Cooperation with DOE National Lab: Dr. Melissa Cano of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), visited to collaborate with Steven Holland, Juliana Artier, and Neil Miller, studying the photosynthetic characteristics of cyanobacteria strains engineered for 'Green Chemistry' compound production.


Undergraduate, Ian Maloney, successfully defends Honor's Thesis entitled "Langer-Geidion Syndrome: A Case Study Exemplifying Potentials and Challenges of Medicine in the Post-Genomic Era"

Dr. Han Bao recognized for her research at the Gordon Research Conference on Photosynthesis, subtitled “From Evolution of Fundamental Mechanisms to Radical Re-Engineering.” held in Vermont, Aug 10–15, 2014. She presented biophysical studies of H2O oxidation mutants using careful polarographic analysis in combination with temperature, pH, and deuterium isotope manipulations. This has revealed a new kinetic step that becomes rate determining in the mutant photoenzyme. This step is interpreted to be a molecular rearrangement that poises the reactants immediately prior to dioxygen formation.

Entire lab group presented the research at the Midwest Photosynthesis Meeting at Turkey Run State Park Lodge in Indiana.

Vaughn O. Vennerberg visited campus, which included a tour of the lab and a chance to discuss the research being conducted with the group.

New collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to understand the photosynthetic physiology of cyanobacterial strains engineered to produce ethylene.

New Ph.D. student, Neil Miller has joined the lab.

Undergraduate researcher and Wentz Scholar Alyson Colin will enter the Ph.D. program in Chemistry at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA Fall 2014.

Undergraduate researcher Curtis Bacon will enter the Ph.D. program in Biological Chemistry at the Univ. Texas Southwest Medical Center Fall 2014.


New paper on water oxidation: Dilbeck PL, Bao H, Neveau, Burnap RL. Perturbing the water cavity surrounding the manganese cluster by mutating the residue D1-Valine 185 has a strong effect on the water oxidation mechanism of Photosystem II. , Biochemistry [Epub ahead of print]

Rob Burnap has been named the Vaughn O. Vennerberg II Chair of Bioinformatics and Molecular Genetics. Vennerberg is an OSU alumnus and philanthropist supporting a number of progressive efforts in and outside of academia. This particular funding will support fundamental research into genome-enabled studies such as metabolic reconstruction to predict metabolic phenotypes.

Another new Ph.D.: Aparna Nagarajan has sucessfully defended her thesis: "Insights into the maintenance and repair of photosystem II, a dynamic membrane protein complex"

New Ph.D.: Preston L. Dilbeck has successfully defended his thesis entitled: "Second sphere ligands of the manganese cluster modulate the water oxidation mechanism of photosystem II"

Shawn's work on the control of carbon concentration mechanism gene expression has been published in the open source journal PLoS One.


New Book: Functional Genomics & Evolution of Photosynthetic Systems

Includes a chapter from Aparna's thesis work involving a bioinformatic analysis of photosystem II structure and evolution.

Preston's analysis of a mutant defective in the proton transfer pathway from the water oxidation has been accepted in Biochemistry


Prof. Holger Dau of the Free University of Berlin has visited the lab for discussion on collaborative research.

Aparna Nagarajan’s work to engineer the parallel expression of alternate forms of the D1 protein for analysis of photoinhibition repair was accepted for publication.


Rob Burnap has returned from his postion as Program Director of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at the National Science Foundation.