Pakrasi conducts research in the broad areas of photosynthesis, systems biology and synthetic biology. He is deeply engaged in bridging research interests in physical and biological sciences.
Pakrasi’s current focus is on bioenergy production in cyanobacteria. His lab studies how cyanobacteria use solar energy to drive the chemistry of life. The researchers work in many disciplines and have projects that focus on determining how the molecular machines that capture solar energy are assembled and maintained, how cyanobacteria respond to environmental changes at the systems level and how to engineer new strains of cyanobacteria that are capable of channelling solar energy into biochemical production.
Himadri Pakrasi, the Myron and Sonya Glassberg/Albert and Blanche Greensfelder Distinguished University Professor
Biologist Himadri Pakrasi in Arts & Sciences leads a team awarded $1.7 million from the National Science Foundation to streamline the genome of a cyanobacterium for sustainable production of food, feed and fuels.
Himadri B. Pakrasi, professor of biology in Arts & Sciences and director of InCEES, was recently awarded a $1.2-million grant for a collaborative study of cyanobacteria with the ultimate purpose of producing nitrogen-fixing crop plants.
A team at Washington University in St. Louis has created a bacteria that uses photosynthesis to create oxygen during the day, and at night, uses nitrogen to create chlorophyll for photosynthesis. This development could lead to plants that do the same, eliminating the use of some — or possibly all — man-made fertilizer, which has a high environmental cost.
Three Washington University in St. Louis scientists studied the great granddaddy of all photosynthetic organisms — a strain of cyanobacteria — to develop the first experimental map of that organism’s water world.
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded David Fike, PhD, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences, $2.4 million to adapt a powerful chemical microscope called the 7F-GEO SIMS for biological samples. The updated instrument’s ability to map the chemistry inside cells will boost research on microbes that are promising candidates for biofuel or bioenergy production.
The government of India’s Department of Biotechnology,
Indian corporate leaders and Washington University in St. Louis have
invested $2.5 million to launch the Indo-U.S. Advanced Bioenergy
Consortium for Second Generation Biofuels (IUABC). The goal of the center is to increase biomass yield in
plants and algae, enabling downstream commercial development for
cost-effective, efficient and environmentally sustainable production of
Winning teams in the I-CARES Student Competition displayed their sustainability projects on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis last week. The annual competition asks students to propose a physical installation in the area of climate change, renewable energy or sustainable design.
Much of modern agriculture relies on biologically
available nitrogenous compounds (called “fixed” nitrogen) made by an
industrial process developed by German chemist Fritz Haber in 1909. Himadri Pakrasi, PhD, a scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, thinks it should be possible to design a better
nitrogen-fixing system. His idea is to put the apparatus for fixing
nitrogen in plant cells, the same cells that hold the apparatus for
capturing the energy in sunlight. The National Science Foundation just awarded Pakrasi and his team $3.87 million to explore this idea further.
The International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy
and Sustainability (I-CARES) has announced the award winners for its
2013 Call for Proposals. This year, special emphasis was placed on projects related to
The International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES) will celebrate its inaugural I-CARES day Friday, Oct. 19. The celebration will feature a talk by Peter H. Raven, former president of the Missouri Botanical Garden, on climate change and its impact on biodiversity, and a presentation by T.R. Kidder, professor and chair of
anthropology, on the idea that we may be entering a new geological era, called the Anthropocene, in which humans are the primary geological change agents. There also will be activities for students, including a
QR-code scavenger hunt.
Himadri Pakrasi, PhD, director of WUSTL’s International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES), has become the inaugural holder of the Myron and Sonya Glassberg/Albert and Blanche Greensfelder Distinguished University Professor.
Ralph J. Cicerone, PhD, president of the National Academy of Sciences, speaks about climate change at WUSTL Jan. 23, meticulously presenting the most current data on climate change. The talk, the first in a series on climate change, was sponsored by I-CARES and the Tyson Research Center, which plan to continue to enage the WUSTL community in an ongoing conversation about climate change.
Ralph J. Cicerone, PhD, president of the National Academy of Sciences and chair of the National Research Council, will present a seminar on climate change at Washington University in St. Louis at 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, in Room 300, Laboratory Sciences Building on the Danforth Campus.
Two engineering faculty have been chosen for I-CARES career development awards: John Fortner, PhD, and Brent Williams, PhD, both assistant professors in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering. I-CARES, the International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability, was established in 2007 to encourage interdisciplinary research on problems in the fields of energy, environment and sustainability.
The Department of Energy has funded a three-university collaboration led by Washington University in St. Louis to approach the problem of algal fuels systematically.In a two-step project, the team will first attempt a comprehensive understanding of the metabolic machinery of selected cyanobacterial strains and then implement that understanding by assembling a novel bacterium with the machinery needed to produce fuel molecules. They will be bringing to bear on the problem of algal fuels the most sophisticated approaches contemporary biology now has to offer: systems biology and synthetic biology.
The cyanobacteria are famous for releasing the oxygen that made the Earth a hospitable planet, but some strains also have a hidden talent for producing hydrogen gas, a potential biofuel. With the help of a few metabolic tricks, a lab at Washington University has coaxed one such strain to produce champion levels of the gas.
Klaus R. G. Hein, PhD, of the University of Stuttgart, Germany, gives a European perspective on the future of global energy at the “McDonnell International Scholars Academy Symposium: Global Energy Future” held Oct. 1-5 at Washington University in St. Louis. At the meetings, participants reviewed the progress in research collaborations and identified new research opportunitites that might reduce carbon dioxide emission, improve efficiency of energy utilization or lead to more rapid deployment of renewable energy sources.
The International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES) has awarded 11 faculty members — university professors undertaking innovative and collaborative research in the broad areas of bioenergy and sustainability — grants totaling nearly $300,000.
America has the potential to solve its energy crisis over the next decade, but doing so will require immediate investment in clean energy technologies, says Mark S. Wrighton, chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis and vice chair of a National Resource Council report on America’s energy challenges. The report will be the topic of a symposium to be held from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, in the May Auditorium in Simon Hall on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis.
Photo by Joe AngelesChancellor Mark S. Wrighton announced during a news conference Dec. 2 the establishment of the Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization.
Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton announced during a Dec. 2 news conference the establishment of the Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization. The university has dedicated more than $60 million in financial resources during the past year to advance education and research related to energy, environment and sustainability.
A news conference to announce a clean coal initiative with a goal of making St. Louis the nation’s center for clean coal research will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008, at Whitaker Hall on the Washington University Danforth Campus. Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, along with heads of Peabody Energy, Arch Coal and Ameren, will make the announcement.
A groundbreaking ceremony for a new energy, environmental engineering and biomedical engineering building on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis was held Wednesday, Oct. 29, on the parking lot adjacent to Whitaker Hall, near the corner of Skinker Boulevard and Forest Park Parkway. The building, which will be named in honor of Stephen F. and Camilla T. Brauer, will be east of and adjoining to Whitaker Hall, home of the biomedical engineering department.