The Pakrasi Lab studies how cyanobacteria use solar energy to drive the chemistry of life.

We 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 channeling solar energy into biochemical production.

We are part of the Department of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis.


Mini Updates

1/11/2021 The Pakrasi Lab welcomes our newest rotation student, Adrienne Brauer. Adrienne will be working alongside postdoctoral researcher, Sandeep, and other members of the lab on a PSII rotation project for the next few weeks.

Michelle Liberton will be presenting “Probing photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation in Cyanothece 51142, a unicellular cyanobacterium” to Washington University’s Biology department virtual Bioforum seminar.

12/11/2020 Ginger Johnson will be presenting a talk “A Reversibly Induced CRISPRi System Targeting Photosystem II in the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803” to the Plant and Microbial Biology Breakfast Seminar.

12/10/2020 The Pakrasi Lab is excited to announce the return of previous lab member and visiting graduate student Annesha Sengupta. Dr. Sengupta rejoins us after completing her Ph.D. from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India, and will be returning as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab. Welcome back Annesha!

  Congratulations to Dr. Kristen Wendt on the successful defense of her doctoral dissertation!  Kristen presented her thesis work to her committee and a public audience via Zoom, the first graduate student from the Pakrasi lab to have a virtual defense.  Kristen’s thesis, entitled “Engineering natural competence into the fast-growing cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus UTEX 2973”, described work she performed in the Pakrasi lab as a student in the Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program.

2/19/2020 Himadri Pakrasi, in collaboration with several established members of the cyanobacteria research community, authors a publication that discusses new trends in the phylogenetic classification of cyanobacteria.