Professor Richard J. Cogdell, Ph.D., FRS, FRSE, FRSA, FBA
Research in Professor Richard Cogdell's laboratory is centered around bacterial photosynthesis with work increasingly focused on the early events of photosynthesis in light harvesting and energy transfer.
A wide variety of experimental approaches have been used, including protein crystallography, spectroscopy and molecular biology. However it was protein crystallography which in 1995 led Professor Cogdell's research group - in collaboration with other groups - to determine the three dimensional structure of a light-harvesting complex from the purple bacterium, Rhodopseudomas acidophila. This has allowed his lab to produce a model of the membrane-bound system which performs the initial reactions in bacterial photosynthesis.
Richard's group is now using the information garnered from the model to determine the structural and functional relationships within individual pigment and protein complexes and in the assembly of the photosynthetic unit supercomplex within the bacterial photosynthetic membrane.
Professor Cogdell has coordinated major EU and Human Frontiers of Science projects, has been Head of the Botany Department at Glasgow University for 6 years and was the founding Research Director of the Institute for Biological and Life Sciences. He was an invited participant in the recent US DOE workshop in Washington DC, where he helped to write the scientific case for funding on solar energy research that has now resulted in a major US program in that area. He is also on the steering committee of the EU group that wrote the White Paper on Harnessing Solar Energy for the ESF. He was elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society earlier in 2007.