Robert Burnap

Burnap Rob 250

It is a very exciting time in the history of microbial photosynthetic research because atomic-level 3D structures of key photosynthetic enzymes are now determined. Most of the key photosynthetic structures have been obtained from various phototrophic bacteria. This includes the determination of the enigmatic photosystem II complex from thermophilic cyanobacteria. At the same time these are static structures and understanding how they work requires a knowledge of how the structures move as the enzymes operate. This is where our research comes in: we perform experiments that address hypotheses of how the structures behave dynamically during enzyme catalysis. To accomplish this we use genetic tools to the selectively modify the molecular structure to see if predicted alterations in catalytic behavior occur and this is determined by using our biophysical tools to make the observations on how the enzymes are working.

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