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Conference Program
 
Photosynthesis
July 8-13, 2012
Davidson College
Davidson, NC
Chair:
Richard J. Debus

Vice Chair:
David Kramer

Related Meeting Information
The Photosynthesis Gordon Research Conference was held in conjunction with the Photosynthesis Gordon Research Seminar. Please refer to the Photosynthesis GRS web page for more information.

Solar energy is the only clean, renewable source of energy that has sufficient capacity to replace fossil fuels and meet rising global energy needs. To decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, our challenge is to harness solar energy as a storable fuel on a massive scale. Meeting this challenge means understanding photosynthetic energy conversion at a molecular level, a task requiring perspectives from all disciplines of science. Researchers in photosynthesis have a long innovative history of working across conventional boundaries and engaging in multidisciplinary collaborations. For several decades, the Gordon Research Conference on Photosynthesis has been a key international focal point for the dissemination of new results and the forging of new research collaborations. Continuing this tradition, the 2012 Photosynthesis GRC will bring together top international researchers from diverse and complementary disciplines, all working towards understanding how photosynthesis converts light into the stable chemical energy that powers so much of our world. Few other biological innovations have more profoundly transformed life on Earth than the capture and conversion of solar energy by the photosynthetic machinery. The chemical energy and molecular oxygen produced by this machinery has driven the proliferation of life on Earth and profoundly shaped all life forms.

Focal points for talks and discussions will include:

  • Artificial photosynthesis and solar energy conversion strategies
  • Engineering organisms for biofuels and hydrogen production
  • Electron transport, proton transport, and energy coupling
  • Photoprotection mechanisms
  • Photosynthetic reaction center structure and function, including rewiring reaction centers for artificial photosynthesis
  • Energy capture and light harvesting solutions, including quantum coherence
  • Structure of the oxygen evolving complex and the mechanism of oxygen production

The 2012 conference will have a close eye on practical applications of photosynthetic energy conversion. We are reaching out to share knowledge and perspectives with colleagues in fields that can contribute to the development of practical, sustainable solar energy conversion. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of photosynthesis research, a diverse group of invited speakers will represent a variety of scientific approaches to investigate photosynthesis. Highly interactive poster sessions will provide opportunities for graduate students and postdocs to present their work and exchange ideas with leaders in the field. One of the highlights of the Conference is a session featuring short talks by junior investigators selected from the poster presentations. The collegial atmosphere of the Photosynthesis GRC, with programmed discussion sessions as well as informal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings, enables participants to brainstorm, exchange ideas, and forge new collaborations.

This Conference will be immediately preceded by a Gordon Research Seminar on Photosynthesis, Biofuels and Artificial Photosynthesis (July 7-8, 2012, at the same location). The GRS provides an additional opportunity for graduate students and postdocs to present their research, and it provides a mechanism to encourage active participation by junior scientists interested in photosynthesis and its applications.


Contributors

SUNDAY
2:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in (Office Closed 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmStructural Aspects of Photosynthesis
7:40 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion Leader: Jim Barber (Imperial College, London, UK)
8:10 pm - 8:35 pmKeynote Lecture 1: Nobuo Kamiya (Osaka City University, Japan)
"Structure and function of Mn4CaO5 cluster in oxygen-evolving photosystem II"
8:35 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:15 pmKeynote Lecture 2: Petra Fromme (Arizona State University, USA)
"Femtosecond nanocrystallography of photosynthetic membrane proteins"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
MONDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmO2 Production: Spectroscopy and Modeling
9:00 am - 9:20 amDiscussion Leader: Gary Brudvig (Yale University, USA)
9:20 am - 9:45 amJunko Yano (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA)
"Geometric and electronic structural changes of the Oxygen Evolving Complex in Photosystem II"
9:45 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 10:55 amK. V. Lakshmi (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA)
"Structure and activation of substrate water molecules in the S2 state of Photosystem II"
10:55 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:35 amTakumi Noguchi (Nagoya University, Japan)
"Infrared monitoring of reactions in photosystem II"
11:35 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:15 pmPhilipp Kurz (Kiel University, Germany)
"Synthetic manganese compounds as OEC-models: from multinuclear complexes to 'biomimetic rocks'"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmO2 Production: Computational Aspects
7:30 pm - 7:50 pm Discussion Leader: Victor Batista (Yale University, USA)
7:50 pm - 8:15 pm Per Siegbahn (Stockholm University, Sweden)
"Theoretical studies of water oxidation in Photosystem II: Structures and mechanisms for O-O bond formation and proton release"
8:15 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 8:55 pmMarilyn Gunner (City College of New York, USA)
"Coupling of protons, electrons and chloride ions in the S-state cycle in Photosystem II"
8:55 pm - 9:10 pmDiscussion
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
TUESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmLight Harvesting and Photoprotection
9:00 am - 9:20 amDiscussion Leader: Naomi Ginsberg (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
9:20 am - 9:45 amPeter Walla (Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany)
"Two-photon excitation and the regulation of light-harvesting"
9:45 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 10:55 amHerbert van Amerongen (Wageningen University, Netherlands)
"Light harvesting and photoprotection in cyanobacteria"
10:55 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:35 amAnn McDermott (Columbia University, USA)
"Light Harvesting Antenna Complexes: Hypotheses from Solid State NMR Studies"
11:35 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:15 pmAlfred Holzwarth (Max-Planck-Institute for Bioinorganic Chemistry, Mülheim, Germany)
"From light-harvesting to quenching and back. Do non-photochemical quenching and reaction centers have something in common?"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmEnzymatic Hydrogen Production
7:30 pm - 7:50 pm Discussion Leader: Maria Ghirardi (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA)
7:50 pm - 8:15 pmIftach Yacoby (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
"Study and manipulation of photosynthetic electron transfer to hydrogenase"
8:15 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 8:55 pmOliver Lenz (Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin)
"Hydrogen cycling in the presence of oxygen: no problem at all?"
8:55 pm - 9:10 pmDiscussion
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
WEDNESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmSecondary Electron/Proton Transfer Reactions
9:00 am - 9:20 amDiscussion Leader: David Kramer (Michigan State University)
9:20 am - 9:45 amTony Crofts (University of Illinois, USA)
"The bc1 complex - a ballet but not a pas de deux"
9:45 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 10:55 amMike Bowman (University of Alabama, USA)
"Semiquinone in the Qo Site of Cytochrome bc1 and its place in the Q-cycle"
10:55 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:35 amDaniel Picot (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France)
"The Qi site puzzle in the b6f complex"
11:35 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:15 pmFabrice Rappaport (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France)
"Alternative but not secondary electron transfer pathways: insights into their regulation"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the next Vice Chair; Fill out Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss future Site & Scheduling preferences; Election of the next Vice Chair
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmRewiring Reaction Centers to Outperform Natural Photosynthesis
7:30 pm - 7:50 pmDiscussion Leader: John Golbeck (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
7:50 pm - 8:15 pmLisa Utschig (Argonne National Laboratory, USA)
"Nature-driven photochemistry for solar fuels production"
8:15 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 8:55 pmNoam Adir (Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
"Progress in the engineering of Photosystem II for clean energy production"
8:55 pm - 9:10 pmDiscussion
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
THURSDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmArtificial Photosynthesis
9:00 am - 9:20 amDiscussion Leader: Ana Moore (Arizona State University, USA)
9:20 am - 9:45 amEtsuko Fujita (Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA)
"Artificial photosynthesis for fuel generation and water oxidation"
9:45 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 10:55 amHeinz Frei (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA)
"Functionalized inorganic core-shell nanostructures for artificial photosynthesis"
10:55 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:35 amTom Moore (Arizona State University, USA)
"Combining artificial photosynthesis, biology and technology for efficient energy conversion"
11:35 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:15 pmSteven Reece (Sun Catalytix, USA)
"Low-cost hydrogen from sunlight and water"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 8:30 pmRecognition of Junior Investigators
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmTBA (Selected from posters)
7:40 pm - 7:45 pm Discussion
7:45 pm - 7:55 pmTBA (Selected from posters)
7:55 pm - 8:00 pm Discussion
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmTBA (Selected from posters)
8:10 pm - 8:15 pm Discussion
8:15 pm - 8:25 pmTBA (Selected from posters)
8:25 pm - 8:30 pm Discussion
8:30 pm - 9:30 pmRecognition of Junior Investigators
8:30 pm - 9:10 pmPerspectives Lecture: Nathan Lewis (Caltech, USA)
"Sunlight-driven hydrogen formation by membrane-supported photoelectrochemical water splitting"
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
FRIDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

 
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