My interest in photosynthesis began while doing undergraduate research at the University of Missouri. There, I was fortunate to work in the lab of Bruce McClure, studying molecular mechanisms of pollen-pistil interactions. While working in Bruce’s lab, he constantly encouraged me to explore the field of plant molecular biology as a whole. Through this exploration, I developed an intense interest in the process of photosynthetic light harvest, and was determined to study it in graduate school.
My graduate work in the Pakrasi Lab has focused on determining the structural and functional consequences of light harvesting antenna modification in the model organism Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Through this work, funded by the Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center, we hope to develop an in-depth understanding of strategies to improve light harvesting in photosynthetic organisms in general, which has implications for everything from farming to biofuel production.
After completing his PhD in November 2012, Larry left the lab to become CTO of Terra Biologics in St. Louis.