Himadri Pakrasi

Himadri Pakrasi

​George William and Irene Koechig Freiberg Professor
research interests:
  • Biochemistry
  • Photosynthesis
  • Nitrogen Fixation
  • Systems and Synthetic Biology
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    contact info:

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
      CB 1137
      One Brookings Drive
      St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    ​Professor Pakrasi conducts research in the broad areas of photosynthesis, systems biology and synthetic biology. He is deeply engaged in bridging research interests in physical and biological sciences.

    Himadri Pakrasi's current focus is on bioenergy production in cyanobacteria. His lab studies how cyanobacteria use solar energy to drive the chemistry of life. They 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 channelling solar energy into biochemical production.

    Pakrasi participates in the following graduate programs:

    • Biochemistry Doctoral Program in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences
    • Plant and Microbial Biosciences Doctoral Program in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences
    • Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences.


    Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
    Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
    Wiley Fellow, Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Munich University, Germany
    Distinguished Fellow, Biosciences Institute, Nagoya University, Japan
    Lady Davis Visiting Professor, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

    recent courses

    Bioenergy (Bio 4830)

    A broad overview of the flow of energy, captured from sunlight during photosynthesis, in biological systems, and current approaches to utilize the metabolic potentials of microbes and plants to produce biofuels and other valuable chemical products. An overall emphasis is placed on the use of large-scale genomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic datasets in biochemistry. The topics covered include photosynthesis, central metabolism, structure and degradation of plant lignocellulose, and microbial production of liquid alcohol, biodiesel, hydrogen & other advanced fuels.

      Selected Publications

      Complete publications list with article text

      1. Liu, D., Johnson, V. M. and Pakrasi, H. B. (2020) A reversibly induced CRISPRi system targeting Photosystem II in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. ACS Synth. Biol., 9: 1441-1449. doi: 10.1021/acssynbio.0c00106
      2. Lin, P.-C., Zhang, F. and Pakrasi, H. B. (2020) Sustainable production of sucrose in the fast-growing cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus UTEX 2973. Scientific Rep., 10: 390 doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-57319-5
      3. Garcia-Pichel, F., Zehr, J. P., Bhattacharya, D. and Pakrasi, H. B. (2020) What’s in a name? The case of Cyanobacteria. J. Phycol. 56: 1-5. doi:10.1111/jpy.12934
      4. Knoot, C. J., Biswas, S. and Pakrasi, H. B. (2020) Tunable repression of key photosynthetic processes using Cas12a CRISPR interference in the fast-growing cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. UTEX 2973. ACS Synth. Biol. 9:132-143. doi: 10.1021/acssynbio.9b00417
      5. Weisz, D. A., Johnson, V. M., Niedzwiedzki, D. M., Shinn, M.K., Liu, H., Klitzke, C. F.  Gross, M. L., Blankenship, R. E., Lohman, T. M. and Pakrasi, H. B. (2019) A novel chlorophyll protein complex in the repair cycle of Photosystem II. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 116: 21907-21913; bioRxiv; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/660712.
      6. Hendry, J. I., Bandyopadhyay, A., Srinivasan, S., Pakrasi, H. B. and Maranas, C. D. (2019) Metabolic model guided strain design for cyanobacteria. Curr. Opinions in Biotechnol., 64:17-23  doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2019.08.011.
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