Since the early 1970s, Richard Cogdell has been involved in research on bacterial photosynthesis.
His work has increasingly focused on the early events of photosynthesis, light harvesting and energy transfer, and the structure and function of the pigment-protein complexes involved in these processes. A wide variety of experimental approaches have been used, including protein crystallography, fs and ps spectroscopy, single molecule spectroscopy and
molecular biology. However, it was protein crystallography in 1995 that allowed Cogdell’s research group, in collaboration with two other groups, to determine the three-dimensional structure of a light-harvesting complex from the purple bacterium, Rhodopseudomas acidophila. Since then, Cogdell has collaborated with theoreticians and experimental physicists and chemists, to capitalize on this structural information and understand the full molecular details of the energy transfer reactions that take place during light harvesting.
Increasingly, Cogdell is concentrating on using the information gained from his structural and functional studies on the purple bacterial pigment-protein complexes to devise ways of using solar energy to produce fuels. To this end, he was a co-founder of the Glasgow Solar Fuels Initiative, which involves a wide range of collaborations both within the University of Glasgow and in the United States, Japan, Germany, Poland and Italy.
President of the International Society for Photosynthesis Research, 2013
Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, 2011
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, 2009
Adjunct Professor of Ma Chung University, Indonesia, 2008
Fellow of the Royal Society, 2007
Adjunct Professor of Chinese National Academy of Sciences for Biophysics, Beijing, 2007
Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1991
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Perlík, V. et al. “Vibronic coupling explains the ultrafast carotenoid-to-bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer in natural and artificial light harvesters.” J.Chem. Phys. 142, no. 21 (June 2015): 212434.
Cogdell, R.J. et al. "The structure of purple bacterial antenna complexes." In Photosynthetic Protein Complexes: A Structural Approach, edited by P. Fromme, 325–39. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 2008.
Law, C.J. et al. "How purple bacteria harvest light energy." In Energy Harvesting Materials, edited by D.L. Andrews, 65–69. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2005.
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