Jenny first joined the University of Cambridge as a postdoctoral Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in 2013, working with Professor Erwin Reisner. During this time, she explored how biocatalysts can be exploited to generate renewable solar fuels. In particular, she developed strategies to re-wire proteins in an emerging field known ‘semi-artificial photosynthesis’. She was awarded the BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship and become group leader at Cambridge in 2018.
Currently, her team and collaborators are developing platforms to both study photosynthesis and utilise photosynthetic machineries in sustainability-driven biotechnologies. Photosynthesis is the primary energy conversion process that has sustained most of life on earth for almost 3.5 billion years. Cyanobacterial and algae are photosynthetic microorganisms that inhabit diverse terrains and are amongst the most abundant life forms on Earth. In the process, they have evolved impressive machinery for converting sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into complex organic matter. By developing tools to understand how photosynthetic systems can be interfaced with synthetic materials for energy and charge transfer, the productivity of enzymes and microorganisms may be sustainably harnessed in the future to benefit agriculture, the environment, and even to provide clean energy.
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