K. V. Lakshmi

Professor and Director, Baruch '60 Center For Biochemical Solar Energy Research, Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Dr. Lakshmi is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Director of the Baruch ’60 Center for Biochemical Solar Energy Research at Rensselaer. She is trained in the development and application of advanced biophysical spectroscopy at Brandeis, the Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory at MIT, and Yale University. She is recognized worldwide as a leader in the current generation of young physical chemists and biophysicists for her research on the development of state-of-the-art multi-frequency multi-dimensional pulsed EPR spectroscopy, solids NMR spectroscopy and electron-nuclear spectroscopy methods. In fact, she is one of very few researchers around the world with expertise and training in developing both advanced solids NMR and pulsed multi-frequency EPR spectroscopy methods. She applies her advanced training and knowledge in magnetic resonance spectroscopy, molecular genetics, biochemistry, inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry, computational chemistry and in situ observation of light-driven intermediates to address the molecular mechanisms of solar energy conversion in natural and artificial photosynthetic systems.

Dr. Lakshmi is the recipient of several awards for her research including the Bioenergetics Award by the American Biophysical Society for outstanding contributions in the field of membrane bioenergetics, the Therese Cotton Memorial Early Career Award by the Gordon Research Conferences for excellence in photosynthesis research, and a UNESCO fellowship. She has authored over 95 peer-reviewed journal publications and is an invited speaker at numerous national and international conferences. Her current research collaborations include both academic institutions and National laboratories, such as, Argonne National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Yale University, MIT, Harvard University, Penn State University, University of California at Berkeley and Riverside, Temple University and the Indian Institutes of Technology at Delhi and Bombay in India. She has served as a Chair and co-Chair of leading conferences on natural and artificial photosynthesis and solar energy utilization. She has also served as a scientific consultant to biotechnology, pharmaceutical and energy industries. She is a reviewer for leading scientific journals, U. S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, American Chemical Society, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and the Biotechnology and Biological Scientific Research Council in the United Kingdom. She has held visiting appointments at Yale University, Argonne National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  

Research Focus
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry and Biophysical Chemistry
  • Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • Cheminformatics and Computational Chemistry
  • Polymers, Materials and Energy
  • Green Chemistry and Sustainability
  • Solar Energy Conversion
  • Natural and Artificial Photosynthesis
  • Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Select Works
  • 93. D. Xiao, K. V. Lakshmi and P. J. Bonitatibus “Bio-inspired Molecular Catalysts for Water Oxidation” (2021) Catalysts, 11, 1068.
  • 92. K. Yang, K. V. Lakshmi, G. W. Brudvig and V. S. Batista “Is Deprotonation of the Oxygen-Evolving Complex of Photosystem II during the S1 → S2 Transition Suppressed by Proton Quantum Delocalization?” (2021) J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 143, 8324-8332.
  • 91. M. Gorka, P. Charles, V. Kalendra, J. H. Golbeck and K. V. Lakshmi “A Dimeric Chlorophyll Electron Acceptor Differentiates Type I from Type II Photosynthetic Reaction Centers” (2021) iScience (Cell Press), 24, 102719.
  • 61. J. K. Cooper, S. B. Scott, Y. Ling, J. Yang, S. Hao, Y. Li, F. M. Toma, M. Stutzmann, K. V. Lakshmi and I. D. Sharp “The Role of Hydrogen in Defining the n-Type Character of BiVO4 Photoanodes” (2016) Chem. Mat., 28, 5761-5771.
  • 60. M. Ziegler, D. S. Levine, K. V. Lakshmi and T. D. Tilley “Aryl Group Transfer from Tetraarylborato Anions to an Electrophilic Dicopper(I) Center and Mixed-Valence μ -Aryl Dicopper(I,II) Complexes” (2016) J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 138, 6484-6491.
  • 54. C. S. Coates, S. Milikisiyants, R. Chatterjee, M. Whittaker, J. Whittaker and K. V. Lakshmi “Superoxidized Mn(III)Mn(IV) Catalase as a Model for the Oxygen Evolving Complex of Photosystem II” (2015) J. Phys. Chem. B, 119, 4905. (Featured Cover Article)
  • 50. R. Chatterjee, C. S. Coates, A. M. Meenaghan, S. Milikisiyants, C-I. Sophia Lee, A. Wagner, O. G. Poluektov and K. V. Lakshmi “Snapshots of Biological Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer: Electron-Nuclear Double Resonance Spectroscopy of Tyrosine Intermediates in Photosystem II” (2013) Biochemistry, 52, 4781.
  • 49. S. Milikisiyants, R. Chatterjee, C. S. Coates, F. M. K. Koua, J-R. Shen and K. V. Lakshmi “The Structure and Activation of Substrate Water Molecules in the S2 State of Photosystem II Studied by Hyperfine Sublevel Correlation Spectroscopy” (2012) Energy Environ. Sci., 5, 7747.