Krishna K. Niyogi is a plant and microbial biologist recognized for his research on regulation of photosynthesis. He is best known for pioneering genetic analysis of nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) mechanisms that regulate light photosynthetic harvesting. Niyogi grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where his parents worked as biochemists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received a B.A. in biology with honors from The Johns Hopkins University, an M.Phil. in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, and a Ph.D. in biology from MIT. He did postdoctoral research at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Plant Biology at Stanford before joining the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley in 1997. He has received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a Searle Scholar Award, the Melvin Calvin Award from the International Society of Photosynthesis Research, and the Charles Albert Shull Award and Fellow of ASPB Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists. He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation investigator and a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Research Interests

Krishna K. Niyogi's laboratory studies how photosynthetic energy conversion works, how it is regulated, and how it might be improved to help meet the world's needs for food and fuel. They use a wide array of experimental organisms and interdisciplinary approaches to investigate fundamental questions about assembly, regulation, and dynamics of photosynthesis. Current areas of interest include the biosynthesis and function of photosynthetic pigments, assembly of photosynthetic reaction centers, structure and dynamics of the photosynthetic membrane, mechanisms involved in sensing excess light, and regulation of photosynthetic light harvesting in saturating light. By comparing how photosynthesis works in diverse organisms, they hope to uncover general design principles of natural photosynthesis as well as unique adaptations to different environments.

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Section 25: Plant Biology