Joana Kargul

University Professor in solar conversion, and Head of the Laboratory of Solar Fuels at the Center of New Technologies, University of Warsaw, Poland

Prof. Joanna Kargul is University Professor in solar conversion at University of Warsaw, Poland.  Head of the Laboratory of Solar Fuels at the Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw where she focuses on dissecting the molecular mechanisms of oxygenic photosynthesis using biochemical, structural and biophysical approaches. She applies the fundamental knowledge of oxygenic photosynthesis for construction of biohybrid solar-to-fuel devices incorporating robust photosystem biocatalysts and various conductive and semi-conductive materials (e.g. graphene, silicon, hematite etc.). Together with her team she focuses on developing the rational approaches for maximisation of direct electron transfer in various types of biomolecular systems using state-of-the art electrochemical (CV, EIS), spectroscopic (77K fluorescence, pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM) fluorometry, TR-absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy) and microscopic (atomic force microscopy and cryo-electron microscopy) approaches in conjunction with QM/MM modelling of the electron transfer processes. This research has been recently complemented by organic synthesis of new smart bio-organic nanoassemblies forming high performance organic interfaces in solar-to-fuel devices.

Prof. Kargul obtained a PhD in Biological sciences in 1999 from the University of Warwick, UK. Her postdoctoral research conducted in the group of James Barber at Imperial College London, UK to several discoveries of novel molecular mechanisms of photosynthetic adaptation to changing environment (e.g. dissecting the molecular components of state transitions) and refining the crystallographic structure of the water-splitting enzyme. Habilitation in 2009 from the University of Warsaw. In 2011 as the University Professor she established a node for solar fuels research in Poland and has led several projects on application of robust natural light-harvesting molecular nanomachines for construction of biohybrid solar cells and solar-to-fuel devices. She has extensive experience and success in leading several national and international initiatives (e.g. Founding Partner of ESF EuroSolarFuels and H2020 SUNRISE consortia; Elected Member of the Scientific Executive Board of the SUNERGY initiative) as well coordinating the bilateral Polish-Turkish consortium POLTUR/GraphESol which have all been focused on development of efficient semi-artificial solar energy conversion systems. She serves as the International Ambassador of the British Biochemical Society and serves on several editorial and strategic boards of the funding bodies (e.g. IJBCB, J Nanotech, Grants Committee of the Biochemical Society (UK), NAWA programme of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Expert in NZ1 Panel of the National Science Centre, Advisory Board of the European Green Deal). Over 70 publications, with the Google Scholar h-index: 20; >2288 citations; >60 international invited talks and plenary lectures.

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