Image of Himadri Pakrasi

Himadri Pakrasi

​Director of the International Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (InCEES)
Myron and Sonya Glassberg/Albert and Blanche Greensfelder Distinguished University Professor
research interests:
  • Biochemistry
  • Photosynthesis
  • Nitrogen Fixation
  • Systems and Synthetic Biology

contact info:

mailing address:

  • CB 1095
  • ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899

​Professor Pakrasi conducts research in the areas of systems biology, photosynthesis, and metal homeostasis. He is deeply engaged in bridging research interests in physical and biological sciences.

Himadri Pakrasi's current focus is on bioenergy production in cyanobacteria. His lab studies how cyanobacteria use solar energy to drive the chemistry of life. They work in many disciplines and have projects that focus on determining how the molecular machines that capture solar energy are assembled and maintained, how cyanobacteria respond to environmental changes at the systems level, and how to engineer new strains of cyanobacteria that are capable of channelling solar energy into biochemical production.

Pakrasi participates in the following graduate programs:

  • Biochemistry Doctoral Program in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences
  • Plant Biology Doctoral Program in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences
  • Metabolic Engineering and Systems Biology Doctoral Program in the Department of Energy, Environment and Chemical Engineering



Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
Wiley Fellow, Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Munich University, Germany
Distinguished Fellow, Biosciences Institute, Nagoya University, Japan
Lady Davis Visiting Professor, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Highlighted Course

Bioenergy (Bio 4830)

This small format interactive course for upperclass undergraduate and beginning level graduate students provides a broad overview of the flow of energy, captured from sunlight during photosynthesis, in biological systems, and current approaches to utilize the metabolic potentials of microbes and plants to produce biofuels and other valuable chemical products. An overall emphasis is placed on the use of large-scale genomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic datasets in biochemistry. The topics covered include photosynthesis, central metabolism, structure and degradation of plant lignocellulose, and microbial production of liquid alcohol, biodiesel, hydrogen & other advanced fuels.

    Selected Publications

    Liberton, M., Page, L. E., O’Dell, W. B., O’Neill, H., Mamontov, E., Urban, V. S. and Pakrasi, H. B. (2013) Organization and Flexibility of Cyanobacterial Thylakoid Membranes Examined by Neutron Scattering. J. Biol. Chem., 288: 3632–3640.

    Varman, A. M., Xiao, Y., Pakrasi, H. B. and Tang, Y. J. (2013) Metabolic engineering of Synechocystis 6803 for isobutanol production. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 79: 908-914.

    Saha, R., Verseput, A. T., Berla, B. M., Mueller, T. M., Pakrasi, H. B. and Maranas, C. D. (2012) Reconstruction and comparison of the metabolic potential of cyanobacteria Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142 and Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. PLOS One 7: e48285.

    Aryal, U. K., Stöckel, J., Krovvidi, R., Gritsenko, M. A., Monroe, M. E., Koppenaal, D. W., Smith, R. D., Pakrasi, H. B. and Jacobs, J. M. (2011) Dynamic proteomic profiling of a unicellular cyanobacterium Cyanothece ATCC 51142 across light-dark diurnal cycles. BMC Syst. Biol., 5:194.

    Liu H, Huang RY, Chen J, Gross ML, Pakrasi HB (2011) Psb27, a transiently associated protein, binds to the chlorophyll binding protein CP43 in photosystem II assembly intermediates, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 108:18536-18541.

    Bandyopadhyay, A., Stöckel, J., Min, H., Sherman, L. A. and Pakrasi, H. B. (2010) High rates of photobiological H2 production by a cyanobacterium under aerobic condition. Nature Comm., 1:139.

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