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Arthur Sawicki

Artur completed his PhD in biochemistry in 2010 with Professor Robert Willows at Macquarie University, Sydney. His work focussed on enzyme mechanisms involved in early steps of the bacteriochlorophyll biosynthetic pathway entitled magnesium chelatase and O-methyltransferase from the purple non-sulfur facultative anaerobic photosynthetic bacterium, Rhodobacter capsulatus. In 2011-2014, he completed a post-doc in the same laboratory, involving homologous and more complex enzyme complexes from eukaryotic organisms including rice and the unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

In 2014-2016 Artur’s research focused on genetic engineering of the integral membrane protein, melanopsin as a post-doc researcher at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. In 2016-2017 Artur joined Professor Robert Bialik’s group in Department of Antarctic Biology, the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Warsaw, Poland. His research focused on biochemistry of cholorophyll biosynthesis in green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii which culminated with procurement of the NCN grant 369962, “Role of the atypical ATP-binding sites of the magnesium chelatase subunit ChlI2 on stimulation of magnesium chelatase activity from the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii”.

Artur’s research in Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis will include determining the mechanism of chlorophyll d and chlorophyll f biosynthesis from the cyanobacteria Acaryochloris marina and Halomicronema hongdechloris, respectively. These chlorophyll molecules absorb light in the far-red range which is significantly different from the chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b molecules present in plants. Hence this knowledge can be utilized for generating photosynthetic organisms including plants capable of absorbing a wider spectrum of light.