Professor Dean Price is largely involved in program 1 –Improving leaf CO2 capture efficiency- and program 2, to a lesser extent. He acts as a scientific leader of subprogram 1.2 dealing with approaches to develop pathways to implement micro-algal and cyanobacterial bicarbonate transporter-based CO2 concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) in plant chloroplasts.
Dean’s current research focuses on the molecular biology and physiology of photosynthesis in blue-green photosynthetic bacteria, and research revolving around the functional expression of cyanobacterial CCM components in tobacco chloroplasts.
His research will contribute to improving C3 plant photosynthesis by applying the knowledge of the function of aquatic CO2 concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) in higher plants. This will allow the engineering of some useful CCM components into food crops so that water and nitrogen-use efficiency can be improved.
Dean obtained a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in 1979 from ANU, followed by a PhD in 1986 (Plant Physiology/Biochemistry) at ANU.
Dean is internationally known for his research on the genetic and physiological analysis of the CCM in cyanobacteria and micro-algae, as well as understanding photosynthetic rate limitations through genetic manipulation. He was the first discoverer of genes and functions of several key components of carboxysomes, bicarbonate transporters and CO2 uptake systems.
He is also responsible for the first experimentally-determined membrane topology maps of bicarbonate transporters.
Dean is a previous recipient of an ARC National Research Fellowship and a Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellowship and he is also a chief investigator of the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) Network.