Cinzia Formighieri Receives Award

October 26, 2015

Improving a cyanobacteria-based photosynthetic platform

Cinzia Formighieri, a postdoc in the Melis lab, received a research award for her poster at the International Conference on "Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability."

The conference took place in Kolympari, Crete, Greece, from September 21 through 26, 2015.  The award recognizes her work of  “improving a cyanobacteria-based photosynthetic platform for the heterologous production of fuel and chemicals – products that will find industrial and domestic applications.” 

Cinzia Formigieri showing award in PMB lab

Photosynthesis is the biochemical process of utilizing sunlight to produce sugar. Though commonly known for being performed by plants, organisms such as algae and cyanobacteria make use of it as well. The Melis Lab pays close attention to these types of organisms.

Formighieri was initially attracted by the research in the Melis Lab that was being pioneered - the photosynthetic production of hydrogen and hydrocarbons.

“I joined the effort and my work advanced the state-of-the art by improving yields of product generation through the development of gene design and metabolic engineering approaches,” Formighieri said. 

With an improved method of photosynthesis, “the renewable generation of fuel and chemicals promises to mitigate carbon emissions and climate change, as well as provide for a sustainable future while generating valuable commodity-type compounds for human consumption, ” Formighieri said.