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The Zhang Group

'Forget biology, chemistry or physics – the most exciting research is happening at the interface of the disciplines.


Our lab is interested in using semi-artificial photosynthetic approaches to tackle problems in renewable energy generation, environmental sensing, sustainable farming and more. We combine the strengths of biology, material science, chemical biology and electrochemistry to:

  • answer fundamental biological questions about photosynthesis.
  • create novel platforms for biotechnologies (e.g. for solar fuel and power generation).
  • create new tools for understanding and controlling the bio-material interface.


Our approach is highly multidisciplinary. At the core of our work is electrochemistry, which we use to understand the dynamic electron transfer processes occuring at the bio-material interface. We employ synthetic and material chemistry to control the electron transfer pathway at the interface, and synthetic biology (done by our collaborators, the Howe group, at the Department of Biochemistry) to control electronic wiring within the organisms. We also employ mathetical modelling and chemical biology to disentangle and visualise the many processes occuring at the bio-material interface. 


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