Imperial College London

Professor Bill Rutherford FRS

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Chair in Biochemistry of Solar Energy



+44 (0)20 7594 5329a.rutherford Website




702Sir Ernst Chain BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





My career aim is to understand the water oxidising enzyme Photosystem II in terms of its mechanism, its assembly and its evolutionary relationships with other photosynthetic reaction centres. This enzyme has become the focus of attention because cheap water splitting catalysts are urgently needed in the energy sector for solar fuel production, electrolysis of water and the reverse reaction in fuel cells. My research has made major contributions to understanding this enzyme before it was either popular or profitable. Now that it is finally becoming both of those, I hope to continue to do more of the same. Not just because it might contribute to solving aspects of the energy crisis but also because understanding the enzyme, which put the energy into the biosphere, the oxygen into the atmosphere and thence changed the planet, is one of the greatest challenges in biology and chemistry. It is also a fun enzyme to work on.



Sugiura M, Kimura M, Shimamoto N, et al., 2024, Tuning of the ChlD1 and ChlD2 properties in photosystem II by site-directed mutagenesis of neighbouring amino acids, Bba: Bioenergetics, Vol:1865, ISSN:0005-2728

Boussac A, Sugiura M, Nakamura M, et al., 2023, Absorption changes in Photosystem II in the Soret band region upon the formation of the chlorophyll cation radical [PD1PD2]., Photosynth Res

Fantuzzi A, Haniewicz P, Farci D, et al., 2023, Bicarbonate activation of the monomeric photosystem II-PsbS/Psb27 complex, Plant Physiology, Vol:192, ISSN:0032-0889, Pages:2656-2671

Oliver T, Kim TD, Trinugroho JP, et al., 2023, The evolution and evolvability of photosystem II, Annual Review of Plant Biology, Vol:74, ISSN:1040-2519

Langley J, Purchase R, Viola S, et al., 2022, Simulating the low-temperature, metastable electrochromism of Photosystem I: Applications to <i>Thermosynechococcus vulcanus</i> and <i>Chroococcidiopsis thermalis</i>, Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol:157, ISSN:0021-9606

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