In photosynthesis, sunlight is converted into the biochemical energy needed to power life and drive cellular processes. Anjali Pandit combines advanced spectroscopy and biochemical approaches to understand the structural mechanisms that regulate photosynthesis in atomic detail.
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Date of birth: 14 September 1972
2003 PhD, Faculty of Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Thesis title: ‘Folding and Oligomerization of Membrane Proteins’
Advisors: Prof. R. van Grondelle and Prof. R. Kraayenhof
1996 MSc in Physics, Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Current and previous research positions
2013 – now Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands
2010 – 2013 Researcher, Dept. of Biophysics, Faculty of Sciences, Vrije Universeit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2006 – 2009 Post-doctoral researcher (Veni), Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands
2003 – 2005 Post-doctoral researcher (TALENT stipend), Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) Saclay in collaboration with Ipsen Pharma Inc.
Grants, awards, recognitions since 2010
2016 FOM Projectruimte Grant (k€ 400)
2013 NWO-CW Vidi Grant (k€ 800)
Contribution to teaching and supervision
- Teaching course for MSc Chemistry at Leiden University: Photosynthesis & Bio Energy.
- Guest lecturer TU Delft, 1st year BioNanotechnology
- Co-organiser and lecturer Intl. Summer School Artificial Photosynthesis 2015 (3rd year bachelor’s students)
- Lecturer LAPTOP course Chemie van de Fotosynthese for high school students
- Supervision of 4 PhD students since 2013.
- Supervision and mentoring of 4 master’s students and 2 bachelor’s internship students since 2013
Other responsibilities since 2010
- Co-organiser and session chair Eur. Conference on Spectroscopy of Bio Molecules (ECSBM) 2017, 350 participants, Amsterdam 2017
- Guest editor for Photosynthesis research (Elsevier Publ., IF 4.1), Special Issue on Photosynthetic Light Harvesting
- Member of review panel Open Competition Earth and Life Sciences, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
- Member NMR advice committee, Leiden Institute of Chemistry (2013-present)
- Chair Intl. Conference on Photosynthetic Light Harvesting, 120 participants, Egmond a/z 2016
- Co-organiser NextGenChem Meeting, Leiden 2015
- Co-organiser FRESH seminars on Energy & Sustainability, Leiden Institute of Chemistry (2013-present)
- Program manager EU-ITN network HARVEST (M€.4.9, 15 partners, 23 research fellows) 2010-2013
- Co-organiser Intl. training workshop Mechanisms of Non-Photochemical Quenching, 100 participants, Passau 2011
- External reviewer Austrian Research Foundation (2016); NWO-CW Veni grant (2015); Norwegian Research Foundation (2014); German Research Foundation (2014); ERC consolidator grant (2013)
- Reviewer for BBA Bioenergetics, J. Phys. Chem. B., FEBS Letters, J. of Biol. Chem, Biochemistry
Publication record including five recent representative publications
Full publication record: Leiden University
22 scientific publications of which 14 as corresponding author, 1 book chapter (Comprehensive Renewable Energy, Photovoltaic Vol. 1, 1.35, Elsevier Publishers), co-editor white paper on Solar Biofuels
- Crisafi E., Pandit A., Disentangling protein and lipid interactions that control a molecular switch in photosynthetic light harvesting. Biochim. Biophys. Acta Biomembranes. 2017, 1859, 40-47.
- Azadi-Chegeni F., Perin G., Sai Sankar Gupta K.B., Simionato D., Morosinotto T., Pandit A., Protein and lipid dynamics in photosynthetic thylakoid membranes investigated by in-situ solid-state NMR. Biochim. Biophys. Acta Bioenerg. 2016, 1857, 1849-1859.
- Mathes T., Heilman M., Pandit A., Zhu J., Stokkum I.H.M. van, Christie J.M., Kennis J.T.M., Jenkins G., Reaction mechanism of the new UVR8 ultraviolet photoreceptor of plants. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137 (25), 8113–8120. selected as editor’s highlight and cover article.
- Sunku K., Groot H.J.M. de, Pandit A., Insights in the photoprotective switch of the major light-harvesting complex II (LHCII): A preserved core of arginine-glutamate interlocked helices complemented by adjustable loops. J. Biol. Chem. 2013, 288, 19796-19804.
- Pandit A., Reus M., Morosinotto T., Bassi R., Holzwarth A.R. Groot H.J.M. de, An NMR comparison of the light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) in active and photoprotective states reveals subtle changes in the chlorophyll a ground-state electronic structures. Biochim. Biophys. Acta Bioenerg. 2013, 1827, 738-744.
Presentations including five presentations at international conferences since 2010
Intl. Conference Photosynthetic Light Harvesting, 2016 Egmond a/z, opening chair; Light-Harvesting Processes 2015, Banz (Germany) invited; Lorentz Workshop multi-scale modelling, Leiden keynote; German Biophysical Society Meeting “Structure, Dynamics and Interactions of Biomolecules”, 2015, Hunfeld (Germany), plenary; Solar Fuel Meeting, 2014, Passau, Germany, invited speaker and leader discussion session; Gorter Magnetic Resonance symposium 2013, Leiden; FOM meeting Molecular and Cellular Biophysics, 2013, Veldhoven; 14th Intl. Congress of Photosynthesis, St. Louis, USA 2013, St. Louis (USA); Queen Mary University, 2012 London (UK) invited seminar; Ocarina, Osaka University 2012, (Japan) invited seminar; Solar Fuel ESF Meeting 2012, Mülheim, (Germany); FOM meeting Molecular and Cellular Biophysics, 2011, Veldhoven; Light-Harvesting Processes (LHP11) 2011, Banz, (Germany); Harvest Annual Network Meeting, 2010, Venice, Italy; 15th International Congress of Photosynthesis, Photosynthetic Light Harvesting, 2010, Tianjin, China.