User:Rafael G. Saer

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Contact Info

Rafael G. Saer
  • Rafael G. Saer
  • University of British Columbia
  • 2350 Health Sciences Mall, Life Sciences Building
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Email me through OpenWetWare

I am currently a PhD candidate of the Beatty Laboratory in the University of British Columbia. I specialize in the study of bacterial photosynthesis, with a focus on electron transfer reactions within photosynthetic reaction center proteins of the model organism Rhodobacter sphaeroides. I'm interested in how the protein component near the photoactive pigments of these reaction center proteins modulates the rates of electron transfer reactions.

I am also in collaborative effort with the department of electrical engineering at UBC, as well as the the department of electrical engineering at the University of South Florida, in an effort to utilize bacterial photosynthetic reaction center proteins as substrates for photovoltaic cells.


  • 2008, BS in Microbiology, University of Miami

Research interests

  1. Photosynthesis
  2. Synthetic Biology
  3. All areas of bacteriology


  1. Yaghoubi H et al. (2012) The Role of Gold-Adsorbed Photosynthetic Reaction Centers and Redox Mediators in the Charge Transfer and Photocurrent Generation in a Bio-Photoelectrochemical Cell. J. Phys. Chem. C 116(47):24868-24877

  2. Neupane B, Jaschke P, Saer R, Beatty JT, Reppert M, and Jankowiak R. Electron transfer in Rhodobacter sphaeroides reaction centers containing Zn-bacteriochlorophylls: a hole-burning study. J Phys Chem B. 2012 Mar 15;116(10):3457-66. DOI:10.1021/jp300304r | PubMed ID:22324747 | HubMed [2]
  3. Jaschke PR, Saer RG, Noll S, and Beatty JT. Modification of the genome of Rhodobacter sphaeroides and construction of synthetic operons. Methods Enzymol. 2011;497:519-38. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-385075-1.00023-8 | PubMed ID:21601102 | HubMed [3]
  4. Mahmoudzadeh A, et al. (2011) Photocurrent generation by direct electron transfer using photosynthetic reaction centres. Smart Mater Struct 20(9)

  5. Takshi A, Madden JDW, Mahmoudzadeh A, Saer R, & Beatty JT (2010) A Photovoltaic Device Using an Electrolyte Containing Photosynthetic Reaction Centers. Energies 3(11):1721-1727

  6. Saer RG, Hardjasa A, Rosell FI, Mauk AG, Murphy ME, and Beatty JT. Role of Rhodobacter sphaeroides photosynthetic reaction center residue M214 in the composition, absorbance properties, and conformations of H(A) and B(A) cofactors. Biochemistry. 2013 Apr 2;52(13):2206-17. DOI:10.1021/bi400207m | PubMed ID:23480277 | HubMed [6]
  7. Pan J, Saer RG, Lin S, Guo Z, Beatty JT, and Woodbury NW. The protein environment of the bacteriopheophytin anion modulates charge separation and charge recombination in bacterial reaction centers. J Phys Chem B. 2013 Jun 20;117(24):7179-89. DOI:10.1021/jp400132k | PubMed ID:23688348 | HubMed [7]
  8. Vasilev C, Brindley AA, Olsen JD, Saer RG, Beatty JT, and Hunter CN. Nano-mechanical mapping of the interactions between surface-bound RC-LH1-PufX core complexes and cytochrome c 2 attached to an AFM probe. Photosynth Res. 2014 May;120(1-2):169-80. DOI:10.1007/s11120-013-9812-7 | PubMed ID:23539360 | HubMed [8]
  9. Jun D, Saer RG, Madden JD, and Beatty JT. Use of new strains of Rhodobacter sphaeroides and a modified simple culture medium to increase yield and facilitate purification of the reaction centre. Photosynth Res. 2014 May;120(1-2):197-205. DOI:10.1007/s11120-013-9866-6 | PubMed ID:23765434 | HubMed [9]

All Medline abstracts: PubMed | HubMed


  • Saer, R et al. (2012) Effects of Site-specific Amino Acid Changes on the Bacteriopheophytin Environment in the Reaction Center of Rhodobacter sphaeroides
  • Saer, R et al. (2012) The Efficiency of Energy Capture in Zinc Bacteriochlorophyll-containing Reaction Centers is Regulated by Cofactor Coordination State



  • 2012, Gordon Research Conference in Photosynthesis, Davidson College, North Carolina, USA
  • 2010, Western Photosynthesis Conference, Asilomar Conference Grounds, California, USA


  • 2012, Canadian Society of Microbiologists, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 2011, International Human Microbiome Congress, Hyatt Regency, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Activities and Interests

  • Hiking and Snowshoeing
  • Golf
  • Craft Beers
  • iGEM
  • Electronic Gaming

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