The integrated and holistic research approaches taken in the group

 Welcome to the BMBF-funded junior research group Biophotovoltaics.

The research group is funded via the BMBF junior research group funding through the thematic call "Creative young researchers for the bioeconomy". The research group focuses on the biohybrid technique called Biophotovoltaics (BPV) for sustainable energy production from sunlight and water, using interdisciplinary research approach integrating synthetic biology, systems biology, bio- and electrochemical-process engineering and modelling. We are interested in the fundamental, quantitative and holistic understandings of extracellular electron transfer pathway on molecular levels and its corresponding biochemistry and microbial physiology, and subsequently the rational design and development of novel process concepts for optimized desired purpose.

We are always welcome talent, self-motivated and passionate young scientist to join our group. Master and bachelor thesis projects are always available. If you are interested in our work, please contact bin.lai@ufz.de.


Dr. Bin Lai


Dr. Yu Bai

Project: membrane redox protein for extracellular electron transfer of Synechocystis in Biophotovoltaics (BMBF, from 03.2023)


Jana Gaibler

Thesis: Engineering the membrane transportation system of Synechocystis sp 6803 in Biophotovoltaics (BMBF, from 11.2023)

Mohammed Qasim

Thesis: Process modelling and computational-guided system development of Biophotovoltaics (BMBF, from 10.2023)

Alicia Mier-Jimenez

Thesis: process engineering and system development of Biophotovoltaics (BMBF, from 09.2023)

Vincent Reilly-Schott

Thesis: electro-microbiology of Synechocystis in Biophotovoltaics (BMBF, from 03.2023)

Jianqi Yuan (jointly with SBT group)

Thesis: Electron balance analysis of Synechocystis in Biophotovoltaics (CSC, from 09.2021)

Laura Pause (jointly with SBT group)

Thesis: Tunable electro-fermentation using metabolically engineered Pseudomonas putida (DFG SPP2240, from 06.2021)

Hans Schneider (jointly with SBT group)

Thesis: Extracellular electron transfer pathway and microbial phenotype of Synechocystis in Biophotovoltaics (UFZ central budget, from 12.2020)


Hannah Schön (TU Dresden; Project: defining the system boundary of Biophotovoltaics by genome-scale modelling, from 04.2027)


Maria Veit (Uni Leipzig; Project: comparative analysis of the CRISPRi efficiency targeting on multiple proteins)


2023.02 - 2023.04: Liuyan Gu (PhD student at DTU, Denmark)


Funding Agency: Chinesisch-Deutsches Zentrum für Wissenschaftsförderung; 

Grant number: GT 1725;

Budget: 2245 €

PI: Dr. Bin Lai

 2022.08 - 2027.07

Funding Agency: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF);

Grant number: 031B1273 (BioPV4H2: biophotovoltaics for biohydrogen production from water, carbon dioxide and sunlight)

Budget: 2.910.350,31 €

PI: Dr. Bin Lai


You could use our publication index for further requests.

2024 (2)

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2023 (6)

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2022 (2)

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2021 (3)

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2020 (3)

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2019 (3)

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2018 (2)

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The group welcome talented and motivated students to join for Bachelor, Master thesis project as well as practical training and HIWI projects. We applied a broad methodology in our group, ranging from molecular biology, quantiative biology, and process engineering and system modelling. Please contact Dr. Bin Lai to discuss a customized project for you, if you are interested in our research field.