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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Professor Alexander Ruban


Professor in Biophysics

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 6314
Room Number: Room 4.15, Fogg building

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Essential Skills for Biochemists (BIO101)
  • Biochemistry Communication (BIO202)
  • Biomolecules of Life (BMD123)
  • Biochemistry Communication (BIO301)
  • Membrane Proteins (BIO361)



Research Interests:

Alexander Ruban's research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of light energy utilisation and management in the photosynthetic membrane. 

The major goal of his lab is to understand how biological matter is designed to conduct a variety of intimate physical processes accompanying photosynthetic energy conversion and how structural properties of the photosynthetic light harvesting proteins govern flexibility and efficiency of photosynthesis. 

Alexander Ruban's research has contributed to the fundamental understanding of the molecular design of the photosynthetic light harvesting machinery, introducing the concepts of light adaptation memory via the allosteric action of the xanthophyll cycle, robust genetic design of the light harvesting antenna, the structural dynamics of transmembarne pigment-proteins and how they are tuned by the polarity and structure of bound xanthophyll co-factors. 

Recent advances of Professor Ruban's research include a discovery of the photoprotective molecular switch in the photosystem 2 antenna and establishment of the great plasticity in the light harvesting antenna design of higher plants. 

Research department

Watch Professor Ruban talk about his laboratory's engagement with Valoya and Microsoft in establishing a revolutionary LED-based illumination facility at the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences:



PhD supervision

Postdoctoral supervision

  • Alexandra Burgess
  • Vasco Giovagnetti
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