Venkat Subramanian


Research Activity per Year


Personal Profile

Venkat Subramanian is a senior research scientist in the Bioenergy Center at NREL.

His research is focused on systems- and molecular-level understanding of microorganisms to produce useful bioproducts. Venkat's work has involved engineering a wide variety of organisms including microalgae, fungi, yeast, and bacteria. His expertise also involves systems biology approaches using different omics (transcriptomics, metabolomics, and proteomics) techniques.    

Venkat's major contributions have been in the fields of biohydrogen production from the green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and fungal genetic engineering in the ascomycetous fungus, Trichoderma reesei. His other research areas involve improving anaerobic digestion for production of valuable bioproducts and developing fungi for plastic upcyling.    

Research Interests

Algal biofuels (hydrogen and biodiesel): understanding the role of ferredoxins in green algae; characterizing metabolic pathways leading to biofuel production in green algae; genetic engineering of algae to improve their harvesting properties to reduce the cost of algal harvesting from open-pond bioreactors for commercial-scale biofuel/biodiesel production;  and screening new algal strains with improved lipid accumulation properties

Yeast and fungal biotechnology: studying fungal genomes; developing biotechnologically relevant fungal enzymes; and genetic engineering of microorganisms for the production of high-value chemicals 

Professional Experience

Research Scientist, NREL, Biosciences Center (fungal enzyme engineering, expression, and optimization R&D) (2015–present)

Research Scientist, NREL, Biosciences Center (algal biofuels—hydrogen and biodiesel R&D) (2011–present)

Postdoctoral Fellow, NREL, Biosciences Center, Photobiology Group (with Colorado School of Mines, Photobiological H2 Production R&D [Omics Technologies]) (2008–2011)

Education/Academic Qualification

PhD, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Cincinnati

Master, Microbiology, University of Mumbai

Bachelor, Microbiology, University of Mumbai

Master, Molecular Biology, University of Southern Mississippi


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