James Barber (biochemist) is confirmed dead at the age of 79.
James was best known as a British biochemist.
Jim Barber

Jim portrait like photo.png
Born(1940-07-16)16 July 1940
Died5 January 2020(2020-01-05) (aged 79)
Alma materUniversity College, Swansea
University of East Anglia
Scientific career
InstitutionsImperial College London
Polytechnic University of Turin
Nanyang Technological University
Doctoral advisorJack Dainty[1]
Doctoral studentsJames Robert Durrant[2]
James Barber FRS FRSC MAE (16 July 1940 — 5 January 2020) was a British senior research investigator and emeritus Ernst Chain professor of biochemistry at Imperial College London, Visiting Professor at the Polytechnic University of Turin and Visiting Canon Professor to Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.
1 Education
2 Research and career
2.1 Teaching and mentoring
2.2 Honours and awards
3 References
He was educated at Portsmouth Southern Grammar School for Boys, University College, Swansea (BSc) and at the University of East Anglia (MSc, PhD).
Research and career
Barber joined Imperial College in 1968, was made Reader in 1974, and was promoted to Full Professor in 1979. He was Dean of the Royal College of Science (1988-1989), and Head of the Biochemistry Department from 1989 to 1999.
Barber has published over 650 original research papers and reviews in the field of natural and artificial photosynthesis, editing 15 specialised books. The focus of his research has been the investigation of photosynthesis and the functional role of the photosystems with emphasis on their structures. Much of his work has focused on Photosystem II, a biological machine able to use light energy to split water into oxygen and reducing equivalents. In 2004, he reported the first fully refined X-ray structure of this enzyme. More recently, he has turned his attention from natural to artificial photosynthesis, collaborating with chemists, electrochemists and material scientists to develop artificial photosynthesis technology for solar fuel production. This work has been spurred by the establishment of the Solar Fuels Laboratory within the School of Material Sciences at NTU and of the Biosolar Laboratory within the Applied Science and Technology Department at the POLITO.
Teaching and mentoring
Post-graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who have followed research/academic careers include:
• Y.J. Shieh
• Alison Telfer
• John D. Mills
• Geoffrey F.W. Searle
• Herbert Y. Nakatani
• Wah Soon Chow
• Yasuhusi Yamamoto
• Lars F. Olsen David
• N.H. Horler
• Roy W. Mansfield
• Robert C. Ford
• Michael Hodges
• Paul A. Millner
• Kleoniki Gounaris
• Julian Whitelegge
• Peter J. Nixon
• Mary Blackwell
• Rowan A.C. Mitchell
• Maria T. Giardi
• William R. Newell
• Jonthan B. Marder
• Paula Booth
• James Durrant
• Roberto Barbato
• Cathy A. Shipton
• Wei-Zong He
• Javier De Las Rivas
• Markella Ponticos
• Zi-Hong Zhang
• Frank Vacha
• Joseph Komenda
• Judith Klien-Seetharaman
• Edward P. Morris
• Jyoti Choudhary (nee Sharma)
• Ben Hankamer
• Lucia Catucci
• Giulia Friso
• Lazlo Nagy
• Daniella Zheleva
• Maria Dalla Chiesa
• Maria Bianchetti
• Wolfgang Dörner
• Maria Carradus
• Christoph Gerle
• Jon Nield
• Claudia Büchel
• Thomas Bibby
• Paula Da Fonseca
• Joanna Kargul
• James W. Murray
• Karim Maghlaoui
• Phong D. Tran
• Cristina Pagliano
Honours and awards
Barber was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in 1980 and a Member of the Academia Europaea (MAE) in 1989, became Selby Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1995, Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2003, and a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2005.
He has received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Stockholm in 1992, the University of East Anglia in 2010 and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore in 2017.
He was awarded the Flintoff Medal by the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2002, the ENI award for Energy and the Environment in 2005, the Biochemical Society Novartis medal and prize in 2006, the Wheland Medal and Prize from the University of Chicago in 2007, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Interdisciplinary Medal and Prize in 2013, the Porter Medal, an international award for outstanding contributions to Photochemistry in 2016, and the Communication Award of the International Society for Photosynthesis Research also in 2016. In 2019 he received the 2020 Heatley Medal and Award from the Biochemical Society.
He served as President of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research from 2007 to 2010.
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