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Laurens J. Mets

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Chicago
DepartmentMol Gen/Cell Bio
AddressChicago IL 60637
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    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview
    Current research interest:

    What can we do to reduce the environmental and geopolitical risks engendered by current practices in the use by humans of non-food energy to support life and society?

    Criteria for such a future energy system:

    1) It should tap into natural energy fluxes rather than exploiting static resources. The energy fluxes must be so large that the portion needed for human uses is a very small fraction that does not disturb the natural order. Energy fluxes that generally meet this criterion: solar (and its derivatives wind, hydro); geologic (geothermal, gravitational & tidal); nuclear.

    2) Energy capture and use should not require crossing geopolitical boundaries for either the energy sources or the materials required to support capture and use.

    3) Given the current investment in energy transport, storage and use infrastructure, rapid conversion to reliance on only these primary energy resources requires similar end-use forms of energy and energy carriers (electric power, natural gas, liquid fuels). Relatively mature methods exist for converting solar, wind and nuclear resources to electric power. My research focuses on enabling these resources to also supply the balance of society's energy needs by producing fuels (renewable natural gas and liquid fuels) from waste carbon dioxide and market-excess (spatially or temporally stranded or otherwise curtailed) solar, wind or nuclear power.


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Pomona College, Claremont, CABA06/1968Chemical Biology
    Harvard University, Cambridge, MAMA, PhD06/1972Biological Chemistry

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Christensen JR, Craig EW, Glista MJ, Mueller DM, Li Y, Sees JA, Huang S, Suarez C, Mets LJ, Kovar DR, Avasthi P. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii formin FOR1 and profilin PRF1 are optimized for acute rapid actin filament assembly. Mol Biol Cell. 2019 Dec 15; 30(26):3123-3135. PMID: 31664873.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Fu Y, Luo GZ, Chen K, Deng X, Yu M, Han D, Hao Z, Liu J, Lu X, Dore LC, Weng X, Ji Q, Mets L, He C. N6-methyldeoxyadenosine marks active transcription start sites in Chlamydomonas. Cell. 2015 May 07; 161(4):879-892. PMID: 25936837.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Martin MR, Fornero JJ, Stark R, Mets L, Angenent LT. A single-culture bioprocess of Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus to upgrade digester biogas by CO2 -to-CH4 conversion with H2. Archaea. 2013; 2013:157529. PMID: 24194675.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Strack RL, Strongin DE, Mets L, Glick BS, Keenan RJ. Chromophore formation in DsRed occurs by a branched pathway. J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Jun 23; 132(24):8496-505. PMID: 20509651.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Hohmann-Marriott MF, Takizawa K, Eaton-Rye JJ, Mets L, Minagawa J. The redox state of the plastoquinone pool directly modulates minimum chlorophyll fluorescence yield in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. FEBS Lett. 2010 Mar 05; 584(5):1021-6. PMID: 20122933.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Merchant SS, Prochnik SE, Vallon O, Harris EH, Karpowicz SJ, Witman GB, Terry A, Salamov A, Fritz-Laylin LK, Maréchal-Drouard L, Marshall WF, Qu LH, Nelson DR, Sanderfoot AA, Spalding MH, Kapitonov VV, Ren Q, Ferris P, Lindquist E, Shapiro H, Lucas SM, Grimwood J, Schmutz J, Cardol P, Cerutti H, Chanfreau G, Chen CL, Cognat V, Croft MT, Dent R, Dutcher S, Fernández E, Fukuzawa H, González-Ballester D, González-Halphen D, Hallmann A, Hanikenne M, Hippler M, Inwood W, Jabbari K, Kalanon M, Kuras R, Lefebvre PA, Lemaire SD, Lobanov AV, Lohr M, Manuell A, Meier I, Mets L, Mittag M, Mittelmeier T, Moroney JV, Moseley J, Napoli C, Nedelcu AM, Niyogi K, Novoselov SV, Paulsen IT, Pazour G, Purton S, Ral JP, Riaño-Pachón DM, Riekhof W, Rymarquis L, Schroda M, Stern D, Umen J, Willows R, Wilson N, Zimmer SL, Allmer J, Balk J, Bisova K, Chen CJ, Elias M, Gendler K, Hauser C, Lamb MR, Ledford H, Long JC, Minagawa J, Page MD, Pan J, Pootakham W, Roje S, Rose A, Stahlberg E, Terauchi AM, Yang P, Ball S, Bowler C, Dieckmann CL, Gladyshev VN, Green P, Jorgensen R, Mayfield S, Mueller-Roeber B, Rajamani S, Sayre RT, Brokstein P, Dubchak I, Goodstein D, Hornick L, Huang YW, Jhaveri J, Luo Y, Martínez D, Ngau WC, Otillar B, Poliakov A, Porter A, Szajkowski L, Werner G, Zhou K, Grigoriev IV, Rokhsar DS, Grossman AR. The Chlamydomonas genome reveals the evolution of key animal and plant functions. Science. 2007 Oct 12; 318(5848):245-50. PMID: 17932292.
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    7. Tong L, Mets L, McPeek MS. Likelihood-based inference for multi-color optical mapping. Stat Appl Genet Mol Biol. 2007; 6:Article5. PMID: 17402920.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Qu X, Wu D, Mets L, Scherer NF. Nanometer-localized multiple single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Aug 03; 101(31):11298-303. PMID: 15277661.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Lee JW, Mets L, Greenbau E. Improvement of photosynthetic CO2 fixation at high light intensity through reduction of chlorophyll antenna size. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2002; 98-100:37-48. PMID: 12018264.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Shu G, Pontieri V, Dengler NG, Mets LJ. Light induction of cell type differentiation and cell-type-specific gene expression in cotyledons of a C(4) plant, Flaveria trinervia. Plant Physiol. 1999 Nov; 121(3):731-41. PMID: 10557221.
      View in: PubMed
    11. DiMagno L, Chan CK, Jia Y, Lang MJ, Newman JR, Mets L, Fleming GR, Haselkorn R. Energy transfer and trapping in photosystem I reaction centers from cyanobacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Mar 28; 92(7):2715-9. PMID: 7708712.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Howe G, Mets L, Merchant S. Biosynthesis of cytochrome f in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: analysis of the pathway in gabaculine-treated cells and in the heme attachment mutant B6. Mol Gen Genet. 1995 Jan 20; 246(2):156-65. PMID: 7862086.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Quinn J, Li HH, Singer J, Morimoto B, Mets L, Kindle K, Merchant S. The plastocyanin-deficient phenotype of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Ac-208 results from a frame-shift mutation in the nuclear gene encoding preapoplastocyanin. J Biol Chem. 1993 Apr 15; 268(11):7832-41. PMID: 8463310.
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    14. Werst M, Jia Y, Mets L, Fleming GR. Energy transfer and trapping in the photosystem I core antenna. A temperature study. Biophys J. 1992 Apr; 61(4):868-78. PMID: 1581501.
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    15. Topf J, Gong H, Timberg R, Mets L, Ohad I. Thylakoid membrane energization and swelling in photoinhibited Chlamydomonas cells is prevented in mutants unable to perform cyclic electron flow. Photosynth Res. 1992 Apr; 32(1):59-69. PMID: 24408155.
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    16. Shochat S, Adir N, Gal A, Inoue Y, Mets L, Ohad I. Photoinactivation of photosystem II and degradation of the D 1 protein are reduced in a cytochrome b6/f-less mutant of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Z Naturforsch C J Biosci. 1990 May; 45(5):395-401. PMID: 2198872.
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    17. Martineau B, Smith HJ, Dean C, Dunsmuir P, Bedbrook J, Mets LJ. Expression of a C3 plant Rubisco SSU gene in regenerated C4 Flaveria plants. Plant Mol Biol. 1989 Oct; 13(4):419-26. PMID: 2491665.
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    18. Owens TG, Webb SP, Mets L, Alberte RS, Fleming GR. Antenna structure and excitation dynamics in photosystem I. II. Studies with mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii lacking photosystem II. Biophys J. 1989 Jul; 56(1):95-106. PMID: 2665834.
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    19. Erickson JM, Pfister K, Rahire M, Togasaki RK, Mets L, Rochaix JD. Molecular and biophysical analysis of herbicide-resistant mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: structure-function relationship of the photosystem II D1 polypeptide. Plant Cell. 1989 Mar; 1(3):361-71. PMID: 2535507.
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    20. Owens TG, Webb SP, Alberte RS, Mets L, Fleming GR. Antenna structure and excitation dynamics in photosystem I. I. Studies of detergent-isolated photosystem I preparations using time-resolved fluorescence analysis. Biophys J. 1988 May; 53(5):733-45. PMID: 3134059.
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    21. Monson RK, Teeri JA, Ku MS, Gurevitch J, Mets LJ, Dudley S. Carbon-isotope discrimination by leaves of Flaveria species exhibiting different amounts of C3-and C 4-cycle co-function. Planta. 1988 May; 174(2):145-51. PMID: 24221469.
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    22. Owens TG, Webb SP, Mets L, Alberte RS, Fleming GR. Antenna size dependence of fluorescence decay in the core antenna of photosystem I: estimates of charge separation and energy transfer rates. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Mar; 84(6):1532-6. PMID: 3550793.
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    23. Erickson JM, Rahire M, Rochaix JD, Mets L. Herbicide resistance and cross-resistance: changes at three distinct sites in the herbicide-binding protein. Science. 1985 Apr 12; 228(4696):204-7. PMID: 17779643.
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    24. Gulotty RJ, Mets L, Alberte RS, Fleming GR. Picosecond fluorescence study of photosynthetic mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardii: origin of the fluorescence decay kinetics of chloroplasts. Photochem Photobiol. 1985 Apr; 41(4):487-96. PMID: 4011705.
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    25. Aldrich J, Cherney B, Merlin E, Williams C, Mets L. Recombination within the inverted repeat sequences of the Chlamydomonas reinhardii chloroplast genome produces two orientation isomers. Curr Genet. 1985 Mar; 9(3):233-8. PMID: 24173558.
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    26. Galloway RE, Mets LJ. Atrazine, bromacil, and diuron resistance in chlamydomonas: a single non-mendelian genetic locus controls the structure of the thylakoid binding site. Plant Physiol. 1984 Mar; 74(3):469-74. PMID: 16663446.
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    27. Mets LJ, Geist LJ. Linkage of a Known Chloroplast Gene Mutation to the Uniparental Genome of CHLAMYDOMONAS REINHARDII. Genetics. 1983 Nov; 105(3):559-79. PMID: 17246167.
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    28. Dron M, Rahire M, Rochaix JD, Mets L. First DNA sequence of a chloroplast mutation: a missense alteration in the ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase large subunit gene. Plasmid. 1983 May; 9(3):321-4. PMID: 6867163.
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    29. Galloway RE, Mets L. Non-Mendelian Inheritance of 3-(3,4-Dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea-Resistant Thylakoid Membrane Properties in Chlamydomonas. Plant Physiol. 1982 Dec; 70(6):1673-7. PMID: 16662742.
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    30. Spreitzer RJ, Mets L. An assessment of arsenate selection as a method for obtaining nonphotosynthetic mutants of chlamydomonas. Genetics. 1982 Mar; 100(3):417-25. PMID: 17246064.
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    31. Spreitzer RJ, Mets L. Photosynthesis-deficient Mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardii with Associated Light-sensitive Phenotypes. Plant Physiol. 1981 Mar; 67(3):565-9. PMID: 16661715.
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    32. Mets L. Uniparental inheritance of chloroplast DNA sequences in interspecific hybrids of Chlamydomonas. Curr Genet. 1980 Oct; 2(2):131-8. PMID: 24189804.
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    33. Hanson MR, Davidson JN, Mets LJ, Bogorad L. Characterization of chloroplast and cytoplasmic ribosomal proteins of Chlamydomonas reinhardi by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Mol Gen Genet. 1974; 132(2):105-18. PMID: 4417561.
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    34. Mets LJ, Bogorad L. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis: an improved method for ribosomal proteins. Anal Biochem. 1974 Jan; 57(1):200-10. PMID: 4817496.
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    35. Bogorad L, Mets LJ, Mullinix KP, Smith HJ, Strain GC. Possibilities for intracellular integration: The ribonucleic acid polymerases of chloroplasts and nuclei, and genes specifying chloroplast ribosomal proteins. Biochem Soc Symp. 1973; (38):17-41. PMID: 4807457.
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    36. Mets L, Bogorad L. Altered chlorplast ribosomal proteins associated with erythromycin-resistant mutants in two genetic systems of Chlamydomonas reinhardi. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1972 Dec; 69(12):3779-83. PMID: 4509340.
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    37. Mets LJ, Bogorad L. Mendelian and uniparental alterations in erythromycin binding by plastid ribosomes. Science. 1971 Nov 12; 174(4010):707-9. PMID: 5123420.
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    38. Patton GW, Mets L, Villee CA. Malic dehydrogenase isozymes: distribution in developing nucleate and anucleate halves of sea urchin eggs. Science. 1967 Apr 21; 156(3773):400-1. PMID: 5609825.
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