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Postdoc Amit K. Singh awarded the Postdoctoral Excellence in Research Award

Amit K. Singh
Amit K. Singh
By Kara Headley, MSU-DOE PRL 2022

Postdoctoral Researcher Amit K. Singh from the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) Ducat lab was awarded the 2023 Postdoctoral Excellence in Research Award (PERA) from the MSU Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation for his research in green biotechnology.

The award is given annually to two MSU postdoctoral researchers who have displayed excellence in scientific research, based on the impact it has on their field of study and its innovation. Importantly, decisions on whom to award are made from a committee of postdoctoral fellows – meaning that the award is given by peers in the university who are best suited to understand the challenges and accomplishments of a postdoctoral research position.

"I felt exhilarated and got goosebumps when my name was announced as one of the awardees,” Singh said. “Such proud moments usually give me this feeling. The recognition is a great honor not just for my contribution to science but also for the positive impact we are making on our community through science. As my research mainly focuses on green biotechnology, I hope this recognition will inspire the younger generation to pursue scientific thinking for the betterment of the community.”

Singh’s research interests lie in developing green biotechnologies and investigating photosynthetic microbial cell factories as a platform for the production of biofuels, bioplastics and high-value products. Throughout his scientific career, Singh has investigated photosynthesis in plants, algae and recently cyanobacteria in Ducat Lab.

Singh joined the Ducat lab in 2018, where he studies the carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM) of cyanobacteria. The CCM assists in photosynthesis by gathering carbon dioxide inside the cell and concentrating it specifically to the subcellular sites that utilize it. Using computational and experimental methods, Singh aims to understand the dynamic regulation of the cyanobacterial CCM.

He is also lauded for his mentoring efforts within the lab. He has taken on a leading role in mentoring and training several undergraduate and graduate researchers. Within the PRL, Singh is involved with the Postdoctoral Advisory group and the Advisory Board for the 14th International Workshop on Cyanobacteria, which was hosted at MSU in Summer 2022.

“As he has applied himself wholeheartedly to his research and professional development, I am sure that Dr. Singh will be involved in the uncovering of many more impactful research findings and be instrumental to the training of many other young scientists in his professional career,” said Daniel Ducat, associate professor at the PRL and in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

Singh obtained his Ph.D. from the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi, India. He holds master’s degrees in both Botany/Plant Science and engineering (M.Tech).

In his acknowledgment, Singh expresses his gratitude to the PRL community for their instrumental role in contributing to his research accomplishments at MSU. Apart from science, he further said that being a kind and compassionate human being is the most important lesson he learned from this experience.

By Kara Headley