Dr. Drazenka Svedruzic has been a research staff scientist in the NREL Biochemical Sciences Center since 2010. Since joining the Photobiology group in 2005 Drazenka has been involved in multidisciplinary research on biomimetic systems for renewable energy technologies and has been working in close collaborations with scientists across NREL. Her current interests include (i) interfacing biocatalysts with nanoscale materials, (ii) design of enzyme-based catalytic electrodes for the interconversion of fuels and electricity, (iii) mimicking and optimizing metabolic pathways within an artificial system for CO2 capture and reduction, and (iv) applying biomolecules as templates for controlled nanomaterial synthesis. She is currently working on a proprietary research project funded by an industry partner through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement.
In 2000 Drazenka came to the United States to pursue graduate studies in the Chemistry Department of the University of Florida. For dissertation, she did research with graduate advisor Dr. Nigel Richards on the metalloenzyme oxalate decarboxylase, with a focus on mechanistic enzymology and enzyme structure/function studies. During that time she also closely collaborated with the group of Dr. Wallace Clelend at University of Wisconsin. After receiving doctoral degree in 2005, she undertook a 3-year postdoctoral position at NREL working with Drs. Paul King and Maria Ghirardi. At first, the research was primarily focused on the expression, purification, and biochemical characterization of the recombinant [FeFe] hydrogenases from Clostridium acetobutylicum and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Later, focus shifted toward biomimetic research that included electrochemical characterization of hydrogenases and their application as catalysts for solar-to-hydrogen and fuel cell devices. In collaboration with scientists from the Materials Science and Computational Science Center at NREL, she has studied the interaction of hydrogenases with nanomaterials in solution and on the electrode surface. This research resulted in several peer reviewed publications, one of which featured in the American Chemical Society's "Five Firsts of 2007" issue.
Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Florida — Gainesville, 2005
B.S., Chemistry, University of Zagreb — Zagreb, Croatia, 1997
- Svedruzic, D., Blackburn, J.L., Tenent, R. C. (2011). "High-Performance Hydrogen Production and Oxidation Electrodes with Hydrogenase Supported on Metallic Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube Networks." Journal of the American Chemical Society (133(12); p. 4299.
- Blackburn, J.L.; Svedruzic, D.; McDonald, T. J.; Kim, Y.-H.; King, P.W.; Heben, M. J. (2008). "Raman spectroscopy of charge transfer interactions between single wall carbon nanotubes and [FeFe] hydrogenase." Dalton Transactions (40); pp. 5454-5461.
- Hambourger, M.; Gervaldo, M.; Svedruzic, D.; King, P.W.; Gust, D.; Ghirardi, M.; Moore, A.L.; Moore, T.A. (2008). "[FeFe]-Hydrogenase-Catalyzed H2 production in a photoelectrochemical biofuel cell." J. Am. Chem. Soc. (130:6); pp. 2015-2022.
- McDonald, T. J.; Svedruzic, D.; Kim, Y.-H.; Blackburn, J. L.; Zhang, S. B.; King, P.W.; Heben, M. J. (2007). "Wiring-up hydrogenase with single-walled carbon nanotubes." Nano Lett. (7:11); pp. 3528-3534.