Center Director, Biosciences Center
Richard Greene is the director of the Biosciences Center, which focuses on understanding energy conversion phenomena in biological, chemical, and nanoscale systems for generation of renewable energy technologies. The center studies structure, function, and dynamics in natural and human-engineered systems to create efficient and cost-effective solar conversion, hydrogen production, and biomass-to-biofuels technologies.
Prior to joining NREL in April 2013, Dr. Greene was lead for the Photochemistry and Biochemistry Team in DOE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES), and supported research on the molecular mechanisms involved in the capture of light energy and its conversion into chemical and electrical energy through biological and chemical pathways.
Dr. Greene began his research career as a bench scientist at USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratory in Peoria, IL, and ultimately became the leader of the Biopolymer Research Unit from 1990 to 1999. During his tenure there, the unit generated several commercial products from bench discoveries and won two R&D 100 Awards. In 1999, he moved to ARS Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to work in the Office of International Research Programs, where he became its director in 2003. In 2006, he came to DOE to manage the BES Energy Biosciences Program. When the Energy Biosciences Program merged with the Solar Photochemistry Program to form the Photochemistry and Biochemistry Team in 2008, he was selected as its lead. Dr. Greene received his A.B. in biochemistry from Cornell University. His Ph.D. was also awarded by Cornell University in biochemistry for studies on light-driven transport reactions in Archaea. He is the author of more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and patents.