Richard Sayre

Initiative for a Carbon Negative Economy

Richard T. Sayre


Richard-SayreDr. Sayre received his Ph. D. from the University of Iowa in 1978, and did post-doctoral work at Harvard University in Molecular Genetics. Since September 2008, he has served as the Director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St Louis. In 2009, Dr. Sayre became Director of the Center for Advanced Biofuel Systems, a DOE-Energy Frontier Research Center focusing on metabolic engineering of algae and camelina for oil production. Dr. Sayre is also the Scientific Director and former Chairman of the Board of the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts, a $70 million DOE-sponsored project on algal biofuels. He previously served as the Director of the BioCassava Plus (2005-2010) program ($12 million) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to moving to the Danforth Center, Dr. Sayre was a Professor in the Department of Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology at the Ohio State University and served six years as the departmental chair. Dr. Sayre is currently Chief Technology Officer for Phycal Inc, an algal biofuels company. Phycal is currently the largest commercial investment ($50 million) made by the Department of Energy in algal biofuels production. Dr. Sayre also serves on the editorial board of Photosynthesis Research and Frontiers in Plant Physiology and is Editor–In-Chief of Agal Research. He spent the spring of 2007, at the University of Sao Paulo as a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry working on microalgal biotechnology. From 2005-2008, Dr. Sayre was the College of Biological Sciences Distinguished Professor, and in 2006, Dr Sayre was elected as an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa. He is the author of over 90 publications in a diverse range of the biological sciences ranging from the biophysics of photosynthesis, to the bioremediation of toxic wastes, quorum sensing, and food crop biofortification. Dr. Sayre serves on the Board of Directors of BRDG Park in St Louis and Logos Technologies in Cleveland. In December 2008, Nature identified Dr. Sayre as one of “Five Crop Researchers Who Could Change the World” (Nature 456: 563-569, 2008) based on the accomplishments of the BioCassava Plus team.