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Dr. Orf received a B.S. in Biochemistry from Saint Louis University in 2010. Immediately after, he moved to Washington University in St. Louis to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry under the supervision of former ASU Chemistry & Biochemistry chair, Prof. Bob Blankenship, a world-renowned expert in photosynthesis and bioenergetics. During this time, Dr. Orf began study on the spectroscopic and structural properties of the protein complexes involved in the light-absorbing steps of photosynthesis, along the way earning a U.S. Department of Education GAANN Fellowship and a Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship. After completing his Ph.D. in 2015, he moved to ASU’s School of Molecular Science as a postdoctoral researcher under the supervision of Prof. Kevin Redding, the director of ASU’s Center for Bioenergy and Photosynthesis. Dr. Orf continues research on photosynthesis; however, he now concentrates on the primary charge-separation steps in the photosynthetic reaction center complex, as well as the evolution of photosynthesis, and the construction of genetic engineering tools for photosynthetic microbes.
As a former biotechnology and life science business consultant with The BALSA Group in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Orf advocates for better integration of real-world applications and industry trends into the science curriculum, as well as the implementation of business-standard management practices in academic laboratories.
Ph.D., Chemistry (concentration: Biological Chemistry), Washington University in St. Louis, 2015
B.S., Biochemistry, Saint Louis University, 2010