Hugh M O'Neill
Director, Center for Structural Molecular Biology
Hugh O'Neill is a Senior Staff Scientist in the Neutron Scattering Division and Director of the Center for Structural Molecular Biology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received his Ph.D in Biochemistry from the National University of Ireland in 1998 for his work on elucidating the mechanism of electron transfer by flavoproteins. He continued his work on biological electron transfer during his post-doctoral work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on the development of enzyme fuel cells and photosynthetic nanoparticles for hydrogen production. He is a faculty member in the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education and the Genome Science and Technology graduate program at the University of Tennessee. His research interests include investigating how lignocellulose structure is altered during chemical pretreatment using neutron scattering techniques in order to develop more efficient pretreatment strategies. Another aspect of his research studies the structure and function of enzymes involved in cellulose synthesis in plants. In addition, he also studies fundamental interfacial reactions at the biotic-abiotic interface to investigate photodependent hydrogen production in biohybrid systems.