Cheryl A. Kerfeld

Cheryl A. Kerfeld
  • John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor
  • MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Cheryl A. Kerfeld, professor of structural bioengineering, is internationally recognized for her research on the structure-based characterization and engineering of photoprotection and the development of protein-based nanoreactors for diverse applications in synthetic biology. She holds joint appointments with the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory.

Kerfeld received her BA in biology and English literature and an MA in English literature from the University of Minnesota, and her PhD in structural biology from University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining MSU in 2013, she was on the faculty of UC, Berkeley Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, during which time she established and led the Genomics and Bioinformatics Education Program at the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute. Prior to that, she held appointments on UCLA’s teaching and research faculties.

Kerfeld has published more than 115 research papers, many of which are landmarks in the field. Other notable achievements and honors include co-founding and serving as academic editor for the PLOS Biology Education Series (2010-2013) and recognition by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with its Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education in 2011.