Bachelor of Science, University Wales, Swansea, 1964. Master of Science, University East Anglia, Norwich, 1965. Doctor of Philosophy, University East Anglia, Norwich, 1967.
Doctor of Philosophy (honorary), University Stockholm, 1992.
He joined Imperial College in 1968, was made Reader in 1974, and was promoted to Full Professor in 1979. He was Dean of the Royal College of Science, and from 1989 to 1999 was Head of the Biochemistry Department. He has been awarded honorary doctorates of Stockholm University and University of East Anglia (2010).
He has served as President of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research (2007-2010).
James Barber has published over 500 original research papers and reviews in the field of natural photosynthesis, editing 15 specialised books The focus of his research has been the investigation of photosynthesis and the functional role of the photosystems with emphasis on their structures.
Much of his work has focused on Photosystem II, a biological machine able to use light energy to split water into oxygen and reducing equivalents. In 2004, he reported the first fully refined X-ray structure of this enzyme.
Recently, Barber has turned his attention from natural to artificial photosynthesis, collaborating with chemists, electrochemists and material scientists to develop artificial photosynthesis technology for solar fuel production.
This work has been spurred by the establishment of the Solar Fuels Laboratory within the School of Material Sciences at NTU and of the Biosolar Laboratory within the Applied Science and Technology Department at the POLITO.
Royal Society; Academia Europaea. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences]
James Barber was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in 1980 and a member of the European Academy Academia Europaea in 1989, became foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2003, and Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005.
Married Marilyn Jane Emily Barber, August 15, 1965. Children: Neil James, Julie Anne.