Valentyna Kuznetsova is a scientific researcher in the Department of Physics at the University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. She specializes in elucidating spectroscopy-structure relations of light-absorbing molecules and their excited state dynamics. Highly skilled in developing complex optical laser setups used in the study of pigment-protein complexes, she is passionate about building independent research groups and establishing new directions in the study of photoactive proteins.
Dr. Kuznetsova defended her PhD thesis in Biophysics in 2017 at the University of South Bohemia, focusing on the study of excited-state properties of photosynthetic pigments and pigment-protein complexes using ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy. She investigated light-induced processes in photosynthetic pigments and their role in photoprotection (non-photochemical quenching mechanisms in cyanobacteria and plants), and contributed to the understanding of the role of debated carotenoids’ intramolecular charge transfer state in isolated pigments and light-harvesting antennas.
During her subsequent postdoc at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, she conducted a comparison study of photoactivation in plant and bacterial phytochromes using time-resolved visible and IR spectroscopies. During this time, she supported time-resolved crystallography experiments to establish spectroscopy-structure relations for photoactivated bacterial phytochrome microcrystals.
In her current position at the University of South Bohemia, Dr. Kuznetsova’s research has a broad scope, performing the study of photoactive proteins and photosynthetic complexes using multi-pulse and two-photon transient spectroscopies.

Within the COST Action CA21101 “Confined Molecular Systems: from the new generation of materials to the stars” (COSY) she is an active member of Working Groups 1 and 2 and holds a Social Media co-Manager position.

Selected publications:

  1. Kuznetsova V.; Fuciman M.; Polvka T. Relaxation dynamics of high-energy excited states of carotenoids studied by UV excitation and pump-repump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy. PCCP 25 (33), 2023.
  2. Skotnicova, P.; Staleva-Musto, H.; Kuznetsova, V.; et al. Plant LHC-like proteins show robust folding and static non-photochemical quenching. Nature Communications 12 (1), 2022.
  3. Claesson, E.; Wahlgren, W.X.Y.; Takala, H.; Pandey, S.; Castillon, L.; Kuznetsova, V.; et al. The primary structural photoresponse of phytochrome proteins captured by a femtosecond X-ray laser. eLife 9, 2020.


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