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Bioenergetics and Protein Design laboratory

Solar Energy Conversion; Computational Protein Design; Light-Harvesting; Chlorophyll-Proteins; Light-Induced Charge Separation

Dr. Dror Noy

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For over two billion years, photosynthesis has been the primary provider of energy for life on earth, converting solar energy to biomass and fuels. Artificial photosynthesis research aims at constructing artificial systems for converting solar energy into useful fuels by using natural photosynthesis as the source of inspiration.
Our lab’s goal is to design and construct artificial photosynthetic systems by making novel protein-cofactor complexes that serve as minimal versions of natural photosynthetic enzyme. For this purpose, we implement state-of-the-art computational and empirical tools of protein design, recombinant protein production and purification techniques, and a wide range of spectroscopic and analytical methods for characterizing the structure and function of the new complexes.
By this endeavor we are gaining important insight into the fundamental processes involved in photosynthetic solar energy conversion. Ultimately, it will allow us to construct novel solar energy conversion devices by reverse engineering natural photosynthesis.



Ph.D. 2000, Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science
M.Sc. 1994, Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science

Academic and research experience
2013- Head of Bioenergetics and Protein Design laboratory, Migal-Galilee Research Institute
2007-2012 Senior Scientist, Weizmann Institute of Science
2006-2007 Staff Scientist, Structural Biology Dept., Weizmann Institute of Science
2004-2006 Human Frontiers Post-doctoral fellow, Structural Biology Dept., Weizmann Institute of Science
2000-2004 Human Frontiers Post-doctoral fellow, Biochemistry and Biophysics Dept., University of Pennsylvania

Honors and awards

An artificial water-soluble photosystem by protein design, European Research Council (ERC) – Consolidator grant, EUR 1.99M
Simple chlorophyll binding proteins as analogs of photosynthetic light-harvesting systems,Israel Science Foundation (ISF)-Personal grant, NIS 1.35M
Israel Solar Fuels Consortium, Israel Science Foundation (ISF), NIS 400K
Peptide-based diodes for solar cells, EU-FP7 program, FP7-ENERGY-2010-FET, EUR 596K (out of EUR 2,750M total)
Construction of a hybrid photocatalytic system for hydrogen production, Volkswagen Foundation, EUR 180K (out of EUR 600K total)
De novo design of multi-chlorophyll binding protein, Israel Science Foundation (ISF)-Personal grant, NIS 1.2M

Selected Publications

Water in Oil Emulsions: A New System for Assembling Water-soluble Chlorophyll-binding Proteins with Hydrophobic Pigments

Journal of Visualized Experiments 2016 Volume 109 Pages e53410–e53410 Bednarczyk, D., & Noy, D. Read online

Assembly of water-soluble chlorophyll-binding proteins with native hydrophobic chlorophylls in water-in-oil emulsions

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Bioenergetics 2015 Volume 1847 Issue 3 Pages 307–313 D. Bednarczyk; S. Takahashi; H. Satoh; D. Noy We acknowledge financial support from the European Research Council (ERC) consolidator grant (GA 615217) Read online

The role of charge-transfer states in energy transfer and dissipation within natural and artificial bacteriochlorophyll proteins

Nature Communications 2014 Volume 5 Pages 1-8 M. Wahadoszamen; I. Margalit; A. M. Ara; R. van Grondelle; N. Noy Read online

Bimodal intramolecular excitation energy transfer in a multichromophore photosynthetic model system: Hybrid fusion proteins comprising natural phycobilin- and artificial chlorophyll-binding domains

Journal of the American Chemical Society 2013 Volume 135 Issue 36 Pages 13479-13487 X. L. Zeng; K. Tang; N. Zhou; M. Zhou; H. J. M. Hou; H. Scheer; K. H. Zhao; D. Noy Read online

Accelerated electron transport from photosystem i to redox partners by covalently linked ferredoxin

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2013 Volume 15 Issue 45 Pages 19608-19614 G. Wittenberg; W. Sheffler; D. Darchi; D. Baker; D. Noy Read online

Electron transport between photosystem ii and photosystem i encapsulated in sol-gel glasses

Angewandte Chemie - International Edition 2011 Volume 50 Issue 51 Pages 12347-12350 F. Kopnov; I. Cohen-Ofri; D. Noy Read online


Post-graduate and post-doctoral research training


Laboratories and research projects


Business opportunities and technology transfer