Dr. Dror Noy

Dr. Dror Noy
Head of The Department of Molecular and Computational Biosciences and Biotechnology
Head of Department
Principal Investigator
Bioenergy and Protein Design
Research interests:

protein design, redox proteins, light-harvesting, solar energy conversion, photosynthesis, computational, chlorophyll-proteins, light-induced charge separation

Securing environmentally friendly sustainable energy sources to meet the demands of a growing world population is one of the most important challenges for science in the 21st century. Our lab is looking for ideas and inspiration for addressing this difficult challenge in biological energy conversion processes, particularly, photosynthesis - the primary provider of energy for life on earth that has been converting solar energy to biomass and fuels for over two billion years. Our goal is to design and construct semi-artificial solar energy conversion systems that comprise molecular components from the photosynthetic apparatus taken out of their natural membrane context into aqueous solutions, and coupled with other water-soluble biocatalysts for the production of potential alternative fuel molecules such as hydrogen or ammonia. The photosynthetic components may range from isolated natural photosynthetic enzymes to de-novo designed protein-cofactor complexes that serve as their minimal water-soluble analogues. To this end, we implement state-of-the-art computational and empirical tools of protein design, recombinant protein production and purification techniques, microfluidics technologies, and a wide range of spectroscopic and analytical methods for characterizing the structure and function of the new complexes.As we make progress toward novel solar energy conversion systems, we are also gaining important insight into the fundamental processes involved in natural photosynthesis. These can be used for making photosynthetic organisms more efficient and thereby increasing agricultural productivity.


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



Current projects

  • Smart bionanomaterials for solar-driven hydrogen production (in collaboration with Iftach Yacobi, Lihi Adler Abramovich, Tel Aviv University, Israel). Israel Science Foundation (ISF) - Petroleum Alternatives for Transportation Center of Excellence. 2018-2022
  • Simplified analogues of natural phycobilisomes: design and characterization of multi-chromophore phycobilin-, chlorophyll- and carotenoid-binding proteins. (in collaboration with Kai-Hong Zhao, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China). Israel Science Foundation (ISF)-National Science Foundation China (NSCF). 2018-2021
  • Computational design of water-soluble protein building blocks for multi-chlorophyll protein complexes. Israel Science Foundation (ISF)-Personal grant. 2019-2023
  • Combined computational and experimental protein design for tuning the absorption and emission spectra of biological photoreceptors (in collaboration with Igor Schapiro, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel). Israel Ministry of Science and Technology. 2019-2022

Past projects

  • PS3 - An artificial water-soluble photosystem by protein design (in collaboration with Vikas Nanda, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA). European Research Council (ERC) – Consolidator grant. 2014-2019
  • Simple chlorophyll binding proteins as analogs of photosynthetic light-harvesting systems. Israel Science Foundation (ISF)-Personal grant. 2014-2019

Scientific Publications

New homologues of Brassicaceae water?soluble chlorophyll proteins shed light on chlorophyll binding, spectral tuning and molecular evolution.

Prabahar, V., Jurnou, L. A., Paluy, I., Peleg, Y., & Noy, D.
Febs Journal 2019 Pages febs.15068

15N photo-CIDNP MAS NMR analysis of reaction centers of Chloracidobacterium thermophilum.

Zill JC, He Z, Tank M, Ferlez BH, Canniffe DP, Lahav Y et al.
Photosynthesis research 2018

Solving Structures of Pigment-Protein Complexes as Inverse Optimization Problems using Decomposition.

Lahav, Y., Shir, O.M., Noy, D.
In Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, GECCO-2017, ,2017, Ed. ,ACM Press New York, NY, USA,, Pages 1169?1176

Fine Tuning of Chlorophyll Spectra by Protein-Induced Ring Deformation

Bednarczyk, D., Dym, O., Prabahar, V., Peleg, Y., Pike, D. H., & Noy, D
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016 Volume 55 Issue 24 Pages 6901?6905

Inside Back Cover: Fine Tuning of Chlorophyll Spectra by Protein-Induced Ring Deformation

Bednarczyk, D., Dym, O., Prabahar, V., Peleg, Y., Pike, D. H., & Noy, D.
Angew. Chem. Int. 2016 Volume 55 Issue 24 Pages 7007?7007