Professor Dror Noy

Professor Dror Noy
Head of The Department of Molecular and Computational Biosciences and Biotechnology
Head of Department
Research Group Leader
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

The amphibian antimicrobial peptide uperin 3.5 is a cross-α/cross-β chameleon functional amyloid

Nir Salinas, Einav Tayeb-Fligelman, Massimo D. Sammito, Daniel Bloch, Raz Jelinek, Dror Noy, Isabel Usón, Meytal Landau
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118 (3) e2014442118

Spectral tuning of chlorophylls in proteins – electrostatics vs. ring deformation

Yigal Lahav, Dror Noy, Igor Schapiro
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 23, 6544-6551

The phycobilisome core‐membrane linkers from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and red‐algae assemble in the same topology

Nan‐Nan Niu, Lu Lu , Pan‐Pan Peng, Zhi‐Juan Fu, Dan Miao, Ming Zhou, Dror Noy, Kai‐Hong Zhao
The Plant Journal

Protection of Oxygen-Sensitive Enzymes by Peptide Hydrogel

Oren Ben-Zvi, Itzhak Grinberg, Asuka A. Orr, Dror Noy, Phanourios Tamamis, Iftach Yacoby, Lihi Adler-Abramovich
ACS Nano

Direct Assembly in Aqueous Solutions of Stable Chlorophyllide Complexes with Type II Water‐soluble Chlorophyll Proteins

Dominika Bednarczyk, Chen Tor‐Cohen, Prabir Kumar Das, Dror Noy
Photochemistry and Photobiology

In Vivo Biogenesis of a De Novo Designed Iron–Sulfur Protein

Bhanu P. Jagilinki, Stefan Ilic, Cristian Trncik, Alexei M. Tyryshkin, Douglas H. Pike, Wolfgang Lubitz, Eckhard Bill, Oliver Einsle, James A. Birrell, Barak Akabayov, Dror Noy, Vikas Nanda
ACS Synthetic Biology, 9(12), 3400–3407

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, 287(5), 991-1004

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

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

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

Bednarczyk, D., & Noy, D.
Journal of Visualized Experiments, 109, e53410

Fine Tuning of Chlorophyll Spectra by Protein-Induced Ring Deformation

Bednarczyk, D., Dym, O., Prabahar, V., Peleg, Y., Pike, D. H., & Noy, D
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 55(24), 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.
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 55(24) 7007-7007

New Insight into the Water-Soluble Chlorophyll-Binding Protein from Lepidium virginicum

Kell, A., Bednarczyk, D., Acharya, K., Chen, J., Noy, D., & Jankowiak, R
Photochemistry and Photobiology, 92(3), 428-435

Structural principles for computational and de novo design of 4Fe-4S metalloproteins.

Nanda, V., Senn, S., Pike, D. H., Rodriguez-Granillo, A., Hansen, W. A., Khare, S. D., & Noy, D
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Bioenergentics, 1857(5) 531-538

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

Bednarczyk, D., Takahashi, S., Satoh, H., Noy, D
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Bioenergentics, 1847(3), 307-313

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

Wahadoszamen, M., Margalit, I., Ara, A. M., van Grondelle, R., Noy, D
Nature Communications, 5, 5287

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

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

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

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

A minimal phycobilisome: Fusion and chromophorylation of the truncated core-membrane linker and phycocyanin

K. Tang; X. L. Zeng; Y. Yang; Z. B. Wang; X. J. Wu; M. Zhou; D. Noy; H. Scheer; K. H. Zhao
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 2012 Volume 1817 Issue 7 Pages 1030-1036

Empirical and computational design of iron-sulfur cluster proteins

J. Grzyb; F. Xu; V. Nanda; R. Łuczkowska; E. Reijerse; W. Lubitz; D. Noy
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 2012 Volume 1817 Issue 8 Pages 1256-1262

Zinc-bacteriochlorophyllide dimers in de novo designed four-helix bundle proteins. A model system for natural light energy harvesting and dissipation

I. Cohen-Ofri; M. Van Gastel; J. Grzyb; A. Brandis; I. Pinkas; W. Lubitz; D. Noy
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2011 Volume 133 Issue 24 Pages 9526-9535

Design principles for chlorophyll-binding sites in helical proteins

P. Braun; E. Goldberg; C. Negron; M. Von Jan; F. Xu; V. Nanda; R. L. Koder; D. Noy
Proteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics 2011 Volume 79 Issue 2 Pages 463-476

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

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

De novo design of a non-natural fold for an iron-sulfur protein: Alpha-helical coiled-coil with a four-iron four-sulfur cluster binding site in its central core

J. Grzyb; F. Xu; L. Weiner; E. J. Reijerse; W. Lubitz; V. Nanda; D. Noy
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 2010 Volume 1797 Issue 3 Pages 406-413

The bacterial flagellar switch complex is getting more complex

G. N. Cohen-Ben-Lulu; N. R. Francis; E. Shimoni; D. Noy; Y. Davidov; K. Prasad; Y. Sagi; G. Cecchini; R. M. Johnstone; M. Eisenbach
EMBO Journal 2008 Volume 27 Issue 7 Pages 1134-1144

Zinc-amyloid beta interactions on a millisecond time-scale stabilize non-fibrillar Alzheimer-related species

D. Noy; I. Solomonov; O. Sinkevich; T. Arad; K. Kjaer; I. Sagi
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2008 Volume 130 Issue 4 Pages 1376-1383