Dr. Livnat Afriat-Jurnou

Dr. Livnat Afriat-Jurnou
Senior Lecturer
Principal Investigator
Research Group Leader
Research Interests:

We are interested in understanding how enzymes evolve new functions and biochemical traits and how they adapt to their environment. We implement this knowledge to use directed enzyme evolution to design new tailor-made enzymes with improved characteristics that can be used for food, environmental and agricultural applications. projects in the lab include

 Deciphering the role of enzyme-based disruption mechanisms in microbial interactions and their effect on plant sensitivity to pathogens

 Identifying  and Engineering Quorum Quenching enzymes as an antimicrobial strategy

 Design better enzymes for xenobiotics bioremediation (such as pesticides and plastic)


Academic Education
2012-2013   Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The laboratory of Prof. Colin Jackson, Research School of Chemistry. The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia 

2006-2012 Ph.D., May 2012. Thesis advisor: Prof. Dan Tawfik, the Department of Biological Chemistry, the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

2004-2006     M.Sc. December 2006.   Thesis advisor: Prof. Dan Tawfik, the Department of Biological Chemistry, the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

2001-2004    B.Sc., 2004, with honors.   Combined degree in Chemistry and Biology, the Faculty of Exact Sciences and the Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Academic Employment
October 2022 - Senior Lecturer, academic senior staff, the faculty of Science and Technology, Tel-Hai Academic College, Israel 

October 2016 - Lecturer, Tel-Hai Academic College, Israel

July 2017 - Principal Investigator, Migal – Galilee Research Institute, Israel.

November 2013- April 2017- Research Associate, Migal – Galilee Research Institute.       


Awards and Honors
Tel Aviv University, the Faculty of Life Science, Dean’s List, 2003.
Feinberg Graduate School of the Weizmann Institute of Science, PhD Scholarship, 2006-2011.

Scientific Publications

Mining marine metagenomes revealed a quorum-quenching lactonase with improved biochemical properties that inhibits the food spoilage bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens

Haramati, R., Dor, S., Gurevich, D., Levy, D., Freund, D., Rytwo, G., Sharon, I., Afriat-Jurnou, L.

Bacterial Quorum-Quenching Lactonase Hydrolyzes Fungal Mycotoxin and Reduces Pathogenicity of Penicillium expansum-Suggesting a Mechanism of Bacterial Antagonism

Shlomit Dor , Dov Prusky, Livnat Afriat-Jurnou
Journal of Fungi

Identification and Characterization of a New Quorum-Quenching N-acyl Homoserine Lactonase in the Plant Pathogen Erwinia amylovora

Sapir Yaar Bar, Shlomit Dor, Mayan Erov, Livnat Afriat-Jurnou
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Directed Enzyme Evolution and Encapsulation in Peptide Nanospheres of Quorum Quenching Lactonase as an Antibacterial Treatment against Plant Pathogen

David Gurevich , Shlomit Dor , Mayan Erov , Yoav Dan , Jehudith Clara Moy , Orly Mairesse , Mery Dafny-Yelin , Lihi Adler-Abramovich , Livnat Afriat-Jurnou
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces

Predicting nitroimidazole antibiotic resistance mutations in Mycobacterium tuberculosis with protein engineering

M. Lee B.M, Almeida D.V., Afriat-Jurnou L, Aung H.L., Forde B.M., Hards K., Pidot S.J, Ahmed H.F., A., Mohamed E., Taylor M.C., West N.P, Stinear T.P., Greening C., Beatson S.A., Cook G.M., Nuermberger E.L., Jackson C.J.
Plos Pathogen

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

"Directed evolution of an endoinulinase from Talaromyces purpureogenus toward efficient production of inulooligosaccharides"

Afriat-Jurnou L, Cohen R, Paluy I, Ben-adiva R, Yadid I.
Biotechnology progress

The role of protein dynamics in the evolution of new enzyme function

Campbell E, Kaltenbach M, Correy GJ, Carr PD, Porebski BT, Livingstone EK, Afriat-Jurnou L, Buckle AM, Weik M, Hollfelder F, Tokuriki N, Jackson CJ
Nature Chemical Biology 2016

Sequence-Structure-Function Classification of a Catalytically Diverse Oxidoreductase Superfamily in Mycobacteria

Ahmed FH, Carr PD, Lee BM, Afriat-Jurnou L, Mohamed AE, Hong NS, Flanagan J, Taylor MC, Greening C, Jackson CJ
J Mol Biol. 2015 Volume 6;427(22):3554-71

Diminishing returns and tradeoffs constrain the laboratory optimization of an enzyme.” Nature communication

Tokuriki N, Jackson CJ, Jurnou-Afriat L, Tawfik DS
Nature communications

Reconstructing a missing link in the evolution of a recently diverged phosphotriesterase by active-site loop remodeling

Afriat-Jurnou L; Jackson CJ; Tawfik DS.
Biochemistry 2012 Volume 51 Pages 6047-6055

Conformational sampling, catalysis, and evolution of the bacterial phosphotriesterase.

Jackson CJ, Foo JL, Tokuriki N, Afriat L, Carr PD, Kim HK, Schenk G, Tawfik DS, Ollis DL.

The latent promiscuity of newly identified microbial lactonases is linked to recently diverged phosphotriesterase. Biochemistry.

Afriat L, Roodveldt C, Manco G, Tawfik DS