We are interested in understanding how enzymes evolve new function and biochemical traits, and how are they adopted 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 health environmental and agricultural applications, projects in the lab include:
1. Study the correlations between Quorum Quenching lactonases biochemical properties (e.g., specificity and stability), their environmental origin, and the ability to modulate bacterial chemical communication.
2. Identify and design new lactonases as anti-microbial treatments against bacterial infections in human and plants.
3. Design and encapsulate pesticide hydrolyzing enzymes.
4. Directed enzyme evolution of plastic degrading enzyme towards increased stability and activity with Polyethylene terephthalate, PET.
Enzymes are extremely potent biocatalysts capable of enhancing reaction rates by up to 1019-fold (kcat/knoncat). Despite their great proficiency, enzymes exhibit a remarkable evolutionary adaptability (evolvability). The lab is interested in understanding how enzymes evolve new function, for this we use phylogenetic and structural analysis in combination with directed enzyme evolution. Understanding the structural mechanisms that govern this molecular evolution processes can help us in better engineering tailor made enzymes with new properties for specific environmental, agricultural and industrial applications.
2012-2013 Postdoctoral research Fellow, The laboratory of Prof. Colin Jackson, Research School of Chemistry. The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
2006-2012 PhD, 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.
October 2019 - 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.
Since 2018 - General Chemistry course, undergraduate, Exact Sciences faculty, Tel Hai College.
Since 2017 - Scientific writing seminar, undergraduate, Biotechnology, Exact Sciences faculty, Tel Hai College.
Since 2017 - General Chemistry Laboratory course, undergraduate, Exact Sciences faculty, Tel Hai College.
2016 - Organic Chemistry laboratory, undergraduate, Exact Sciences faculty, Tel Hai College.
2016 - General Chemistry academic course in "Academia" program in Galiliom-Tel Hai College.
2015 - Chemistry and Biotechnology, Sidney Warren Science Education Center for Youth, Tel Hai College.
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.
Mining marine metagenomes revealed a quorum-quenching lactonase with improved biochemical properties that inhibits the food spoilage bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens
Bacterial Quorum-Quenching Lactonase Hydrolyzes Fungal Mycotoxin and Reduces Pathogenicity of Penicillium expansum-Suggesting a Mechanism of Bacterial Antagonism
Identification and Characterization of a New Quorum-Quenching N-acyl Homoserine Lactonase in the Plant Pathogen Erwinia amylovora