Bio-Molecular Bacterial Mastery

Evolve and develop bio-molecules, in the form of proteins/DNA/RNA, to shape and design natural bacterial populations. The evolved biomolecules could serve as alternative antibiotics, microbiome designers, growth inducers for cultivated farm animals and plants, recruit bacteria to fight and eliminate environmental hazards, and help to achieve any other goal which might involve bacteria.

Dr. Ruth Cohen-Khait

About the lab

Bacteriocins are protein based antibiotics naturally used by bacteria to eliminate closely related competing bacterial strains. Bacteriocins penetrate bacterial cells by forming specific protein-protein complexes with compatible membrane proteins, which further allow them to engage active transport into the cell.  In our lab we try to apply an in vitro evolution approach in order to evolve bacteriocin scaffolds to interact, bind and translocate through bacterial transporters of choice. Additionally we examine the possibility to apply natural and evolved bacteriocins at their DNA\RNA form relaying on naturally competent bacterial cells to produce the antibiotic proteins. As bacteriocins act in a highly specific manner and are naturally responsible for shaping bacterial communities, we hope to develop a pipeline which would allow us to rationally shape bacterial populations at various environments.  

Principal Researcher

Latest Publications

Colicin-mediated transport of DNA through the iron transporter FepA

Ruth Cohen-Khait, Ameya Harmalkar, Phuong Pham, Melissa N Webby, Nicholas G Housden, Emma Elliston, Jonathan TS Hopper, Shabaz Mohammed, Carol V Robinson, Jeffrey J Gray, Colin Kleanthous

Imaging bacterial membrane vesicles with a delicate touch

Ruth Cohen-Khait
Nature Reviews Microbiology

Selecting for fast protein–protein association as demonstrated on a random TEM1 yeast library binding BLIP

Ruth Cohen-Khait, Gideon Schreiber

Promiscuous protein binding as a function of protein stability

Ruth Cohen-Khait, Orly Dym, Shelly Hamer-Rogotner, Gideon Schreiber

Lab News

Contact Information


The brand new lab is now recruiting students/postdocs/a lab manager.


Please send an email to

Talk to you soon :-)