Bioenergy and Protein Design

We are working to understand the molecular design principles of the solar energy conversion machinery in photosynthesis, and use these for building novel solar energy conversion devices by reverse engineering.

Dr. Dror Noy

Welcome to Dror Noy’s lab

Our group applies computational protein design tools in order to construct novel protein-cofactor complexes that serve as minimal versions of the elaborate complexes that comprise the natural photosynthetic apparatus.

Our major cofactors of interest are chlorophylls - the main pigments of photosynthetic light-harvesting proteins, and drivers of light-induced electron transport in reaction centers, bilins - the pigments of the phyobilisomes - the gigantic light-harvesting antenna complexes of cyanobacteria and red-algae, and iron-sulfur clusters - the redox centers at the reducing end of the photosynthetic electron-transport chain, and of numerous soluble electron transport proteins.

In designing and constructing minimal functional analogues of photosynthetic proteins we set a dual goal: Understanding the molecular design and assembly principles of the solar energy conversion machinery in photosynthesis, and making novel building blocks for the construction of elaborate bio-inspired solar energy conversion devices.

To reach our ambitious goals, we carry out highly interdisciplinary research that includes  high-level quantum chemical calculations for understanding how the protein environment tunes the electronic structures of its embedded cofactors, computational protein design techniques for making new protein structures, preparative and analytical biochemical methods for production, purification, assembly, and structural characterization of protein-cofactor complexes, and optical spectroscopy and electrochemistry for assessing their functionality. Simultaneously, we are exploring ways of integrating natural photosynthetic components, their artificial analogues, and other natural or modified redox enzymes outside their native context in order to construct biohybrid molecular solar energy conversion systems.

Principal Researcher

Dr. Dror Noy

Dr. Dror Noy
Bioenergy and Protein Design

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.


Prabir Kumar Das

Ph.D. 2018, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India
Post-Doctoral fellow
Research Interests:
Protein engineering for designing chlorophyll-binding protein

Chen Cohen

Ph.D. 2019 Azrieili, Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University
Post-Doctoral fellow
Research Interests:

Design and characterization of multi chromophore binding chlorophyll proteins.

Vinzenz Bayro-Kaiser

Ph.D. 2017, Tel Aviv University
Research Interests:
Assembly of a semi –artificial photosynthetic electron transport chain into a microfluidics system for light driven hydrogen production.

Yigal Lahav

Ph.D. student
Research Interests:

Theoretical chemistry (QM/MM), molecular dynamics and spectroscopy of chlorophyll protein complexes

Former Group Members

Former Group Members

Dr. Bhanu P. Jagilinki
Dr. Satyabala Neelam
Dr. Dominika Bednarczyk
Dr. Oded Liran
Dr. Alonso Zavaleta Fernandez de Cordova
Dr. Vadivel Prabahar
Adnan Abu Ria
Rima Horshid
Chen Erlich
David Bernstein



Latest Publications

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

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

Contact Information

Research Group Leader
Dr. Dror Noy

Lab Manager
Svetlana Yomdin

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