Mission

To seek and apply new knowledge to cope with fundamental global challenges in food and energy security, human health, and environmental safety

Global challenges such as cancer therapy, bioinspired solar energy conversion, and plastic waste degradation, are essential focal points for the department. They are also of particular interest to the local community in the Galilee as it emerges as a hub for food and agriculture technology research and development. 

We are focused on activities such as the development of vaccines for poultry and other livestock; the development of new methodologies and substances for controlling and preventing plant diseases; the design of novel functional food ingredients; and the improvement of production methods for these and other food compounds.

The Cutting Edge of Molecular and Computational Biosciences and Biotechnology
Head of The Department of Molecular and Computational Biosciences and Biotechnology

Dr. Dror Noy

Bioenergy and Protein Design
972-4-7700508
drorn@migal.org.il

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.

Our researchers come from the fields of biological, chemical, and computational sciences and apply an interdisciplinary approach to addressing these fundamental challenges. They do so with diverse methodologies and analytical techniques such as directed enzyme evolution; computational design of proteins and biomolecules; machine-learning algorithms for search and optimization; optical spectroscopy; and bioinformatics.

Our researchers come from the fields of biological, chemical, and computational sciences and apply an interdisciplinary approach to addressing these fundamental challenges. They do so with diverse methodologies and analytical techniques such as directed enzyme evolution; computational design of proteins and biomolecules; machine-learning algorithms for search and optimization; optical spectroscopy; and bioinformatics.

Department Research Groups

Bioenergy and Protein Design

Dr. Dror Noy

Dr. Dror Noy
Bioenergy and Protein Design

Research interests:

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.

Computational Chemistry

MSc Itai Bloch

MSc Itai Bloch
Computational Chemistry

As of today the focus of pharmaceutical research is limited to a small fraction of the therapeutic target space. Among the major difficulties dealing with “non-standard” drug targets are:

Directed Evolution of Enzymes

Dr. Livnat Afriat-Jurnou

Dr. Livnat Afriat-Jurnou
Directed Evolution of Enzymes

Research interests:

Research interests:

We are interested in understanding how enzymes evolve new function and biochemical traits, and how are they adopted to their environment.

Enzymes are extremely potent biocatalysts capable of enhancing reaction rates by up to 1019-fold (kcat/knoncat).

Experimental Optimization and Scientific Informatica

Dr. Ofer Shir

Dr. Ofer Shir
Experimental Optimization and Scientific Informatica

Research interests:

Research interests:

Computational Intelligence, Experimental Optimization, Statistical Learning, Theory of Randomized Search Heuristics,

The advent of modern laboratory and field experiments, as well as of computerized systems, enables researchers to control experiments and analyze their big-data in high-speed rates.

Microbiome Bioinformatics

Dr. Itai Sharon

Dr. Itai Sharon
Microbiome Bioinformatics

Research interests:

Research interests:

 

1. Plant-microbiome interactions

2. The diversity of the human-associated microbiome

3. Designing computational methods for metagenomics analysis

We are studying the microbiome of different environments.