Bioenergy and Protein Design

Dr. Dror Noy

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.


Research Overview

Our goal is to learn how Nature exploits fundamental physical principles in the assembly and operation of light energy conversion systems, and to find ways to implement the same strategies in man-made solar fuels production systems by integrating natural and artificial components. The main research effort in our lab focuses on constructing simple and robust functional analogs of the natural photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes and reaction centers.

Protein design

Many medium- to high-resolution structures of natural redox enzymes and photosynthetic protein complexes are a source of inspiration and an excellent starting point for new protein design. We collaborate with leading experts of protein computational design in order to implement our insights from the natural structures in state-of-the-art computational tools such as the protCAD, and Rosetta software packages.

Photosynthesis outside the membrane

Early in the course of evolution, living organisms have committed to ATP as the universal energy carrier, and to energy transducing membranes and proton motive force (PMF) for driving ATP production. Since human technology relies on electron motive force (EMF), this commitment has made adapting biological energy conversion systems to technological applications a very difficult challenge.


Amir Fine

Ph.D. 2014, Technion, Haifa, Israel
Post-doctoral fellow
Research interests:

Microfluidics, chlorophyll-protein design

Bhanu Jagilinki

Ph.D. 2016 Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), Mumbai, India
Post-doctoral fellow
Research interests:

Iron-sulfur protein design

Yigal Lahav

Ph.D. student
Research interests:

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

Former students

Former students

Dr. Dominika Bednarczyk
Dr. Oded Liran
Dr. Alonso Zavaleta Fernandez de Cordova
Dr. Vadivel Prabahar
Adnan Abu Ria
Rima Horshid



Latest Publications

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

Fine Tuning of Chlorophyll Spectra by Protein-Induced Ring Deformation

Bednarczyk, D., Dym, O., Prabahar, V., Peleg, Y., Pike, D. H., & Noy, D
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016 Volume 55 Issue 24 Pages 6901?6905

Inside Back Cover: Fine Tuning of Chlorophyll Spectra by Protein-Induced Ring Deformation

Bednarczyk, D., Dym, O., Prabahar, V., Peleg, Y., Pike, D. H., & Noy, D.
Angew. Chem. Int. 2016 Volume 55 Issue 24 Pages 7007?7007