Research Groups

Biological Chemistry

Ed Bayer
Department of Biological Chemistry

Our lab focuses on the microbes and their enzyme systems engaged in deconstruction of plant-derived cellulosic biomass en route to biofuel production.

We use a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to study cellulolytic bacteria that produce cellulases and associated enzymes that hydrolyze recalcitrant plant cell wall polysaccharides, and their self-assembly into efficient multi-enzyme complexes called cellulosomes.
Details can be found on the Bayer Group Website.

Opportunity for doctoral/postdoctoral projects on:

  • Combined microbiological, bioinformatics, biochemical, biophysical, enzymatic, metabolic, and structural biology techniques for studying cellulolytic bacteria and their enzymes.
  • Synthetic biology approach for production of artificial designer cellulosomes.

Chemical and Biological Physics

Baran Eren
Department of Chemical and Biological Physics

We are interested in understanding the atomic, chemical, and electronic structure of solid surfaces that are relevant to industrially and environmentally important fields of heterogeneous catalysis. Currently we are interested in two catalyst systems: The first type of materials are model CO2 conversion catalysts. The 'methanol economy' is a cleaner and greener future energy solution in comparison to the currently prevalent 'oil economy', and a reliable resource that can ensure Israel's long-term independence from fossil fuels. The methanol energy cycle consists of the methanol synthesis (from CO2) and methanol conversion reactions catalyzed by Cu-based materials. The second type of model catalyst systems are Co-based materials used in the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (conversion of a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen into liquid hydrocarbons). Israel is a country with petroleum refineries but with almost no crude oil resource of its own. FTS is an alternative to way to produce petroleum-products that can be used for transportation fuel, from synthesis gas derived from non-petroleum feedstocks.

More details can be found at our website.

 

To find out more about and PhD studentship and postdoctoral opportunities – please write me directly at baran.eren@weizmannlac.il.

Gershon Kurizki
Department of Chemical Physics

The Quantum Optics & Coherence Group develops novel concepts and strategies for dynamical control of quantum coherence and entanglement for diverse applications

(see Kurizki Group Website)

Within AERI the goals of such control will be to maximize the efficiency of solar cells and solar-pumped lasers, by quantum-mechanical unconventional designs and operation regimes that improve their thermodynamic performance.

Applicants for postdoctoral and doctoral positions are expected to have excellent understanding of basic quantum physics.

Ron Naaman
Department of Chemical Physics

Our research aims at improving properties of photovoltaic devices and of the light-induced water splitting process by controlling the electrons’ spin. Specifically we are working on producing OLED (organic light emitting diode) devices in which the spins of the electrons are controlled. This concept is supposed to result in major improvement in the efficiency.  A similar approach can be taken for organic-based solar cells. Regarding water splitting, we investigate the improvement in the efficiency of hydrogen production by controlling the spin of the electrons participating in the process.

We have positions for excellent graduate students and postdocs, interested in multidisciplinary research that involves solid state physics, chemistry and some biochemistry.

 

Selected Publications:

  1. Spin-Dependent Transport through Chiral Molecules Studied by Spin-Dependent Electrochemistry
  2. Unravelling the secrets of the CISS effect
  3. Biological molecules may hold the key to “spintronic” applications
  4. The CISS Effect
Oren Tal
Department of Chemical Physics

 

In our group we study electronic transport, heat transport, and heat to electric power conversion at the scale of individual molecules and atomic conductors. In particular, we are looking for fascinating material properties and novel transport phenomena that emerge at the atomic scale. We take advantage of these effects to gain highly efficient thermopower, fabricate molecular heat pumps and control heat dissipation at the nanoscale. These research directions can promote the use of atomic and molecular scale properties to generate renewable energy and reduce energy waste.

More details can be found at: Tal Group websites.

 

We are looking for curious and enthusiastic candidates for Postdoc and PhD positions, at both chemistry and physics tracks. You are welcome to contact me atoren.tal@weizmann.ac.il

 

Earth and Planetary Sciences

Jacob Karni
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Our group investigates new methods of clean fuel synthesis by conversion of solar or thermal energy to chemical potential. For example, we study new methods of dissociating carbon dioxide and water to syngas (a mixture of H2 & CO) and O2 at high temperature. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in our group benefit from the support of a highly experienced research team, which includes four PhD’s with extensive experience in various areas of energy conversion.

Details on our laboratory can be found at Karni Group Website

Postdoc & Ph.D. candidates interested in the following areas, please apply:

  • Solid Oxide Electrolysis of CO2 and water
  • Thermo-chemical energy conversion at high temperatures
  • Electrical power and fuel production using concentrated solar energy
Shira Raveh-Rubin
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Our group desires to understand the Earth’s climate by focusing on the atmospheric dynamics of the weather timescale. Shaped by weather systems, we answer fundamental environmental questions concerning the Earth water cycle and atmospheric transport processes.

 

We study the atmospheric flows and interacting mechanisms across scales that drive the variability, climatology and (extreme) impact of extratropical weather systems. We analyze large datasets that combine observations and numerical weather prediction model simulations, aiming to understand the life cycle of weather systems and their embedded components. By using Eulerian and Lagrangian diagnostic tools, we study specific weather events in detail, and quantify phenomena globally over a longer time period.

 

For more details, please visit our website.

 

Current opportunities for PhD/postdoc are available for the following projects:

  • Interaction between dry intrusions, cold fronts, and cyclone dynamics
  • Moisture transport near extratropical cyclones
  • Air-sea interaction during Mediterranean extremes
  • The meteorology the governs dust emission and transport in N. Africa
  • Predictability of heavy precipitation
Yinon Rudich
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Our research group focuses on topics related to basic understanding of Earth climate and to the challenges associated with the increasing health burden imposed by increased exposure to air pollution. To address the first issue, we are developing instrumentation for measuring aerosol optical properties and study how the absorption of aerosols depends on their different atmospheric processes. We conduct interdisciplinary research on the how exposure to particulate matter pollution affects oxidative stress and inflammation. We use cell lines, 3-D tissue proxies and in vivo models and employ state of the science biochemical and “omics” approaches to study the underlying mechanisms by which pollution affects human health. We also employ specific assays for characterizing allergenicity and how the allergenic potential of fungi can be modified by environmental conditions. Deep sequencing and metagenomics are used for characterization of transported bacteria and pathogens in the atmosphere, and understanding how deposition of bacteria can affect human and ecosystem health and functioning.

For more information about our group, please visit our homepage.

Opportunity for doctoral/postdoctoral projects:

Positions are available in the following areas:

The health effects of aerosols

Optical properties of aerosols

Students with background in physical chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and bioinformatics are welcome to apply.

Dan Yakir
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Our research group deals with the challenges associated with the implications of our overuse of fossil fuel for climate change and global warming. We focusing on two main issues: First, the direct effects of forests and forest plantations on the concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases.  Second, the potential for growing forests plantations in semi-arid regions for applications, such as carbon sequestration and biofuel production.

Opportunity for doctoral/postdoctoral projects:
Our research show that, in-fact, these regions have some of the highest potentials for afforestation (as opposed to reforestation in the temperate regions), and that some forest trees show wide range of physiological and ecological adjustments and adaptation to stressful environment resulting with biological productivity similar to that of temperate forests. We are studying the processes underlying these observations and their impact on the physical climate system, and fossil fuel use.

Details can be found on the Yakir Group Website

 

Materials and Interfaces

David Cahen
Department of Materials & Interfaces

Alternative Energy: Photovoltaics (PV), esp. High voltage, low-cost, stable PV

We want to make the {efficiency x lifetime) /cost} of Photovoltaics (PV) as high as possible. Especially we want to understand what fundamental limits exist for making high voltage cells, needed to improve solar spectrum use, in PV per se, and for decentralized solar fuels.  To that goal we add the conditions of earth-abundant, available materials and low energy costs. Towards these goals we explore new PV materials as well as modifications of current PV ones.

Details on our laboratory can be found at Cahen Group Website

This part of our research is joint with em. Prof. Gary Hodes from our department.

Understanding electronic transport across biomolecules, esp. proteins and peptides

as basis for  (bio)molecular-based optoelectronics.

We ask and explore how simple and complex biomolecules, peptides proteins, can function as (opto)electronic materials. A central question is why these compounds are such good (relatively speaking) electronic conductors. We use solid state and molecular electronic approaches to unravel this mystery. We do this work together with Prof. Mordechai Sheves (Org. Chem.) and em. Prof. Israel Pecht (immunol.).

In both projects we collaborate with theorists, esp. the group of Leeor Kronik

Postdoc & Ph.D. candidates interested in the following areas, please apply:

  • High-voltage halide perovskite PV cells; how do they work?
  • Exploring fundamentals of protein and peptide bioelectronics

 

 

Gary Hodes
Department of Materials & Interfaces

We study halide perovskite photovoltaic cells, with emphasis on high bandgap perovskites for high open circuit voltage cells as well as on all-inorganic perovskites (mainly CsMX3 where M = Pb or Sn and X is a halogen). We try to understand the factors limiting cell performance, in particular cell voltage. We also investigate novel perovskite fabrication methods. This work is joint with the Cahen lab.

Leeor Kronik
Department of Materials & Interfaces

We wish to understand and predict electronic and optical properties of photovoltaic materials and structures from first principles, i.e., based on nothing but the atomic constituents and the laws of quantum mechanics. Examples include organic photovoltaics, hybrid organic/inorganic photovoltaics, and novel photovoltaic compounds.

Details on our laboratory can be found Kronik Group Website.

Part of our work is joint with the Cahen lab.

Postdoc & Ph.D. candidates interested in the following areas, please apply:

  • Computational Materials Science
  • Energy level alignment, Charge transfer mechanisms in photovoltaic structures

 

Selected Publications:

  1. J. Endres, D. A. Egger, M. Kulbak, R. A. Kerner, L. Zhao, S. H. Silver, G. Hodes, B. P. Rand, D. Cahen, L. Kronik, and A. Kahn, “Valence and conduction band densities of states of metal halide perovskites: a combined experimental - theoretical study”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 7, 2722 (2016).
  2. D. A. Egger, A. M. Rappe, and L. Kronik, “Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Perovskites on the Move”, Acct. Chem. Research (Special Issue on Lead-Halide Perovskites for Solar Energy Conversion), Acc. Chem. Res. 49, 573 (2016).D. A. Egger, A. M. Rappe, and L. Kronik, “Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Perovskites on the Move”, Acct. Chem. Research (Special Issue on Lead-Halide Perovskites for Solar Energy Conversion), Acc. Chem. Res. 49, 573 (2016).
  3. T. M. Brenner, D. A. Egger, L. Kronik, G. Hodes, D. Cahen “Hybrid organic–inorganic perovskites: low-cost semiconductors with intriguing charge transport properties”, Nature Reviews Materials 1, 15007 (2016).
Michal Leskes
Department of Materials & Interfaces

We aim to understand how materials’ functionality depends on their structure, composition and interfacial chemistry. Our current interest is in materials for rechargeable batteries where we study the effect of interfacial chemistry at the molecular level on electrode and cell performance. We use NMR in the solid state to gain insight into properties such as local order and molecular/ionic motion, developing new approaches and tailoring existing ones for studying complex materials systems. Further details can be found on our website:

Leskes Group Website.

Postdoc & Ph.D. candidates interested in the following areas, please apply:

  1. Bulk and surface processes in novel electrode materials
  2. Development of surface sensitive NMR approaches for probing the surface functionality in carbonaceous materials
  3. Method development in solid state NMR and MAS-DNP
Igor Lubomirsky
Department of Materials & Interfaces

We develop a method for industrial-scale energy storage systems that convert CO2 to CO by electrolysis of molten Li2CO3 at 900 °C. The idea is to use the electricity from renewable sources, which is often discarded. We are working on making our method capable of using dilute and SO2/NOx contaminated CO2 from coal-firing power stations as a feedstock.

Details on our laboratory can be found at Lubomirsky Group Website.

Postdoc & Ph.D. candidates interested in the following areas, please apply:

  • High temperature electrochemistry of the molten media
  • High temperature corrosion of Ti and its alloys
  • Desulfurization of flue gases by scrubbing with molten carbonate
Reshef Tenne
Department of Materials & Interfaces

We synthesize and study new semiconducting nanomaterials suitable for harvesting solar light. We also use (focused) solar light to harvest (synthesize) new (semiconducting) nanomaterials (in collaboration with Gordon-Feuerman group at BGU).

Details on our laboratory can be found Tenne Group Website.
See also: DOI: 10.1021/ar400138h

Postdocs interested in the following areas, please apply:

  •  Synthesis and characterization of new semiconducting nanotubes with desirable properties for solar energy harvesting and for photocatalytic remediation
  • Use of energetic sources, e.g. solar ablation, for synthesis of new nanotubes
Omer Yaffe
Department of Materials and Interfaces

We investigate the role of low-frequency (THz) nuclear motion in charge and energy transport mechanisms of "soft" semiconductors. 

The common theme of all soft semiconductors is that they are held together either by weak van der Waals bonds or loose ionic bonds. Specific materials of interest include molecular crystals, conjugated polymers, van der Waals heterostuctures, and quantum dot films. Using optical spectroscopies - such as Raman, photoluminescence, and reflectance - we also study solar cells under working conditions. We maintain active collaborations with theorists in many of our projects.

Postdoc & Ph.D. candidates interested in state-of-the-art micro-spectroscopy, semiconductor physics, charge transport, and novel electronic devices are encouraged to apply: omer.yaffe@weizmann.ac.il

Details can be found on the Yaffe Group 

Molecular Genetics

Naama Barkai
Department of Molecular Genetics

Our group studies the design of bio-molecular networks, applying systems biology approach that combines theory, computation data analysis and experimentations. We are interested in how cells process and integrate multiple internal and external signaling, and how this regulation has evolved.

More info at: Barki Group Website.

Opportunity for a doctoral/postdoctoral projects aimed at improving ethanol production by budding yeast:

  • Defining the genetic determinant of pentose fermentation.
  • Applying microevolution approaches for improving pentose fermentation.

Organic Chemistry

Rafal Klajn
Department of Organic Chemistry

Our laboratory is interested in understanding chemical properties of organic and inorganic materials at the nanoscale. At the same time, we work on the development of new dynamic materials whose structures and properties can be controlled using external stimuli. Details can be found at Klajn Group Website.

Opportunity for a doctoral/postdoctoral project on light-controlled catalysis:
We develop various homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis systems in which solar energy is utilized to control catalytic activity.

David Milstein
Department of Organic Chemistry

 We have developed a new approach for the activation of chemical bonds, based on pincer metal complexes, which has led to the design of several new reactions capable of evolving hydrogen or consuming it. Based on these findings, we are developing new catalytic systems for hydrogen storage, CO2 hydrogenation to methanol, and for the development of fuels based on biomass. Design of novel green catalytic reactions for chemical synthesis is another direction in our group.

Details on our laboratory can be found at Milstein Group Website.

Postdoc & Ph.D. candidates interested in the following areas, please apply:

  • The development of efficient and high-capacity hydrogen carriers based on organic liquids
  • CO2 hydrogenation to methanol
  • Hydrogen generation from biomass
  • Formation of advanced biofuels from biomass

 

Selected Publications:

 

Hu, P; Fogler, E; Diskin-Posner, Y; Iron, Ma; Milstein, D (2015). 

A Novel Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier System Based on Catalytic Peptide Formation and Hydrogenation. Nature Communications.6:6859.

 

 

 

 

 

Ronny Neumann
Department of Organic Chemistry

We want to find new photocatalytic and electrocatalytic methods for the prepara-tion of solar fuels. We are studying the reduction of carbon dioxide to carbon mon-oxide and the cleavage water to hydrogen and oxygen. The approach we are using involves the combination of semiconductors, inorganic compounds such as polyox-ometalates and coordination compounds acting in concert. The research involves the preparation of new compounds and assemblies, their evaluation as catalytic systems and mechanistic studies to understand their mode of reaction. Details on our laboratory can be found at Neumann Group Website.

Postdoc & Ph.D. candidates interested in the following areas, please apply:

  • Catalytic photo- and electrochemistry
  • Synthesis of catalytic assemblies
  •  Mechanistic studies
Boris Rybtchinski
Department of Organic Chemistry

We investigate fundamental and applied aspects of water-based nanomaterials. We exploit the hydrophobic properties of aromatic molecules, manipulating them to self-assemble into adaptive nanomaterials with advantageous functions. We employ the self-assembly methodology to create highly ordered light harvesting materials and active layers for solar cells. We are especially interested in novel approaches to solar cell design that benefit from self-assembly of simple molecular building blocks.

See more about our work at Rybtchinski Group Website.

Opportunity for doctoral/postdoctoral projects on:

  • Self-assembled light-harvesting materials
  • Organic and hybrid solar cells (collaborative project)

 

Selected Publications:

  1. Interface Modification by Simple Organic Salts Improves Performance of Planar Perovskite Solar Cell
  2. Thiophene-modified perylenediimide as hole transporting material in hybrid lead bromide perovskite solar cells

 

Milko van der Boom
Department of Organic Chemistry

We are designing molecular materials and interfaces for chemical energy storage, solar cells, battery technology and energy-efficient windows. Moreover, our materials are capable of mimicking the operation characteristics of logic gates such as AND, OR, NOR and complex logic circuitry. Static random access memory (SRAM) was demonstrated in the form of flip-flops. For details about the research, see: van der Boom Group Website

 or check our facebook page.

Postdoctoral and PhD positions are available in the following areas:

  • Metal-organic frameworks for hydrogen and methane storage
  • Electrochromic materials for “smart windows” and display technology
  • Electronic properties of coordination-based polymers for solar cells and batteries

Particle Physics and Astrophysics

Yitzhak Maron
Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics

In our laboratory we investigate the behavior of matter and plasmas subjected to high energy-density deposition by means of pulsed-power machines and intense laser radiation. In particular, we are interested to understand fundamental processes such as turbulence and the conversion of electric and magnetic-field energy into particle kinetic energy and radiation. Understanding these phenomena are important for astrophysical research, producing efficient radiation sources, and research for achieving clean energy from nuclear fusion.

Details on our laboratory can be found at: Maron Group Website.

Opportunity for M.Sc./doctoral/postdoctoral projects on:

·         Development and application of non-invasive spectroscopic diagnostic methods in the visible-UV to the X-ray regions, for measuring the plasma properties and electric and magnetic fields under extreme conditions (in collaboration with various laboratories in Germany and the U.S.).

 

Physics of Complex Systems

Nir Davidson
Department of Physics of Complex Systems

My Laboratory is interested among other topics in concentration of diffuse light and in particular solar radiation.  We concentrate on developing novel optical configurations that can achieve maximal concentration of solar radiation for arbitrary source and target geometries.  Details on the laboratory can be found at: Davidson Group Website

Opportunity for a postdoctoral project on developing novel configuration for solar light concentration:

The project involves development of new configurations and of analytical and numerical models to analyze them, constructing small scale prototypes and experimentally evaluating their performances.

Dan Oron
Department of Physics of Complex Systems

In our group, we try to combine expertise in colloidal chemistry with ultrafast and nonlinear optics to develop new types of hybrid colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals for both bioimaging and photovoltaic light harvesting applications. We specialize in ultrafast and nonlinear spectroscopy - from the single nanocrystals level to the device level.

See details about our work at Oron Group Website.

Opportunity for postdoctoral projects in these areas:

  • Incoherent luminescence upconversion in double and multiple quantum dot systems
  • Luminescent solar concentrators
  • Ultrafast transient spectroscopy for device applications in both the visible and the terahertz regimes

Plant & Environmental Sciences

Asaph Aharoni

We combine cutting-edge analytical chemistry, plant molecular genetics and computational biology to understand mechanisms by which plants control metabolic pathways in space and time during development and stress.

Details on our laboratory can be found Aharoni Group WEbsite.

 

Postdoc (and Ph.D.) projects: Develop metabolomics & lipidomics technologies to improve biofuel / biomass production
Use advanced chromatography- and mass spectrometry (MS)–based analytical tools for comprehensive analyses of biofuel-associated metabolites incl. lipids and carbohydrates. Work is starting on MS Imaging (MSI) to visualize spatial distributions of small molecules in tissues. Candidates need background in chemistry; previous experience with hyphenated MS technologies is preferred.

Assaf Gal
Plant & Environmental Sciences

Marine unicellular algae are dominant players in the global carbon cycle. They are responsible for about half of global fixation of CO2 via photosynthesis, and for half of the burial of carbon in deep-sea sediments as calcium carbonate minerals. We are interested in understanding the biologically controlled process of mineral formation by these algae. How do they uptake the needed building blocks from their environment? How do the environmental conditions affect the precipitation process? How do genetics control the morphology of the crystals? And many more.

For more information about our group and for research opportunities please visit our website.

Avihai Danon
Department of Plant Sciences

The goal of our Lab research is to better understand the short-term mechanisms by which the chloroplast, the photosynthetic organelle of plants and algae, adapts itself to environmental changes. We are in particular interested in molecules and signaling events that regulate chloroplast responses to the light energy captured by the membranal photosynthetic reactions.

For more information please visit: Dannon Group Website.

 

Opportunity for a doctoral/postdoctoral project:
Not at the present time.

Gad Galili
Department of Plant Sciences

The Galili Laboratory is interested in elucidating the regulation of the conversion of primary metabolites into volatile secondary metabolites in plants.

In addition, the Galili laboratory is interested in elucidation biological processes associated with selective autophagy in plants.

For more information, please visit our site.

Tamir Klein
Department of Plant & Environmental Sciences

At the Weizmann Tree Lab we study all aspects of tree ecology and physiology. Collectively, trees form the largest biological carbon pool on earth, and play a central role in the global carbon, water, and energy cycles. Our research focuses on such key processes within individual trees and forest plots. Can a tree share carbon with a neighbor tree? How do trees ensure continuous water flow under drought? How does elevated CO2 in the atmosphere affect tree physiology? These are fundamental topics to the earth system and to ensure ecosystem sustainability.

See more here: Klein Group Website

 

Selected Publications:

  1. Belowground carbon trade among tall trees in a temperate forest
  2. Water availability predicts forest canopy height at the global scale
  3. Meta-analysis reveals that hydraulic traits explain cross-species patterns of drought-induced tree mortality across the globe
  4. The correlations and sequence of plant stomatal, hydraulic, and wilting responses to drought
Avraham Levy
Department of Plant Sciences

My Laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for the evolution of plants such as mutations, recombination, hybridization and polyploidization.  Based on these mechanisms, we are developing methods for precise genome editing that can be applied to the amelioration of plants, including as feedstock for renewable energy.

 

Details on the laboratory can be found at Levy Group Website.

Ron Milo
Department of Plant Sciences

Our group brings the tools of systems biology to bear on the grand challenges of sustainability. My lab members and I are passionate about trying to understand the cellular highways of energy and carbon transformations known as central carbon metabolism in quantitative terms. We employ a combination of computational and experimental synthetic biology tools.

Read more at Milo Group Website

Opportunity for doctoral/postdoctoral projects on:

·         Understanding the structure and logic of central carbon and energy metabolism in quantitative terms

·         Synthetic metabolic pathways for carbon fixation

 

Selected Publications:

 

  1. Antonovsky, N; Gleizer, S; Noor, E; Zohar, Y; Herz, E; Barenholz, U; Zelcbuch, L; Amram, S; Wides,   A; Tepper, N; Davidi,D; Bar-On, Y; Bareia,T; Wernick, DG; Shani, I; Malitsky, S; Jona, G; Bar- Even, A; Milo, R (2016). Sugar Synthesis from      CO2 in Escherichia coli.  CELL. 166:115-125.
  2. media coverage: Haarretz
  3. iGEM competition , Israel.

 

Einat Segev
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

The Segev group is fascinated by microbial interactions. We study interactions between model microorganisms in the lab and in the ocean using approaches from microbiology and the Earth sciences. Our research aims to understand micro-scale processes and how they manifest at the global scale of biogeochemical cycles. We study microbial interactions with key roles in Earth’s current and past climate in order to better understand current biogeochemical dynamics as well as to improve past climate reconstructions.

 

For more information about my group please visit my homepage.

Assaf Vardi
Department of Plant Sciences

The Vardi Laboratory is interested in understanding the cellular mechanisms that mediate sensing and response to environmental stresses. We are specifically interested in regulation of cell fate and life cycle changes in algal populations in responses to trophic-level interactions in the marine environment.

Details on the Vardi laboratory can be found Vardi Group Website.

 

Our research utilizes the recent technical advances in the field of chemical ecology, combined with the wealth of genomic data, to understand the role of chemical signalling in structuring algal blooms in the ocean. We dissect unexplored signalling pathways employed by marine alga during biotic interactions (e.g. viruses, bacteria, grazers) and reveal the role of cellular metabolism in regulating mechanisms of stress, programmed cell death and defense. Our research aims to provide novel insights into the role of lipid-based chemical “arms race” that mediates host-virus interactions in the marine environment. Since we showed that lipid metabolism plays a pivotal role in viral infection of algal cells, this interaction can provide new ways of manipulating algal lipid production, thus bearing potential for algal biofuel applications. Moreover, identification of unique mechanisms of algal resistance to pathogens has a huge potential in crop protection of algal biofuel production.
Opportunity for a postdoctoral position to join a project on the study of the role metabolic remodeling in algal host-virus interactions.

Department of Science Teaching

Ron Blonder

ron.blonder@wezimann.ac.il

"Chemistry of tomorrow" should be part of the school chemistry of today

I believe that "chemistry of tomorrow" should be part of school chemistry of today. The 21st century presents many challenges for chemistry educators. Chemistry as an evolving entity is not reflected in the existing high school chemistry curriculum and the Web 2.0 generation is still learning in the previous century. The goal of our group is to promote the modernization of both – chemistry contents and chemistry teaching pedagogies by working with and stimulating the chemistry teachers community. Within this scope we work on developing a teaching module in which the students deal with the question: "Under what conditions, if any, would we (the students) agree to have perovskite-based photovoltaic cells installed on the windows of our school?". By developing and teaching the module, teachers and students learn the science behind solar cells and their implications for society and the environment.

See details about our work at Blonder Group Website