Iftach Yacoby

Tel Aviv University, Israel

Iftach completed his B.Sc., M.Sc. in Biology and Biotechnology in 2001 and 2003. He received his PhD in Microbiology and Biotechnology from Tel Aviv University (TAU) in 2007. As a doctoral student, he became a Dan David fellow under the supervision of Prof. Itai Benhar where he invented and developed a means of immuno-targeting photogenic bacteria and cancer using filamentous phages. As a postdoctoral EMBO fellow with Shuguang Zhang (2008-2011) at MIT he invented and worked on the development of fusion proteins of the hydrogen producing enzyme, hydrogenase. He went back to TAU as an independent PI in 2012. Since 2019, Iftach is an associate professor in the Faculty of Life Sciences, School of Plant Sciences, and Food Security. He teaches undergraduate students the beauty of photosynthesis and metabolic diversity in microbes. In the lab, Iftach enjoys fixing broken equipment that the students constantly provide and helping with every project. He is passionate about converting photosynthetic organisms into chemical factories for producing high value products and energy carriers such as hydrogen gas. Since its establishment in 2012 his lab published more than 38 papers in top high ranked journals. The most recent discoveries and developments of his lab, are a microalgal mutant which allows continuous hydrogen production under extremely simple “agri-friendly” method, for which scale up studies are being carried up.

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