Weizmann Institute of Science, WISa
The Department of Molecular Genetics
The Weizmann Institute of Science is a research institute in Rehovot, Israel, founded in 1934 by Chaim Weizmann. It presently employs 2,500 staff and faculty, and has ~1000 M.Sc. and Ph.D students. It harbors research and teaching in mathematics and computer science, physics, chemistry and the life sciences. Work environment at Weizmann lends itself very effectively to multi-disciplinary research. The Weizmann Institute has two separate roles in the project executed by D. Lancet (at the departments of Molecular Genetics) and E. Shapiro (at the department of Biological Chemistry).
Prof. Doron Lancet is in charge of WP6, responsible for the computational aspects of MATCHIT.
Prof. Lancet earned his B.Sc. in chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Ph.D. in Chemical Immunology from the Weizmann Institute of Science. Following postdoctoral training at Harvard and Yale, Prof. Lancet joined the Weizmann Institute faculty in 1981, where he is currently Professor at the department of Molecular Genetics. Previously he was member and later Chair of the Dept. of Biological Chemistry. Doron Lancet pioneered genome research in Israel, and currently heads of the Crown Human Genome Center at Weizmann and Israel's National Center for Genomics. He is actively involved in teaching bioinformatics and in initiating a Systems Biology effort at the Weizmann Institute. A pioneer of olfactory research, he currently studies the genomics and population genetics of human olfaction, as well as the evolution of the olfactory receptor superfamily. He developed GeneCards, a widely used web-based human gene compendium, and also does research in transcriptomics and pharmacogenetics. Fifteen years ago, he initiated a program addressing unoerthodox computational models for prebiotic evolution, with direct implications to synthetic biology and to early Systems Biology. This research is highly relevant to the goals of MATCHIT, and particularly to its computational aspects. Lancet is member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and council member of the Human Genome Organization. Prof. Lancet wrote a science column in the major Israeli daily Haaretz, and continuously delivers public lectures on the present and future impact of the Genome Project.
Omer Markovitch (currently a Ph.D. student of Prof. Lancet) has a strong background in theoretical and computational physical Chemistry. Omer is presently studying vesicle growth, fusion and fission using GARD (graded autocatalytic replication domain) model for prebiotic evolution and atomistic models, and is analyzing and designing interaction motifs in GARD related to these processes.
Gil Stelzer (currently a Senior Intern in Prof. Lancet Lab) has a PhD in molecular biology and BSc in computer science. Gil has built the graphical interface version of a MATCHIT automaton, which simulates the movement of chemtainers within a MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) device and their DNA-tag dependent chemical reactions.
Daniel Sorek (MSc student of Prof. Lancet and Shapiro) is part of WP4 and WP6, trying to bridge the gap between theoretical and experimental work. Daniel is developing a MATCHIT automaton to allow faster computation to allow statistical observations and working on using DNA computing to allow a controlled cascade of vesicle fusion.