Associate Professor Noam Adir has been a member of the Technion Faculty of Chemistry since 1995. He holds the Bertha Hertz-Axel Chair in Chemistry in the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry. Previously, he served as the dean of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry for six years and as the deputy vice president and general manager for Safety at the Technion.

His research focuses on the relationship between the three-dimensional structure of proteins (such as enzymes) and their function. Prof. Adir employs X-ray crystallography to analyze the relative positions of the atoms within a molecule, resulting in a 3D model. Prof. Adir’s other research interests include Cryo-EM determination of biologically relevant macromolecular structures; the structure and function of photosynthetic reaction centers and antennas; the study of energy and electron transfer processes in biological system; stress related proteins, enzymes; development of novel anti-microbial compounds; and homology-based modeling of medically important proteins.

Some applications of his work involve the process of photosynthesis – the efficient way in which plants convert solar energy into useful chemical energy. Other projects involve the study of proteins that can serve as targets for the development of novel anti-bacterial drugs; the molecular basis for protein stability at elevated temperatures; the physiological response to stress on the molecular level and how proteins build bio-inorganic materials, such as sea shells. A startup company, electricAlgae, was recently established based on his work, aimed at turning their clean energy technology into a reality.

Prof. Adir spent three and a half years in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and was discharged as a first lieutenant. He is still an active reserve officer (major) in an infantry brigade. Following a pre-academic course at the Technion in 1981, he studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, obtaining a B.Sc. in Chemistry (1984) and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry (1990). Prof. Adir spent five years as a post-doctoral researcher in the Dept. of Physics of the University of California at San Diego, before returning to Israel to join the Technion.

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