He heads the Lab of Biopolymers for Food and Health in the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, is associated with the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, and is the director of the recently launched Sustainable Protein Research Center (SPRC) at the Technion.

Prof. Livney’s lab aims to improve human health through both medicine and food. Among the team’s medical diagnostic and treatment projects is the development of targeted nanoparticles to treat drug resistant gastrointestinal cancers, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. In the area of food research, they are investigating methods of enriching beverages with nutraceuticals, boosting the proportion of healthy gut probiotic bacteria, upcycling agricultural waste (such as leaves) into sustainable food proteins to replace animal based food, and extracting proteins from marine macroalgae and converting them to 3D-printed fish analogs.

Since 2015 when Prof. Livney was invited to bring the Technion into the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Food consortium, he has worked tirelessly to expand the Technion involvement within this important European partnership, in innovation, education, business creation and public engagement. In Innovation, he coordinated a consortium project with PepsiCo, Danone, and Amai Proteins, developing sweet proteins as sugar substitutes; the project won the EIT FOOD Innovation Impact Awards in 2021. Among the education projects he led was “Food Solutions,” in which in 2018 he mentored a team of graduate students who developed a falafel enriched with the blue protein-rich algae spirulina and other health-promoting compounds found naturally in algae and seafood. Their “Algalafel” won first prize in the Food Solutions competition. In 2020, he mentored another first-prize winning student team to prevent fruit juice spoilage by a harmful bacterium — a phenomenon that causes millions of dollars in damages annually to the juice industry.

Most recently, he has been leading the establishment of the Sustainable Protein Research Center (SPRC), a first-of-its-kind multidisciplinary academic research center in alternative food proteins. The center connects researchers from different academic faculties at the Technion with academics at other universities and companies to address the global challenges of sustainability, food security, human health, and climate change. The new center is being established with the support of the international non-profit, Good Food Institute, to develop and promote innovative plant-based, cell culture-based, and fermentation-based food-protein alternatives, such as cultivated meat.

In addition to earning his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees at the Technion, Prof. Livney studied for his M.S. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He returned to the Technion as a lecturer in 2004 and is now a full professor. He has authored more than 80 publications, holds nine patents, and serves on the editorial boards of several prestigious academic journals.

Updated August 2023

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