DNA Animation

Eyal Nir - Head of the Lab

I joined the department of chemistry at BGU on October, 2008 after returning to Israel from my postdoctoral studies at the University California Los-Angeles (UCLA). My interests are in the area of structure, dynamics, interaction and function of Biomolecules, especially proteins and DNA, aiming for a detailed molecular level understanding of the mechanisms that govern biological processes, and in DNA nanotechnology, aiming for the development of reliable DNA based technology, especially motors. To achieve this goal, we are implementing a novel single-molecule fluorescence approach which use Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (sm-FRET) and Alternating Laser Excitation (ALEX) techniques. These methods were developed, including by me, in my postdoctoral lab under the supervision of professor Shimon Weiss.

Eyal Nir

Dr. Roman Tsukanov - Post Doc

tsukanov [at]

The focus of my research is on developing and validating single-molecule fluorescent techniques. I used DNA hairpin as a model molecule, while performing detailed investigation of DNA hairpin dynamics, assisted by DNA origami technology. I built three optical setups: two single molecule FRET-ALEX setups for diffusion-based experiment and Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) for immobilization-based experiments, coupled to fully automated microfluidics system.


Noa Plavner-Hazan - PhD student

Got my B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from the Agriculture Faculty, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Got my M.Sc. in Biochemistry from the Life Science department, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva. I specialize in biochemistry and molecular biology techniques for analyzing protein and DNA. In Dr. Eyal Nir's group I'm working with histones proteins, known to wrap nucleosomal DNA and constituting the basic unit responsible for DNA condensation in the nuclei. My research is focused on the affinities between the different components of the nucleosome and the dynamics of the nucleosomal DNA.  I'm utilizing the improved techniques available in our lab- single molecule Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer coupled to Alternating Laser ECxitation. This allows me to examine the complexity of the nucleosome in-situ.



     Tommy Tomov - PhD student

I did my B.Sc studies in the chemistry department at BGU and my M.Sc at Nir's lab. I developed a mathematical algorithm that analyzes the photon distribution inside a burst and indicates whether the single-molecule event consists of dynamics or brightness fluctuations, a work that was published in Biophysical-Journal. Furthermore, I develop the DNA-origami based non-autonomous motor and was able to measure 15 individual steps and their dynamics. I specialize in computer programming, data analysis, numerical simulations, photon statistics, DNA-device assembly and photophysics. My master thesis, titled “Photon-to-photon based 2-channel correlation for bursts filtering in single-molecule FRET and FRET-ALEX spectroscopy”, is near completion. Currently I’m doing Ph.D research at the same group and financially supported by the NEGEV fellowship which I won in 2011.


Miran Liber - PhD student

I did my B.Sc. in Chemistry and also in Chemical Engineering (special program of Nanotechnology) at BGU. During my studies I've received several awards - Suzan Slotivsky, Baruch Zinger, Machteshim and now I'm supported financially by the BSOR scholarship.
I've learn the field of DNA origami in the lab and I am in charge of designing the DNA origami for the many purposes of the lab, including the DNA motors, DNA hairpin and metallic nanoparticles incorporation to the DNA origami. I have learned and use many DNA related software including caDNAno/caDNAnoSQ, Tiamat, mfold and many other. 
I am now working on understanding the very basic interaction of pairs of ssDNA to form dsDNA with the aim to define the condition that leads to 100% reaction efficiency. This is done in order to improve DNA nanotechnology, and especially, DNA-motors.

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 Yaron Berger - M.Sc. student

I did my B.Sc. in Chemistry at BGU with emphasis on physical chemistry. During my studies I worked on a research project “Pulsed electrodeposition of CuSCN on conductive oxides”.

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Rula Masoud - M.Sc. (Alumni) 

I did my B.A. at Ben-Gurion University (2009), chemistry department with emphasis on biophysical chemistry and continued M.Sc. at the same department. I studied DNA-motors using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, especially monitor the assembly, dynamics and activity of autonomous bipedal motor (Seeman 2009). I specialized in DNA labeling and HPLC purification. 

Now I'm a PhD Student at Amit Meller Laboratory at the Technion.  [link]

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