Ph.D., Tel Aviv University, 2009
Our primary focus is the structural biology of the membrane complexes involved in oxygenic photosynthesis. Photosynthetic organisms contain elaborate membrane systems called thylakoid membranes. In these membranes large reaction centers convert light into chemical energy. The photosynthetic reaction centers contain hundreds of light harvesting pigments, such as chlorophylls and carotenoids, oriented in a way which ensures efficient light harvesting. Around these reaction centers an elaborate system of antenna proteins and other enzymatic activities ensure a balance between beneficial chemical reactions, essential for the survival of the organism and unavoidable side reactions with toxic products. We want to develop a mechanistic understanding of these pathways based on structural, biochemical and genetic analysis.
Yuval Mazor received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. from the department of microbiology and biotechnology in Tel Aviv University doing research on the genetic basis of telomere maintenance and epigenetic gene silencing. He then joined the lab of Professor Nathan Nelson, also in Tel Aviv University, where he studied the structure of large photosynthetic complexes in cyanobacteria and plants.
Mazor is currently assistant professor at Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences and The Biodesign Institute. He has previously taught BCH598/BCH494, Photosynthesis Past and Present, as well as BCH 561, A Lecture on the Structural Biology of Photosynthetic Systems.