Faculty Member, Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery
Assistant Professor, School of Molecular Sciences
Yuval Mazor's 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.