Research Interests

Research in the Weizmann group is based on a multidisciplinary field interfacing biology, chemistry, nanotechnology and materials science. This exciting frontier offers unparalleled opportunities for designing groundbreaking advances in medical diagnostics and research platforms. The iconic double helical structure of DNA has excited the imagination of both scientists and non-scientists for more than six decades. In recent times, the programmable nature of DNA has re-established its use as a powerful building material for the construction of precisely defined 2D and 3D nanoscale assemblies. My group focuses on new ways of manipulating nucleic acid structures by understanding the interactions and folding of basic nucleic acid-based building units and thereby designing and constructing nucleic acid nanostructures in either a simpler or more controllable manner. The term “nucleic acid structure” combines the chemical, stereochemical, and biological advantages into one focus that can be applied to a wide range of scientific fields. My research is concerned with the application of nanoparticles and nucleic acids with the aim of exploring and exploiting nanoscale advantages in the world of material chemistry, to address significant chemical, biochemical, and technological problems. By approaching nanoscience from a multidisciplinary perspective, integrating biomaterials, inorganic materials, and small molecules via noncovalent and covalent interactions, we can develop new hybrid materials with emergent properties. Our main research objectives are the development of novel strategies and approaches, providing versatile tools to form composite, nano-scaled, precisely-controlled structures and ultra-sensitive DNA machineries. My mentoring and education objectives are to establish a fascinating and attractive interdisciplinary field that can join students, postdocs, and researchers from different areas of science. I believe that the multidisciplinary emphasis of my research creates an atmosphere of varied and collaborative work that motivates students and promotes independence as they explore new and challenging areas.

Research Topics

Design and applications of novel complex molecular topologies using nucleic acids and their biological consequences.

Construction and characterization of novel RNA-based self-assemblies for biomedical applications.

Synthesis of programmable assemblies of colloidal nanoparticles with specific and anisotropic bonding directionality.

Synthesis, purification, and functionalization of anisotropic nanoparticles for studies relating to plasmonics and biomedical applications.

Design and development of light-based programmable nucleic acid amplification methods for real-time bioassays using photothermal nanoparticles.