Joseph Klafter, Ph.D.
Joseph Klafter
Tel Aviv University
Speech Title: 
The Ever-Fluctuating Protein
Single molecule techniques offer a tool for studying dynamics of individual molecules and provide the possibility to construct distributions from individual events rather than from a signal stemming from an ensemble of molecules. In biological systems, known for their complexity, these techniques make it possible to gain insights into single protein conformational changes and activities. We discuss the time-dependent autocorrelation function of the distance between two points on a fluctuating protein and the reactivity of an enzyme using the "fluctuating enzyme model" which involves a spectrum of enzymatic conformations that interconvert on the timescale of the catalytic activity. We also discuss the possibility to mechanically manipulate enzymatic activity.

Professor Joseph (Yossi) Klafter, President of Tel Aviv University since October 2009 and the eighth one since TAU's founding in 1956, is widely recognized in his academic field, chemical physics. Since 2002 he has served as the chairman of the Israel Foundation (ISF), the main institution supporting scientific research in Israel from 2002 to 2009.

Professor Klafter completed his BSc and MSc in physics at Bar-Ilan University, and his PhD in chemistry at Tel Aviv University in 1978. After post-doctoral studies in chemistry at MIT, he joined the research and engineering division of Exxon in the US, where he worked for eight years. He joined the TAU Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Chemistry in 1987, and was promoted to full professor in 1989. From 1998 to 2003 he was the incumbent of the Gordon Chair in Chemistry, and from 2003 onward he has held the Heineman Chair of Physical Chemistry.

Professor Klafter has published close to 400 scientific articles, edited 18 books and is an author of a book to be published in October 2011 by Oxford University Press. He is a member of the editorial boards of six scientific journals, and has been a member of the scientific committee of dozens of conferences.

A Fellow of the American Physical Society among other organizations, Professor Klafter has won many prestigious prizes in his field, including the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Prize, the Weizmann Prize for Sciences, the Rothschild Prize in Chemistry, and the Israel Chemical Society Prize. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Wroclaw University of Technology in Poland. Professor Klafter has been elected foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011.

Professor Klafter chaired the Department of Physical Chemistry at TAU from 1990 to 1992, and again from 1998 to 2002. Concurrently he served as head of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute of Chemical Physics. From 1996 to 2002 he was a member of the academic board of the ISF, heading the exact sciences and technology subject area, and from 2002 onwards he has chaired the board.

November 20-21, 2013