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Professor Daniel Chamovitz, Ph.D.

Dean, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences

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Daniel Chamovitz grew up in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, and studied at both Columbia University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he received his Ph.D. in Genetics. From 1993 to 1996 he carried out postdoctoral research at Yale University before accepting a faculty position at Tel Aviv University where he was recently appointed Dean of the George. S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences. In 2002, Prof. Chamovitz was a visiting scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He founded the multidisciplinary Manna Center Program in Food Safety and Security and later served as Dean of the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University. He currently serves as President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Chamovitz's scientific career has been characterized by novel and field-defining research: As a Ph.D. student in the lab of Joseph Hirschberg he was among the first to clone a gene involved in the biosynthesis of beta-carotene. As a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Xing-Wang Deng at Yale University, he discovered the COP9 Signalosome protein complex that was proposed then to be a master regulator of plant development. Later, Prof. Chamovitz's lab was the first to show that the COP9 Signalosome is also essential for development of animals. His lab in Tel Aviv spearheaded the study of this important protein complex and has shown that it is likely involved in a number of human diseases including cancer. Prof. Chamovitz is among the most prominent researchers in this field and is often invited to give lectures at leading universities worldwide. Daniel Chamovitz has published numerous peer reviewed original research articles and is on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He is also member of the Faculty of 1000, Biology. Chamovitz is a sought-after speaker and science commentator. He has been interviewed in newspapers and magazines around the world. He is known for his popular science book What a Plant Knows which was first published in 2012, with an updated and revised edition appearing in 2017. The book won a silver medal from the Nautilus Book Awards and was listed as one of the Top 10 Science books in Amazon for 2012. What a Plant Knows has been translated and published in 20 countries. He has given popular talks at venues such as the California Academy of Sciences, Harvard Arboretum and Seattle Town Hall. Daniel Chamovitz is passionate about teaching, and especially in developing a modern undergraduate curriculum for plant sciences. He has been awarded outstanding lecturer at Tel Aviv University several times. He also volunteers as a teacher in a local junior high school, engages high school students about science careers, and lectures to groups about the role of Plant Biology in feeding a growing world. He has also been known to show up at obscure bars and clubs with a guitar in hand. Danny lives in Hod Hasharon with his wife, three kids, and cat.