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Monday, 9 May 2016

Prof. Ayelet Fishman

Prof. Ayelet Fishman

Room:  4-412
Tel: 972-4-8295898
E-mail: afishman@tx.technion.ac.il
Short CV

Biocatalysis, the use of microbial cells or isolated enzymes in the production of fine chemicals, can lead to cleaner and more sustainable industrial processes. Enzymes are attractive catalysts for chemical synthesis due to their exceptional enantio- and regioselectivities; hence, enzymes can be used in both simple and complex syntheses without the need for the blocking and deblocking steps often found in organic processes. Directed evolution is a novel approach based on the Darwinian algorithm of mutation and selection, which allows investigating and improving enzyme functions. Our lab is involved in utilizing enzymes, mainly oxygenases and lipases, as well as yeast cells, for production of fine chemicals. Our focus is on chiral molecules and food nutraceuticals. We use protein engineering techniques to render the enzymes more suitable for their new and improved catalytic roles. Our main interest is in learning to control enzyme specificity.  We are specifically working on the following topics:
  • Applied biocatalysis
  • Directed evolution of enzymes
  • Enzymes in non-conventional media
  • Structure-function relationships in enzymes

"I can for see a time in which physiological chemistry will not only make greater use of natural enzymes but will actually resort to creating synthetic ones".
Emil Fischer, Nobel Lecture, 1902.

Research Fields:
Applied and molecular biocatalysis, exploitation of enzymes and whole cell systems for synthesis of drugs and nutraceuticals, directed evolution of enzymes, immobilized enzymes, enzymes in organic solvents.

Ayelet Fishman
Associate Professor                                                      Department of Biotechnology & Food Engineering
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
Haifa, Israel
Tel: 972-4-8295898
Fax: 972-4-8293399
Ph.D.2002, Technion, Biotechnology
M.Sc.1992, Technion, Biotechnology
B.Sc.1989, Technion, Biotechnology and Food Eng.2007-2011 - The Technion award for excellence in teaching.
2008 - The Alfred & Yehuda Wiessman award for excellence in teaching.
2011 - The Henri Gutwirth Prize for the Promotion of Research.
2011 - The Moshe Yanai prize for excellence in teaching.
Biotechnology based production of biodiesel.
Biomass-Based Fuels; Conversion of oils to biodiesel using enzymes. Engineering enzymes for improved activity in non-aqueous media. Structure-functions studies of enzymes.
1. Sendovski, M., Kanteev, R., Shuster Ben-Yosef, V., Adir, N., and Fishman, A. (2011) First structures of Bacillus megaterium tyrosinase reveal plasticity in copper binding. J. Mol. Biol. 405:227-237.
2. Achmon, Y., Goldshtein, J., Margel, S., and Fishman, A. (2011) In situ removal of 2-phenylethanol from yeast fermentation using hydrophobic microspheres. J. Microencapsulation. 28:628-638.
3. Brouk M., and Fishman, A. (2012) Improving process conditions for hydroxytyrosol synthesis by toluene 4-monooxygenase. J. Mol. Catal. B:Enzymatic 84:121-127.
4. Dror, A., and Fishman, A. (2012) Engineering non-heme mono- and dioxygenases for biocatalysis. Comput. Structur. Biotechnol. J. 2 (3): e201209011. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5936/csbj.201209011.
5. Goldfeder, M., Egozi, M., Shuster Ben-Yosef, V., Adir, N. and Fishman, A. (2013) Changes in tyrosinase specificity by ionic liquids and SDS. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 97:1953-1961.
6. Goldfeder, M., Kanteev, M., Adir, N. and Fishman, A. (2013) Influencing the monophenolase/diphenolase activity ratio in tyrosinase. BBA-Proteins and Proteomics. 1834:629-633.
7. Shainsky, J., Bernath-Levin, K., Isaschar-Ovdat, S., Glaser, F., and Fishman, A. (2013) Protein engineering of nitrobenzene dioxygenase for enantioselective synthesis of chiral sulfoxides. Prot. Eng. Des. Select. 26:335-345. (Chosen for the cover of the issue).
8. Kanteev, M., Goldfeder, M., Chojnacki, M., Adir, N. and Fishman, A. (2013) The mechanism of copper uptake by tyrosinase from Bacillus megaterium. J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 18:895-903.
9. Achmon, Y., Ben-Barak Zelas, Z. and Fishman, A. (2014) Cloning Rosa hybrid phenylacetaldehyde synthase for the production of 2-phenylethanol in a whole cell Escherichia coli system. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 98:3603-3611.
10. Goldfeder, M. and Fishman, A. (2014) Modulating enzyme activity using ionic liquids or surfactants. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 98:545-554.
11. Dror, A., Shemesh, E., Dayan, N. and Fishman, A. (2014) Engineering lipase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus for improved stability in methanol. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 80:1515-1527.
12. Bernath-Levin, K., Shainsky, J., Sigawi, L. and Fishman, A. (2014) Directed evolution of nitrobenzene dioxygenase for the production of the antioxidant hydroxytyrosol. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 98:4975-4985.
13. Hosseini, A., Brouk, M., Lucas, M.F., Glaser, F., Fishman, A.* and Guallar, V.* (2014) An atomic picture of ligand migration in toluene 4-monooxygenase. J. Phys. Chem. B. DOI: 10.1021/jp502509a.
14. Goldfeder, M., Kanteev, M., Isaschar-Ovdat, S., Adir, N.* and Fishman, A.* (2014) Determination of tyrosinase substrate binding modes reveals the mechanistic differences between type-3 copper proteins. Nat. Commun. DOI 10.1038/ncomms5505.
15. Isaschar-Ovdat, S., Rosenberg, M., Lesmes, U. and Fishman, A. (2015) Characterization of oil-in-water emulsions stabilized by tyrosinase-crosslinked soy glycinin. Food Hydrocolloid. 43:493-500.
16. Gefen, E.*, Talal, S., Brendzel O., Dror A. and Fishman A. (2015) Variation in quantity and composition of cuticular hydrocarbons in the scorpion Buthus occitanus (Buthidae) in response to acute exposure to desiccation stress. Comp. Biochem. Physiol., A: Comp. Physiol. Accepted.


2002Ph.D., Dept. of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion, Haifa, Israel.
1992M.Sc.,  Dept. of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion, Haifa, Israel.
1989B.Sc. (summa cum laude), Dept. of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion, Haifa, Israel.


2011Associate Professor, Dept. Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion
2005-2011Senior lecturer, Dept. of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion, Haifa, Israel.
2002-2004Post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Thomas K. Wood. Dept. of Chemical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA.
2001-2002Adjunct lecturer, Dept. of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion, Haifa, Israel.


1993-2005Research scientist and project leader, TAMI-IMI Institute for R&D, Member of ICL Ltd., Haifa Bay, Israel. Specializing in the use of enzymes in organic chemistry, enzyme modification and immobilization. Working on synthesis of complex chemical molecules via biocatalysis.


2012The Technion award for excellence in teaching - top 4%
2011The Yanai Prize for excellence in teaching
2011The Henri Gutwirth Prize for the Promotion of Research
2011The Technion award for excellence in teaching – top 4%
2010The Technion award for excellence in teaching – top 4%
2009Technion award for excellence in teaching - top 4%
2008Alfred & Yehuda Wiessman award for excellence in teaching
2008Technion award for excellence in teaching - top 4%
2007Technion award for excellence in teaching - top 4%
2005,2006Abraham and Jennie Fialkow Academic Lectureship


Food Chemistry064322
Food Analysis064324
Laboratory in Food Analysis064326
Applied Biocatalysis066518


  • Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Bacterial Tyrosinase , Abstract
  • Directed Evolution and Rational Mutagenesis of Toluene Monooxygenases for Synthesis of Hydroxytyrosol , Abstract
  • Protein Engineering of Toluene Monooxygenases for Synthesis of Chiral Sulfoxides ,Abstract
  • Utilization of Natural Isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains for Production of Valuable Chemicals, Abstract
  • Molecular and Process Engineering Approaches for Biotechnological Production of 2-Phenylethanol , Abstract



Group picture, summer 2014

The Tyrosinase group (l to r): Ayelet Fishman, Sivan, Mor, Rita and Noam



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