Prof. Sharon Ruthstein

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Magnetic Resonance, Structural Biology
Bldg. 211, Room 414. Laboratory Phone: 03-7384308, 03-5317682


Sharon Ruthstein gained her B.Sc in Chemical Engineering from the Technion, Haifa, Israel. Then she continued her graduate studies in the Chemistry Department at Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. She achieved her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Daniella Goldfarb. After graduating from the Weizmann Institute in 2008, she became an EMBO Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, where she worked under the supervision of Prof. Sunil Saxena.

Prof. Ruthstein joined the Department of Chemistry at Bar-Ilan University in October 2011. Her research is aiming to exploit biological pathways in human and bacteria cells, which involve metal ions, using pulsed Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (EPR).



Educational Background

2008-2011           EMBO Long-term Post-doctoral Fellow at the

                           University of  Pittsburgh, Department of Chemistry.

                           Advisor: Prof. Sunil Saxena.

2003-2008           Ph.D. in Chemistry, with Honors, Weizmann Institute of Science,

                           Israel.    Advisor: Prof. Daniella Goldfarb.

2000-2003           M.Sc in Chemistry, with Honors, Weizmann Institute of Science.

1996-2000           B.Sc in Chemical Engineering, (summa cum laude),

                           Technion,  Haifa, Israel.



2017 - present:  Associate Profeesor, Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University.

2011- 2017:       Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University.


Awards and Fellowships

2017                ICS Young Scientist award

2017                ERC - STG

2015                Krill award (Wolf Foundation)

2008                EMBO Long-term Fellowship for post-doctoral studies.

2008                AAUW Post-doctoral fellowship – declined upon receiving the

                        EMBO  fellowship.

2007                Dean's Excellence Prize for Ph.D. – Weizmann Institute of Science.

2007               JEOL Student Prize 

2007               Auto Schwartz Prize – Weizmann Institute of Science.

2007               Wolf Foundation Fellowship for Excellent Ph.D. Students.

2004               Eshkol Scholarship for Ph.D. students, Jerusalem, Israel.

2003               Mention of Honor of the Knesset (The Israeli Parliament).

2003               Dean's Excellence Prize for M.Sc. – Weizmann Institute of Science,

1998               Sidney Goldstein Excellence Prize – Technion, Haifa, Israel.


Protein structure and function, structural biology, magnetic resonance, metalloproteins.


More than 30% of all proteins in the cell exploit one or more metals to perform their specific functions, and over 40% of all enzymes contain metals. Metals are commonly found as natural constituents of proteins; however, many metal ions can be toxic when free in biological fluids. Hence, the human bodies as well as microorganisms have evolved considerable regulatory machinery to acquire, utilize, traffic, detoxify, and otherwise manage the intracellular and extracellular concentrations and types of metal ions. Despite the high regulation of metal ions in the human body, diseases such as Menkes, Wilson, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Prion’s have been linked with metal binding to proteins.

Dr. Ruthstein’s lab will look into some of the significant and least understood biological processes that are related to metal ion transportation and intracellular distribution, as well as unwanted processes due to high metal concentration or protein mutations. The aims are:

(i)    To obtain structural information on intrinsically disordered N-terminal domain in metal transporters (such as Ctr1), in order to understand metal ion transportation to the cells.

(ii)   To understand the metal binding mechanism of metal sensors in bacterial cells, in order to shed light on the metal regulatory      machinery of the bacteria (CueR, CsoR).

(iii)  To explore the copper transport and distribution mechanisms in human cells (from Ctr1 through Atox1 to Atp7b), in order to get to the core of the copper homeostasis mechanism.

(iv)  To characterize the role of copper and mutations on the aggregation,folding of proteins, and protein-protein interactions in bacteria and human cells.


To comprehend such processes it is necessary to be sensitive to the structural changes that occur in the protein upon metal binding. The main biophysical tool that is used in the lab of Dr. Ruthstein’s lab is pulsed EPR spectroscopy. The power of EPR lies in the sensitivity to both atomic level changes and nanoscale fluctuations. EPR can characterize properties such as redox state and ligand geometry for different functional states of the protein. In addition, EPR can measure distances between paramagnetic probes up to 80 Å



Physical Chemistry II

Introduction to Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Physical Chemistry Lab 






Research Group

Group members:

Dr. Lada Gevorkya Airapetov (Research assistant)
Dr. Yulia Shenberger (Research assistant)
Dr. Gulshan Walke (Post-doctoral fellow)
Dr. Lukas Hofmann (Post-doctoral fellow)
Ms. Zena Bishara (PhD student)
Ms. Shelly Meiron (PhD student)
Ms. Yasmin Algeberia (MSc student)
Ms. Melanie Hirsch (MSc student)
Ms. Hadeel Kashou (MSc student)
Mr. Idan Yacoboub (MSc Student)


Former group members
Mrs. Meital Turgeman
Mr. Ahmad Abdelhai 
Mr. Michael Zaccak
Mrs. Renana Schwartz
Dr. Ariel Levy
Ms. Yulia Glick
Mrs. Valeria Yarmiayev
Ms. Salome Azoulay
Ms. Adi Natan
Dr. Yoni Moskovitz
Dr. Aviv Meir
Dr. Hila Sameach
Dr. Ortal Perkal