General Information
NameDr. Niv Papo
DepartmentDepartment of Biotechnology Engineering
Academic RankSenior lecturer


  • B.Sc. , 1997, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Israel., Chemistry
  • M.Sc. , 2000, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Israel., Pharmacokinetics
  • Ph.D. , 2006, Weizmann Institute of Science. Rehovot. Israel., Biological chemistry

Research Interests

  • Protein Engineering, directed evolution, ligand-receptor interactions, angiogenesis, cancer therapy, wound healing, in vivo imaging



1. Papo, N., Yagen, B., and Bialer, M. (2001) Active Derivative of Valproic Acid for the Treatment of Neurological and Psychotic Disorders and a Method for their Preparation.

2. Papo, N., Silverman, A.P., Jones, D.S., and Cochran, J.R. (2010) Polypeptides targeting vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 and alpha V beta 3 integrin.




(A) Original research Articles

1- Wasserman, M., Yagen, B., Blotnik, S., Papo, N., and Bialer, M. (2001) "Stereoselective Pharmacokinetic Analysis and Antiepileptic Activity of N-2-hydroxypropyl Valpromide, a Central Nervous System-Active Chiral Valproylamide." Ther. Drug Monit. 23, 414-420.

2- Papo, N., Oren, Z., Pag, U., Sahl, H.G., and Shai, Y. (2002) "The Consequence of Sequence Alteration of an Amphipathic Alpha-Helical Antimicrobial Peptide and its Diastereomers." J. Biol. Chem. 277, 33913-33921.

3- Papo, N. and Shai, Y. (2003) "Exploring Peptide Membrane Interaction Using Surface Plasmon Resonance: Differentiation between Pore Formation versus Membrane Disruption by Lytic Peptides." Biochemistry 42, 458-466.

4- Papo, N., Shahar, M., Eisenbach, L., and Shai, Y. (2003) "A Novel Lytic Peptide Composed of D, L Amino Acids Selectively Kills Cancer Cells in Culture and in Mice." J. Biol. Chem. 278, 21018-21023.

5- Papo, N. and Shai, Y. (2003) "New Lytic Peptides Based on D,L-Amphipathic Helix Motif Preferentially Kill Tumor Cells Copmpared to Normal Cells." Biochemistry 42, 9346-9354.

6- Mangoni, M.L., Papo, N., Mignogna, G., Andreu, D., Shai, Y., Barra, D., and Simmaco, M. (2003) "Ranacyclins, a New Family of Short Cyclic Antimicrobial Peptides: Biological Function, Mode of Action and Parameters Involved in Target Specificity." Biochemistry 42, 14023-14035.

7- Pag, U., Oedenkoven, M., Papo, N., Oren, Z., Shai, Y., and Sahl, H.G. (2004) "In Vitro Activity and Mode of Action of Diastereomeric Antimicrobial Peptides against Bacterial Clinical Isolates." J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 53, 230-239.

8- Papo, N. and Shai, Y. (2004) "Effect of Drastic Sequence Alteration and D-amino Acid Incorporation on the Membrane Binding Behavior of Lytic Peptides." Biochemistry 43, 6393-6403.

9- Mangoni, M.L., Papo, N., Barra, D., Simmaco, M., Bozzi, A., Di Giulio, A., and Rinaldi, A.C. (2004) "Effects of the Antimicrobial Peptide Temporin L on Cell Morphology, Membrane Permeability, and Viability of Escherichia coli." Biochem. J. 380, 859-865.

10- Braunstein, A.§, Papo, N.§ and Shai, Y. (§equal contribution) (2004) "In Vitro Activity and Potency of an Intravenously Injected Antimicrobial Peptide and its D,L Amino Acid Analog on Mice Infected with Bacteria." Antimicrob. Agent Chemother. 48, 3127-3129.

11- Papo, N. §, Braunstein, A. §, Eshhar, Z., and Shai, Y. (§equal contribution) (2004) "Suppression of Human Prostate Tumor Growth in Mice by a Cytolytic D-, L-amino Acid Peptide: Membrane Lysis, Increased Necrosis, and Inhibition of Prostate-Specific Antigen Secretion." Cancer Res. 64, 5779-5786.

12- Papo, N. and Shai, Y. (2005) "A Molecular Mechanism for Lipopolysaccharide Protection of Gram-Negative Bacteria from Antimicrobial Peptides." J. Biol. Chem. 280, 10378-10387.

13- Zelezetsky, I., Pacor, S., Pag, U., Papo, N., Shai, Y., Sahl, H.G., and Tossi, A. (2005) "Controlled Alteration of the Shape and Conformational Stability of Alpha-Helical Cell-Lytic Peptides: Effect on Mode of Action and Cell Specificity." Biochem. J. 390, 177-188.

14- Tomasinsig, L., Skerlavaj, B., Papo, N., Giabbai, B., Shai. Y., and Zanetti, M. (2006) "Mechanistic and functional studies of the interaction of a proline-rich antimicrobial peptide with mammalian cells." J. Biol. Chem. 281, 383-391.

15- Carmieli, R., Papo, N., Zimmermann, H., Potapov, A., Shai, Y., and Goldfarb, D. (2006) "Utilizing ESEEM Spectroscopy to Locate the Position of Specific Regions of Membrane Active Peptides within Model Membranes." Biophys. J. 90, 492-505.

16- Rosenfeld, Y., Papo, N., and Shai, Y. (2006) "Endotoxin (LPS) Neutralization by Innate Immunity Host-Defense Peptides: Peptide’s Properties and Plausible Modes of Action." J. Biol. Chem. 281, 1636-1643.

17- Mangoni, M.L., Papo, N., Saugar, J.M., Barra, D, Shai, Y., Simmaco, M., and Rivas, L. (2006) "Effect of Natural L- to D-Amino Acid Conversion on the Organization, Membrane Binding and Biological Function of the Antimicrobial Peptides Bombinins H." Biochemistry 45, 4266-4276.

18- Papo, N., Seger, D., Makovitzki, A., Kalchenko, V., Eshhar, Z., Degani, H., and Shai,Y. (2006) "Inhibition of Tumor Growth and Elimination of Multiple Metastases in Human Prostate and Breast Xenografts by Systemic Inoculation of a Host-Defense-Like Lytic Peptide." Cancer Res. 66, 5371-5378.

19- Kipnis, Y.§, Papo, N.§, Haran, G., and Horovitz, A. (§equal contribution) (2007) "Concerted ATP-induced Allosteric Transitions in GroEL Facilitate Release of Protein Substrate Domains in an All-or-None Manner." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 104, 3119-3124.

20- Papo, N.§, Kipnis, Y.§, Haran, G., and Horovitz, A. (§equal contribution) (2008) "Concerted release of substrate domains from GroEL by ATP is demonstrated with FRET." J. Mol. Biol. 380, 717-725.

21- Papo, N., Silverman, A.P., Lahti, J.L., and Cochran, J.R. (2011) "Antagonistic VEGF Variants Engineered to Simultaneously Bind to and Inhibit VEGFR2 and αvβ3 Integrin". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 108, 14067-14072.

(B) Reviews

22- Papo, N. and Shai, Y. (2003) "Can We Predict Biological Activity of Antimicrobial Peptides from their Interactions with Model Phospholipid Membranes?" Peptides 24, 1693-1703.

23- Papo, N. and Shai, Y. (2005) "Host Defense Peptides as New Weapons in Cancer Treatment." Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 62, 784-790.


Positions and Employment



1996-1997 Undergraduate research assistant. Prof. Zvi Rappoport’s lab, Department of Organic Chemistry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

1998-1999 M.Sc. research. School of Pharmacy, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. "The structure -pharmacokinetic- pharmacodynamic relationships (SPPR) of amide derivatives of valproic acid with a potential of antiepileptic activity." Advisors: Professors Meir Bialer and Boris Yagen.

2000-2006 Ph.D. research. Department of Biological Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. "The molecular basis for the differences in cellular toxicity and specificity of host defense cytolytic peptides." Advisor: Professor Yechiel Shai.

2006-2007 Post-doctorate research. Department of Structural Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. "Allostery in chaperonins." Research advisor: Prof. Amnon Horovitz.

2008-2011 Post-doctorate research. Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, CA, USA. "Combinatorial and rational design of high affinity protein antagonists for applications in cancer imaging and therapy." Research advisor: Prof. Jennifer Cochran.

2011-present Assistant professor. Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. "Protein engineering, cancer imaging and therapy".


Fellowships, Honors and Awards


1.      Full

1. Full Fellowship from the Organizing Committee to attend the fourth Eilat conference (Eilat IV) on New Antiepileptic Drugs, Israel (1998).

2. Yael Nusboum-Lev Award for excellency in M.Sc. thesis, School of Pharmacy, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (1999).

3. Feinberg Graduate School Pre-doctoral Scholarship. Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (2002).

4. European community fellowship to attend the Gordon Conference on Antimicrobial Peptides, Ciocco, Italy (2003).

5. Clore Foundation Program Doctoral Scholarship for excellency in Ph.D (2003).

6. The Katzir-Katchalsky Student Travel Fellowship (2004).

7. Feinberg Graduate School Postdoctoral Scholarship (2006).

8. Lady Anne Chain Prize for Academic Excellence and Scientific Achievements in Ph.D., Feinberg Graduate School, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (2006).

9. EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) long-term fellowship program for Post-Doctorate studies (2007).