Dr. Harris earned his PhD in the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. He was a lab instructor and teaching assistant there for several years, and says that he remains eager to convey the amazing science that chemistry is. He hopes to continue evolving as a teacher even while generating high-quality science as a researcher.
For his postdoctoral research, he hopes to address major gaps in our knowledge about photosynthesis. Photosynthetic proteins not only power life on earth, but also exhibit extremely efficient energy transfer. They could potentially inform new energy sources if we could better understand the mechanisms by which they harvest sunlight. At MIT, Dr. Harris will be building on his expertise in structural biology to probe energy transfer dynamics using advanced spectroscopic and biochemical methods, hoping to better understand the structure-function relationships at the heart of photosynthetic light harvesting. Such understanding could facilitate the development of novel applications that could eventually lead to improving crop yields and integrating biomolecules into bio-hybrid solar cell devices or generating artificial, bio-inspired light harvesting units. Dr. Harris believes that the knowledge he brings back to Israel after his postdoc could make a strong impact on Israeli plant biophysical research.