Meital Reches joined theInstitute of Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2010. Sheearned her PhD from Tel Aviv University (under the supervision of Prof. EhudGazit) where she studied the formation of amyloid fibrils and the self-assemblyof peptides into ordered nanometric structures. Upon the completion of her PhDresearch she joined the group of Prof. George M. Whitesides at HarvardUniversity to study self-assembly of electrets. In addition, at the Whitesidesgroup, she developed new diagnostic devices for developing countries.
The goal of the research activity in the Reches lab is to gain a betterunderstanding on the interactions of peptides, proteins, bacteria and cellswith surfaces. Part of this effort focuses on the development of environmentally-friendlyand biocompatible antifouling materials.

Research Areas:
Proteins Adsorption to Inorganic Surfaces:

Understanding how proteins adsorb to inorganic surfaces isimportant for the development of several areas. This includes the design of newmedical implants, antifouling materials and composite materials. Many studieshave been carried out in order to examine how proteins interact with inorganicentities or surfaces; still, it is not clear how proteins “sense” the inorganicsurface. The research in the lab focuses on the fundamental rules that governprotein adsorption. Our approach includes the use of single molecule forcespectroscopy with AFM.

Biomolecular Self-Assembly:

Based on our knowledge from single molecule experiments, we designeda short peptide (tripeptide) that can spontaneously form a coating that resistsbiofilm formation. Our results clearly demonstrate the formation of a coatingon various surfaces (glass, titanium, silicon oxide, metals and polymers). Inaddition, we showed that this coating prevents the first step of antifouling,which involves the adsorption of bioorganic molecules to the substrate.Moreover, the coating significantly reduced the attachment of various organismssuch as bacteria and fungi to surfaces.