Department of Marine Biology


Dr. Daniel Sher


d sher

Tel - Inside Univ: 2731

Tel - Out of Univ: +972-4-8240731

Room: 284, Multipurpose Building

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Research Areas: Chemical Ecology and Microbial Oceanography

Lab Membership: The Marine Chemical Ecology Lab, Room 291, Multipurpose Building


Research Interests

I am interested in the many ways organisms use advanced chemistry in order to survive in a hostile environment. Specifically, in my lab we are currently interested in two main fields: the complex chemical arsenal used by cnidarians to interact with their biotic environment, and how planktonic marine microorganisms interact in the dilute open ocean.

Many of the major questions in biology cannot be answered using only a single view point, approach or method. For example, we need an integrative, interdisciplinary and cross-scale approach to understand marine microbial communities, since the interactions within these communities occur at micro-scale, are mediated by molecular (atomic) scale events yet affect entire ecosystems and potentially global biogeochemical cycles. Therefore, we aim to combine many different tools and approaches within our lab, as well as collaborate with other research groups, to answer these complex questions.




Lecturer, Department of Marine Biology, Charney School of Marine Sciences, Haifa University, Israel


Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

2000- 2008

PhD Summa cum Laude, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. Mentor: Prof. Eliahu Zlotkin, Thesis Title: Biological Role of a Non-Nematocystic Toxin in Cnidaria – An Exercise in Chemical Ecology.

1997 - 2000

B.Sc. magna cum laude in Biology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel



Morgenstern D, Rhode B, King GF, Sher, D and Zlotkin, E. The Tale of a Resting Gland: A Transcriptome Analysis of a Non-Regenerating Venom Gland from Hottentotta judaicus. Toxicon, in press.

Sher D, Thompson JW, Kashtan N, Croal L And Chisholm, SW. (2011). Response of Prochlorococcus ecotypes to co-culture with diverse marine bacteria. The ISME Journal 5: 1125-1132

.Li B*, Sher D*, Kelly L, Shi Y, Huang K, Knerr PJ, Joewono I, Rusch D, Chisholm SW, van der Donk WA. (2010). Catalytic Promiscuity in the Biosynthesis of Cyclic Peptide Secondary Metabolites in Planktonic Marine Cyanobacteria. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA. 107(23) 10430-35 * equal contribution Featured in Chemical and Engineering News:

Sullivan JC*, Sher D*, Eisenstein M, Shigesada K, Reitzel A.M., Marlow H, Levanon D, Groner Y, Finnerty JR and Gat U. (2008) The evolutionary origin of the Runx/CBF-beta transcription factors - studies of the most basal metazoans. BMC Evol Biol. 8(1):228 * equal contribution

Fishman Y, Zlotkin E and Sher D. (2008) Expulsion of symbiotic algae during feeding by the green hydra-a mechanism for regulating symbiont density? PLoS ONE. 3(7):e2603.

Bartosz G, Finkelshtein A, Przygodzki T, Bsor T, Nesher N, Sher D, and Zlotkin E. (2008) A pharmacological solution for a conspecific conflict: ROS-mediated territorial aggression in sea anemones. Toxicon 51(6):1038-50

Sher, D. Fishman, Y., Melamed-Book, N., Zhang, M. and Zlotkin, E. (2008) Osmotically-Driven Prey Disintegration in the Gastro-Vascular Cavity of the green hydra by a Pore-Forming Protein. FASEB J. 22(1):207-14

Sher, D., Knebel, A., Bsor, T., Nesher, N., Tal, T., Morgenstern, D., Cohen E., Fishman, Y. and Zlotkin, E. (2005) Toxic polypeptides of the hydra—a bioinformatic approach to cnidarian allomones. Toxicon 45(7): 865-879

Sher, D., Fishman, Y., Zhang, M., Lebendiker, M., Gaathon, A., Mancheño, J. M. and Zlotkin, E. (2005). Hydralysins, a new category of β-pore-forming toxins in cnidaria. J. Biol. Chem. 280(24): 22847-22855

Arnon, T., Potikha, T., Sher, D., Elazar,. M., Mao, W., Tal, T., Bosmans, F., Tytgat, J., Ben-Arie, N. and Zlotkin, E. (2005) BjαIT: a novel scorpion α-toxin selective for insects – unique pharmacological tool. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 35(3): 187-195

Zhang, M., Fishman, Y., Sher, D. and Zlotkin, E. (2003). Hydralysin – a novel animal-group selective paralytic and cytolytic protein from a non-cnidocystic origin in hydra. Biochemistry 42(30): 8939-8944.

Reviews and Book Chapters

Mancheño, JM, Tateno, H, Sher, D and Goldstein, I J (2009). Laetiporus sulphureus Lectin and Aerolysin Protein Family. In Proteins: Membrane Binding and Pore Formation, edited by Gregor Anderluh and Jeremy Lakey. Landes Bioscience.

Sher, D and Zlotkin, E (2009) A Hydra With Many Heads: Protein And Polypeptide Toxins From Hydra And Their Biological Roles. Toxicon, 54(8), 1148-1161


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