Dr. Norman Metanis earned his B.A. in Chemistry in 2000 (Cum Laude) from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. After one year as a visiting student at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), La Jolla, he returned to the Technion and completed his M.A. degree in 2004 (Cum Laude) before completing his Ph.D. at TSRI in 2008 under the supervision of Prof. Ehud Keinan and Prof. Philip Dawson, He next joined Prof. Donald Hilvert’s group at ETH Zurich as a postdoctoral research associate.
Dr. Metanis was appointed Assistant Professor in 2013 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018 in the Institute of Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has received many awards including: The Ma’of Fellowship for Outstanding Arab Lecturer (2013-2016), being named a “Thieme Chemistry Journal Awardee” (2017), and being selected as outstanding teacher for "Organic Chemistry for Medical Students" (2017). In 2018 he recieved the European Peptide Society Miklós Bondanszky Award, and was elected as the National Representative of the EPS.
A major focus of the Dr. Metanis’s work is elucidating the function of human selenoproteins, proteins that contain the twenty-first encoded amino acid selenocysteine, which is normally found in the active site. This family of proteins is poorly studied since it is quite challenging to prepare them in sufficient quantities using biological methods. Along these lines, the Metanis group has recently made significant progress in selenocysteine chemistry, and discovered methods were applied successfully for the chemical synthesis of two human selenoproteins. These syntheses should allow full characterization of this family of proteins in the future.