Alexander GOLBERG, PhD in Bioengineering (Israel)

Alexander holds a PhD in Bioengineering from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is currently working as a senior lecturer at Tel Aviv University, Israel. His latest research focuses on offshore biorefineries and during his doctorate studies he developed advanced biotechnologies and bioengineering products to advance health and environmental engineering.

Current position: Senior Lecturer at Tel Aviv University, Israel

Research focus: Offshore biorefineries

His PhD thesis was a breakthrough in production of bioelectricity from the electrolysis of biological matter and received worldwide media coverage. After graduating he began his post-doctoral work at the University of California, Berkley and Harvard Medical School, Boston in the USA.

For his achievements, Alexander received a Green Talents award in 2012. He impressed the jury with his ideas for small-scale distributed biorefineries based on macro-algae. During that time, Alexander developed an innovative energy efficient technology for food storage and published more than 20 research papers.

2014 Robert B. Lindberg Award and Medal, America Burn Association
2013 Gordon Research Seminar on Tissue Repair and Regeneration
2013 ISES Abraham Kogan Session Lecture Award on Renewable Energy

CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2012):

Harvard Medical School, USA

Research focus: Biotechnologies for the production of energy and materials from biomass (bio-refineries); pulsed electric fields processing

Born in Russia, raised in Israel and most recently a postdoc at UC Berkeley and Harvard, USA, Alexander Golberg is a visionary scientist driving advances in biotechnology and bioengineering to make the concept of bio-refineries a reality – and to change the way the world generates fuel, chemicals, feed, and food.

The prospect of a 30 percent increase in global population by 2050, and the associated explosion of energy demand in developing countries, is for many a sobering thought. But Alexander Golberg sees it as an opportunity to bring large-scale change to the way the world generates things like fuel, chemicals, feed, and food. For Golberg, bio-refineries, which produce energy and value-added projects from biomass rather than petroleum, could play a big role in the transformation. “In countries like India and China, the energy infrastructure is still in its infancy, so it’s an outstanding opportunity to implement new bio-refinery systems,” says Golberg.

For his part, Golberg is developing advanced biotechnologies and bioengineering products to help make the concept of bio-refineries a reality. His PhD thesis – a breakthrough in energy production from the electrolysis of biological matter – received worldwide media coverage and is the basis for technology currently developed in Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia. As a postdoc, he has developed a new energy efficient technology for food storage. Also hailed as a landmark breakthrough, this work demonstrates that pulsed electric fields can achieve a similar biological effect as refrigeration for a fraction of the energy cost. The Green Talents jury was particularly impressed with Golberg's concept for small-scale distributed bio-refineries based on macro-algae and the impact his work is having on renewable energy research around the world.