Prof. Jean-Paul Lellouche - A family that works together stays together

The Lellouche family can certainly call Bar-Ilan University its second home.  As head of the family, Prof. Jean-Paul Lellouche is a long time faculty member at the Department of Chemistry and Senior Researcher at the Bar-Ilan Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA). His son, Jonathan, is a researcher at the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, and younger son, Emmanuel, is a doctoral fellow of biology in the same faculty.  Emmanuel’s wife, Dr. Miri Ben Dahan-Lellouche, studies anti-cancer substances at the Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences. Their sister, Naomi, studied Criminology and Middle Eastern Studies at BIU.


As proud Zionists and due to increased anti-Semitism in Europe, Lellouche and his family made Aliyah from France in 1996. “We easily assimilated here in Israel,” says Prof. Jean-Paul Lellouche. “We all studied in Ulpan, and after a few months I had to start looking for a job.”  He served as Associate Professor at Ben Gurion University for three years and in 2000 joined BIU’s Department of Chemistry, and was promoted to full professor in 2008. Today, he heads a group of 20 grad students performing various studies in nanotechnology, biotechnology, infectious diseases, cancer diagnostics and imaging. “Each student focuses on a different research project but our common objective is hybrid organic nano-sized material engineering,” notes Lellouche.


Prof. Lellouche's main research interests include the chemical design, fabrication, and characterization of a wide range of functional nanomaterials for various energy, biomedicine, and (bio) sensing-driven applications. Together with his son, Jonathan, and Dr. Ehud Banin, also of the Goodman Faculty, he is working to develop new materials to fight bacteria and infection. “Basically, we are improving molecules authorized by the Ministry of Health to be used on humans. We are using nanotechnology to strengthen them,” explains Lellouche.  “We intend to formulate the biological activities of these materials.”  And the results are impressive. Thanks to their efforts, these materials are functioning 100,000-1,000,000 times better than before.


Prof. Lellouche commends Bar-Ilan for enabling interdisciplinary collaboration, as he feels this paves the way to new and inventive perspectives to approach any scientific challenge. And, on a personal level, this means he can work closely with his family members.


“Most people think that you can’t work with your family,” he says. “But we actually motivate each other. Around the dinner table, I’m not just a dad talking to his kids; we are a group of scientists, trying to find the best way to reach our goal. We inspire each other.” And us, too!
For more on Prof. Lellouche click here.