Daniel Chamovitz grew up in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, and studied at both Columbia University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he received his Ph.D. in Genetics. From 1993 to 1996 he carried out postdoctoral research at Yale University before accepting a faculty position at Tel Aviv University where he served as Chair of the Department of Plant Sciences, and Dean of the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences. In 2002, Prof. Chamovitz was a visiting scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and since 2016, a Visiting Professor in the School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences at Peking University. On January 1, 2019, he became President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Chamovitz's scientific career has been characterized by novel and field-defining research: As a Ph.D. student in the lab of Joseph Hirschberg he was the first to clone a gene involved in the biosysnthesis of beta-carotene. As a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Xing-Wang Deng at Yale University, he discovered the COP9 Signalosome protein complex that was proposed then to be a master regulator of plant development. Later, Prof. Chamovitz's lab was the first to show that the COP9 Signalosome is also essential for development of animals. His lab in Tel Aviv has been spearheading the study of this important protein complex and has shown that it is likely involved in a number of human diseases including cancer. Prof. Chamovitz is among the most prominent researchers in this field and is often invited to give lectures at leading universities worldwide.
Chamovitz was the founding director of the Program in Food Security at Tel Aviv University, and does pro bono consultation for governmental agencies on issues concerning Food Security.
Daniel Chamovitz has published numerous peer reviewed original research articles and is on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He is also member of the Faculty of 1000, Biology.
Chamovitz is a sought-after speaker and science commentator. His 2012 book What a Plant Knows has been published in 18 languages, was voted Top 10 in Amazon, and is often related to in discussions on plant senses and intelligence. A second edition was published in 2017. He has been interviewed in newspapers and magazines around the world and also on live media such as BBC, NPR, and CBS, to name a few. He has given popular talks at venues such as the California Academy of Sciences, Harvard Arboretum and Seattle Town Hall.
When not overseeing the research in his lab, Daniel Chamovitz is passionate about teaching, and especially in developing a modern undergraduate curriculum for plant sciences. He has been awarded outstanding lecturer at Tel Aviv University several times. He also volunteers as a teacher in a local junior high school, engages high school students about science careers, and lectures to groups about the role of Plant Biology in feeding a growing world. He has also been known to show up at obscure bars and clubs with a guitar in hand. Danny lives in Hod Hasharon with his wife, three kids, and cat (the dog died :( ). He has also been known to show up at obscure bars and clubs with a guitar in hand. He blogs about cool plants on The Daily Plant. Follow him on FaceBook and Twitter.