Meet Daniel Khaykelson, PhD Candidate


Growing up in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev, Daniel Khaykelson wasn’t always keen on studying science. But by stroke of luck, a suggestion by his high-school chemistry teacher directed Daniel towards a life-time journey into the world of science.

Daniel’s high school required students to volunteer, and his teacher, Dr. Gilad Philosof, suggested that he teach science in the elementary school he attended. Under Dr. Philosof’s guidance, Daniel taught throughout high school and continued teaching even after graduating.

Today, as a doctoral candidate and teaching assistant (TA) in the chemistry department, Daniel continues to enjoy teaching.

If chemistry is my first passion, then teaching is a close second. This semester I am a TA in an analytical chemistry lab, and even though it is time-consuming, I would rather stay after hours in the lab then not teach at all. My students are progressing and the time I put into them is fruitful for both them and me.

His love of science borders the poetic: “Chemistry is beautiful. It encompasses everything from a single hydrogen atom to every system of the human body to the stars above us. Because of this broad approach, everyone has a place.”

Daniel’s doctoral research, under the supervision of Prof. Uri Raviv, focuses on how similar protein sub-units interact with each other to build larger structures, with an emphasis on how viruses build themselves. Looking back on his earlier years, Daniel reflects, “I never imagined that I would find myself writing an essay applying for a PhD scholarship. However, I was lucky enough to meet good people along my way, find my passions, and give back to my community.”

He adds, “I am proud to have received a scholarship, and hope it will inspire my students to continue doing their best.”

January 2020


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