Ilan is the founder and CEO of Amai Proteins (‘Amai’ is ‘sweet’ in Japanese) which conducts Agile-Integrative Computational Protein Design (AI-CPD) and production by fermentation of tasty, healthy and non-GMO Designer Proteins; focusing on sweet designer proteins as sugar substitutes that are fit for the mass food market. As part of his mission to globally reduce sugar consumption and cure our food rather than the diseases it causes, he co-founded and co-chairs the Israeli Academia-Industry Sweet Science Forum where scientists join forces to address all aspects of the field. Ilan decided to open Amai after analyzing all the designer proteins produced to date, as summarized in the Computational Protein Design book he edited.
Ilan studied sciences and business administration at the Lautman Program for Outstanding Students (Tel-Aviv U.). During his PhD (Weizmann Institute) he focused on the molecular mechanism of adaptation of photosynthesis and other membrane proteins to thermostability. He was an HFSP and EMBO research fellow at UPenn in the labs of the founder of CPD, Bill DeGrado (now UCSF), and Jeff Saven. Therein, he focused on membrane protein CPD, writing the pseudo-energy function and software yielding the first synthetic biology novel transporter. Ilan taught at the Weizmann Institute, Hebrew University and Braude College courses in Genetics, Biochemistry, Physical Chemistry and Computational Biology. He founded and for twelve years co-chaired 3Dsig, the leading meeting in structural computational biology (part of ISCB – ISMB).