In 1983 he graduated in Physics (Bachelor of Science), at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa. He continued his studies at the Technion and in 1989 received his Doctor of Philosophy, in atomic physics.
On December 1, 2006 he was elected as the tenth president of the Weizmann Institute. He conducted his post-doctoral at the Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois, United States of America. (1989–1991)
In 1991 he returned to Israel and began his career as a senior Scientist at the Department of Particle Physics, (Weizmann Institute of Science). In 1997, he was appointed Associate Professor and was promoted to Full professor in 2003.
His research focuses on the reaction dynamics of small molecules and how they influence the composition of the interstellar medium.
He recreates the conditions of outer space in the laboratory using special devices called ion "traps" or "storage rings". In these devices, he is able to briefly store and measure the properties of small amounts of material, as little as a few hundred atoms or molecules-worth, under the extreme conditions of interstellar space (especially very low temperatures and low densities).
Some of his research has focused on the puzzle of how complex molecules are formed in outer space. Patents
A Device for Three dimensional Imaging
A new method for Mass Spectrometry.
Since 2001, he has been an external member of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, and in 2005, he was appointed as a Director at this Max Planck Institute.
Married Joelle Julie Hayoun, June 18, 1960. Children: Eyal, Noga.